Does brain injury at a young age require special care?

Not all brain injury might be the result of an accident that resulted in adult head trauma, such as a slip and fall or a motor vehicle crash. In fact, brain damage can happen at any age, even to a newborn. One condition, called congenital cerebral palsy, might happen during birthing due to a doctor’s error. However, CP can also develop during the pregnancy or in the days, weeks, or even years following the birth.

The causes of CP are not fully understood, but there are known risk factors. Notably, some infertility treatments might increase the risk of pregnancies resulting in CP.  To be precise, the treatments may increase the risk of preterm delivery or multiple births, both of which are independent risk factors for CP. 

Could a product liability claim lie against an infertility product with such potential side effects? Perhaps not, to the extent the potential adverse reactions were disclosed with the product labeling, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the patient made an informed consent based on all of the information. However, an injured consumer should consult with attorney about any product liability concerns. 

Notably, damage to a developing child’s brain may also happen long after the child’s birth, and possibly lead to a type of cerebral palsy called acquired CP. Such damage is often in the form of a head injury, perhaps from defective car seat equipment or playground facilities, or an infection, like meningitis. Determining the theory of liability after an injury is work best handled by an attorney that focuses on personal injury lawsuits, including brain injuries, birth injuries, car accidents and product liability lawsuits. Our law firm’s website provides a more detailed overview of these practice areas.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Causes and Risk Factors of Cerebral Palsy,” updated 2015, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

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