Is your baby’s cerebral palsy diagnosis due to birth negligence? To ask the question another way, was it something that the medical professionals failed to do during labor and delivery that has caused your baby’s cerebral palsy diagnosis? Both these questions, which get at a central issue, focus on is your baby’s cerebral palsy diagnosis due to birth negligence?


In this birth injury educational article, I am not discussing developmental issues at conception, or as some say, “genetics” or maternal infection. These things can lead to changes in the brain which can later lead to a cerebral palsy diagnosis. Problems can arise when these issues are promoted as THE ONLY cause of essentially an injury to a baby’s brain, shutting the door on birth trauma caused by medical professionals. This article will explain the “other side” of the coin.




Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, or HIE, is a diagnosis that some babies will receive at birth when they have suffered a brain injury. HIE is a medical condition that can be broken down into three parts. The term hypoxic deals with oxygen. Ischemic is a medical term associated with blood and encephalopathy means a brain injury. Once you put all the words together you get a reduced level of blood and oxygen to the baby which leads to a brain injury. Because HIE is a type of brain injury, it follows that in some children this condition can lead to a subsequent cerebral palsy diagnosis.


Cerebral palsy is a movement disorder and is caused by damage to the area(s) of the brain which control motor related functions. In the word cerebral palsy, cerebral deals with the cerebrum part of the brain, (note the cerebellum can be affected with cerebral palsy too), and palsy refers to a type of paralysis or weakness. Therefore, it is common for children who have been diagnosed with cerebral palsy to have trouble with movement and posture, in addition to having trouble with depth perception. Swallowing and feeding are also other areas of challenge.




In my practice, where I see issues for families is when mom has had an uneventful pregnancy. She has followed all the directions of her doctors and presents to the labor and delivery room in a “normal” condition. Where problems can occur for example, is when the baby is in fetal distress and doctors and nurses either fail to even diagnosis the condition, or wait too long to move on it, causing the baby’s fetal reserves to become depleted. A baby can usually overcome a lot of the stressors of delivery, but there are limits to the stress and strain.


Nurses and doctors in the labor and delivery room can use the aid of the electronic fetal heart monitor to follow fetal well-being. The monitor follows certain things during labor and delivery. It can track the baby’s heart rate, among other things. When the monitor moves to problematic readings, the medical professionals must to take certain actions. For example, sometimes they will turn mother, or give oxygen, etc…. With that said, if some of the “conservative” measures are not working, then doctors must move to an emergency C-section when warranted. Failure by the doctors and nurses to properly diagnose and treat fetal distress can lead to a reduced level of blood and oxygen getting to the baby causing a brain injury. The HIE diagnosis can, in some instances be the foundation of a subsequent cerebral palsy diagnosis.




Hopefully you can see how a cerebral palsy diagnosis can be due to the fact the medical professionals in the labor and delivery room did not properly diagnose and treat fetal distress. This issue can not only lead to a baby’s HIE diagnosis, but a diagnosis of cerebral palsy too. The thing is that for some parents, this entire area of analysis is not even considered when looking for answers from some medical professionals.


To speak with me further, just pick up the phone and call me. I can be reached at 301-850-4832. I talk with families all the time about birth trauma related injuries and I would 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.