Understanding your baby’s cerebral palsy diagnosis can take some work for parents who ultimately want to know when did the brain injury occur. In a lot of cases, what things will turn on is when did the brain injury occur? Did the baby suffer a brain injury during pregnancy, or was this something that occurred because of doctors and nurses say, failing to diagnose and treat fetal distress?

When some parents learn that the brain injury occurred not because of pregnancy or genetics, but because of the failure of the medical professionals and the hospital, questions of holding these individuals responsible for their baby’s future challenges begin to take root front and center. In this birth injury educational article, I will talk about some of the issues of analysis for a family when they are essentially trying to time their baby’s birth injury. If you are going through this issue right now, know that you are not alone and that there are professionals out here who are willing to help you advocate for your baby!


When looking to hold the people responsible for your baby’s birth injury, defense attorneys representing the side you are suing will fight the cause and timing of the injury. As I have stated in the past, these are hotly contested issues in these types of cases. With that said, there is a medical condition which can manifest itself during labor and delivery, and that condition is hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, or HIE.

HIE, when broken down into simple terms is a reduced level of blood and oxygen, which can lead to a brain injury. During labor and delivery, there can be many causes of a reduced level of blood and oxygen. For example, the baby’s umbilical cord can become compressed and this can lead to the baby suffering from a decreased level of blood and oxygen. In addition, hemorrhaging on the part of the mother can adversely impact the baby’s blood and oxygen. These are just some examples.

Doctors and nurses can use tools like the electronic fetal heart monitor to identify your baby’s progress during labor and how well the baby is tolerating the vaginal delivery. Failure to properly diagnose and treat fetal distress can lead to a brain injury in your baby. In cases where conservative treatments to fetal distress are not working, doctors must move to an emergency C-section when warranted.


When looking to determine when did the brain injury occur, we must not only look at how the baby presented at delivery, but we want to look at any scans that were performed after birth. In many cases, the baby will present with seizures, be blue in color, need help breathing, and must be taken to the NICU. In addition, hypothermia treatment may need to be used.

When a brain injury is suspected, certain tests will be performed on the baby’s head and brain. For example, MR scans, T1, T2 may be performed, among others. One thing that a birth injury attorney will be looking for is whether during the initial scans, (for example, the first 24 hours of life), a brain injury is present. This can be important because let us say that the baby suffered a brain injury during the pregnancy, then by the time the initial scans are performed, the brain injury may manifest itself on the initial scans.

What we can see in some cases, especially with concerning fetal heart strips, is that the brain injury does not manifest itself until a little later in the process. This makes a strong argument that the brain injury was NOT something that happened during labor and delivery but was something that may have happened during labor and delivery. Like I said above, if there is evidence of fetal distress and other HIE issues, a strong argument can be made that the baby’s brain injury, and subsequent cerebral palsy diagnosis was due to failures on the part of the medical professionals and the hospital.


Because you know that your baby will face challenges in the future, it is ok to reach out for help. Remember, this is what we do. We help families just like you. Taking this next action will cost you nothing…and what is that action? To pick up the phone and give me a call.

I can be reached at 301-850-4832. I answer Maryland birth injury and medical malpractice questions just like yours all the time and I will be happy to listen to your story.

Marcus B. Boston, Esq.
Boston Law Group, LLC
2 Wisconsin Circle, Suite 700
Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815



1-833-4 BABY HELP


Marcus Boston is a Maryland medical malpractice attorney who helps people navigate the Maryland childbirth injury and medical malpractice process to get money for their injuries caused by the carelessness of doctors and hospitals. BLG handles cases in Prince George’s County, Baltimore City, Montgomery County, Howard County, Anne Arundel County, and all other Maryland Counties. blgesq.com