Cerebral Palsy is a long-lasting disorder that affects muscle tone movement, and motor skills. Motor skills are the ability to move in a coordinated and purposeful way. It is one of the most common congenital (existing before birth) disorders of childhood. It can also lead to other health issues such as speech, vision, and hearing problems. These can extend to learning disabilities in children.

There is no cure for cerebral palsy. However, treatment, therapy, special equipment and in some cases, surgery can help children who are living with the condition.

Cerebral Palsy claims can be quite complex and be emotionally difficult for the parents.

If you have been made victim Cerebral Palsy related medical negligence, get in touch with an experienced Medical Negligence solicitor to handle your case.

Contact Hughes & Associates for help with your Cerebral Palsy Claim

Causes of Cerebral Palsy

There are two types of cases. 

1. Non-negligent cases

It is worth mentioning that not all cases are due to the negligent management of a mother’s pregnancy, delivery or indeed the neonatal care given to the baby by health professionals. In fact it is a rare for problems / complications during a mother’s labour and delivery to cause Cerebral Palsy. 

In cases where negligence is not the cause, cerebral palsy is caused by congenital malformation of the brain. 

This occurs when the foetus is growing inside the womb leading to the child being born. there is a birth defect as opposed to developing this disorder as a result of negligence on the part of the medical professional. Many cases are as a result of problems during pregnancy when a foetus’ is brain is either damaged or does not develop normally. This can be due to infections, maternal health problems, a genetic disorder or something else that interferes with normal brain development.

2. Negligent Cases

In some cases, cerebral palsy is caused by medical negligence on the part of the doctor, nurse or midwife. There are a number of different mistakes, actions, and misjudgements that can be made by the health professional during a mother’s pregnancy, labour and delivery of the baby’s immediate post-natal that can cause cerebral palsy, these can include:

  • Failure of medical personnel to deal completely with an abnormal CGT trace and respond to changes in the baby’s heart rate. CGT is a monitor that tracks the baby’s heart rate and provides an indication of the well-being of the baby.
  • Failure to recognise / treat / respond to a mother’s high blood pressure or toxemia (toxemia – blood poisoning from a bacterial infection)
  • Misuse of Oxytocin/ Syncline used to induce or accelerate labour.
  • Injuries caused during delivery by forceps / vacuum
  • Injuries caused to the baby due to placental abruption or even incompetently performed resuscitation of a sick newborn.
  • Leaving the baby in the birth canal for too long, leading to a lack of oxygen. This is known as intrapartum asphyxia.
  • Failure to perform Cesarean section where necessary

Cerebral Palsy Claims


This is the most common form. It affects the body’s ability to relax muscles causing rigidity meaning that control or movement will, therefore, be poor. Often the child will have severe learning difficulties and a reduced life expectancy.


This form has a more subtle symptoms often associated with problems with balance, speech in perhaps shaky hand movements. 

Contact the Hughes & Associates Team