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FDR Law Legal Clinic - Is it Medical Negligence?

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Q: Could Cerebral Palsy be as a result of medical negligence?

A: Cerebral Palsy describes a disorder of muscles or posture and it may be caused by an injury to the brain before, during or after birth.  In the UK Cerebral Palsy affects about 1 in every 400 children of which some will need care and assistance throughout their lives.

Sadly, sometimes, this deprivation of oxygen is caused as a result of a lack of care on the part of medical practitioners, and in those circumstances it is possible to recover compensation for the benefit of an injured child.

Medically it can take up to two years sometimes longer for Cerebral Palsy to be officially diagnosed by specialists.  Classic symptoms may be spotted much earlier in the child’s life when parents and health workers identify key developmental stages not being met; gurgling, speech, interaction, crawling and walking.

Those less affected with movement and motor skills, may meet developmental milestones and with support can attend mainstream primary education schools.  Often at Secondary school level, more support in terms of learning and mobility is required as pupils move around for lessons.  Their emotional wellbeing could require support as they reach puberty and as they integrate with a larger number of young people.  Later, support or specialist equipment may be needed to enable them to attend Further Education, University, and work or live independently.

For those more affected with Cerebral Palsy their levels of support may increase as they age and as it becomes increasingly difficult for parents and family to give them the levels of care because of the extent of their needs.  Though overall, individuals with Cerebral Palsy will lead very positive and fulfilling lives with the right support.

For advice please contact Brian Owens, an accredited APIL Clinical Negligence Panellist in our Warrington office on 01925 230000 or by email