Can Cerebral Palsy Be Due To Medical Negligence?

Cerebral palsy can be defined as a term used to describe neurological disorders which hinder muscle coordination and body movement. There are many factors that can be traced back to the causes of cerebral palsy, but in the scenarios of medical malpractice and birth injuries, we can pinpoint the causes to one common source – insufficient amounts of oxygen reaching the brain of an infant during birth or labour.

Whether it is caused by medical negligence or not, you find that most of the children who suffer from cerebral palsy get born with this condition, although it’s likely that the diagnosis will be made a few years later. It is important to note that it is a health condition that’s non-progressive.

Early Indications of Cerebral Palsy

From the general perspective, parents could be aware of the signs of their babies suffering from brain injuries majorly because they need intensive medical attention during their new-born period. The assistance that they require revolves around mainly feeding and breathing, but there are other indications of cerebral palsy occurring.

Cerebral Palsy, during its milder forms, often appears to be a developmental delay. On the opposite side of things, the severe forms are characterised by the affected children having difficulty in swallowing, eating, proper maintenance of body posture and holding their heads erect.

For a proper diagnosis to be made, the doctors in charge of the management of the affected children should check for motor skills and reflexes, in addition to taking a look at the babies’ and mothers’ medical histories. They should also be keen on scrutinizing the birth records so as to find out whether there were any signs of the affected babies having oxygen deprivation during birth. The records of the fetal heart monitor are also a vital element that should be reviewed.

If Cerebral Palsy has been suspected, there are tests that the doctors can run in order to find out the disorder’s specific causes in that particular scenario. Scans of the Computed Tomography (CT) type, Magnetic Resonance Imaging tests and Ultrasonography are vital to making the correct diagnosis. This is due to their role in the creation of anatomically vivid pictures of the child’s brain as well as in the determination of the time that the baby was subjected to oxygen deprivation and also if the deficiency of oxygen is the Cerebral Palsy’s cause.

Types of Cerebral Palsy

There are three common forms of Cerebral Palsy:

  1. Spastic Cerebral Palsy: This is a type of Cerebral Palsy that accounts for approximately 80% of all cases. It is majorly characterized by difficulty in movements and stiffness due to the tightness of a single muscle or multiple muscle groups. The patients that suffer from this form of Cerebral Palsy normally have a difficult time in holding and releasing objects, as well as when moving into different positions.
  2. Athetoid Cerebral Palsy: This corresponds to around 10% of cases and is characterized by lowered muscle tone, slurred speech, involuntary movements and difficulty in swallowing.
  3. Ataxic Cerebral Palsy: It also accounts for approximately 10% of cases of cerebral palsy. Its commonest symptoms include distorted balance, problems in the perception of depth, difficulty in coordinating muscle movements and tremors.

Can Cerebral Palsy Be Due To Medical Negligence?

Having said all the above, the question of whether medical malpractices or medical negligence could be at the core of some cerebral palsy cases arises. We should start off by first laying all the facts on the table. Most of the children or people who have this condition have most likely been with it ever since they were born. In addition to this, more likely than not, the condition was brought about deprivation of oxygen to the affected person’s brain, birth trauma or premature delivery. It is important to note that the above reasons behind cerebral palsy occurring could well be due to medical negligence and mistakes during a child’s delivery.

However, you should bear in mind that a child being born with this condition could indicate medical negligence, but it does not automatically point in the direction of this actually happening. In light of this, we see that medical negligence is one of the factors that contribute to the development of cerebral palsy.

Below are some of the most common aspects of medical malpractice that leave a child with this condition:

  • Failure of proper detection or treatment of infections such as meningitis in a mother during her pregnancy term.
  • Inappropriate monitoring of the foetal heart rate before and during the actual labour process and also during birth.
  • Failure to successfully detect and deal with an umbilical cord that has prolapsed.
  • Delaying in the performing of an emergency caesarean section.
  • Negligence coupled with unprofessional mistakes such as using of instruments such as forceps and vacuums during delivery.
  • Failure of planning and scheduling caesarean section procedures to mothers that have babies that cannot safely pass via the birth canal.

Getting Legal Advice on Cerebral Palsy

In the event that the origin of the cerebral palsy is from medical negligence or malpractice, the affected people have the right of acquiring legal advice on the matter. With legal counsel at hand, the victims of medical negligence are better placed to gaining medical negligence compensation that will assist them in overcoming the difficulties that are tagged along with this disorder.

The hospital at large, the doctor-in-charge, or even the attending obstetrician are all liable to being held accountable to such an occurrence. The responsibility of the hospital can stem from its own malpractice or negligence under a legal theory that states “respondeat superior” which is Latin for the phrase “Let the master answer”. This interprets that the hospital is held responsible for its employees’ negligent behaviour as long as the involved employees were acting within their employment’s scope.

Due to this, your legal team will help you come up with a medical negligence lawsuit for the Cerebral Palsy condition and it will constitute of both the hospital and doctors involved as the defendants. Lawsuits directed at birth injuries like cerebral palsy not only serve to hold the hospital or doctor responsible for what has occurred, but it also serves to help in the improvement of the quality of attention and care for any other baby. It is also vital for you to prioritise legal teams that have a no win no fee basis. This will ensure that the only time you are entitled to making payments of legal fees is after you have received compensation.

Cerebral Palsy Charity Related Example

In the U.K., there are a number of charity organisations that have been established to help in the provision of services that improve the welfare of children with Cerebral Palsy. One of the most popular organisations that helps such children is known as “Pace”. It is a charity centred on families and provides education specially tailored for children that have sensory and motor disorders, including cerebral palsy.

A good example of some of the children that are benefiting from this charity is one six and a half-year-old boy by the name Henry. He has been in this charity’s educational program ever since he was half a year old. Despite having cerebral palsy that has affected his legs and arms, his talking abilities and trunk control, he has benefited a lot from schooling at Pace. He is successfully getting the hang of learning how to operate powered wheelchairs and also communicating via the use of computers that have an eye-gaze type of technology as well as pod-books.

This is just but one of the many examples of the hope that lies in children who are being properly managed for cerebral palsy and the extent to which charity organisations have been of assistance in addressing the condition.

Conclusion

We have seen some of the types of cerebral palsy, the indications of cerebral palsy and some of the medical negligence scenarios that could lead to all the above. Legal advice is important if indeed the cause of the condition is due to malpractice and negligence by the medical personnel involved and this article has highlighted in detail the importance of all these aspects of cerebral palsy.

How to Register a UK Charity

Have you recently set up a charity in the UK? The next step is to get it officially registered. In this guide, we’ll talk you through all the steps that you need to take to get your charity officially registered in the UK.  From the application stage to what happens after you apply, here’s what you need to know:

You need your charity to be fully set up before you register it

In order to register your charity, you should already have done the following:

  • Settled on a purpose for your charity
  • Decided on the structure for your charity
  • Drafted the charity’s governing document
  • Decided upon a suitable name for your charity
  • Selected your board of trustees
  • Decided upon a suitable funding plan for your charity

Usually, you are required to register with the Charity Commission once your charity is bringing in over £5,000 a year. However, if your charity is structured as a charitable incorporated organisation (also known as CIO) then you are required to register it no matter what the income.

Where do you apply to register your charity?

You can apply to register your charity using the Charity Commission’s application form. If you’re based in Wales, you can also choose to apply using their Welsh application form instead.

Once you commence your application, you’ll be given a reference number. This is ideal for those of you who may not have time to complete it in one sitting. It enables you to save your form and return to it at any point within 3 months of beginning it.

There are certain types of charities that don’t require registration

Not all charities require registration in the UK. If you have any of the following types, you don’t need to worry about registration:

  • Smaller unincorporated charities

If you have a charity based in England and Wales that isn’t a charitable incorporated organisation and has a yearly income of under £5,000, then you don’t need to register it. However, we’d still recommend applying to HM Revenue and Customs for charity recognition. This will allow you to claim gift aid on donation and benefit from charity tax breaks.

If you have a small unincorporated charity with an income of less than £5,000 per year and would still like to register it, you can still submit an application voluntarily. However, it is unlikely to be considered by the Charity Commission unless there are exceptional circumstances involved. For instance, if your charity is being offered a large donation but the donor requires it to be registered, then the Charity Commission may consider granting you a registered charity number.

  • ‘Excepted’ charities

If your charity has a yearly income of less than £100,000 and falls under one of the following categories, then you may not be required to register it. These include churches, charitable funds for the military, and guide or scout related charities. You may also not need to register if you are the local division of a wider charitable organisation, but double check with the parent company just in case.

How do I properly fill out the charity registration form?

In order to ensure your application gets approved, you need to prove to the commission that your organisation is a proper charity and that your trustees are aware of their roles and responsibilities. Take the following steps to successfully complete the form:

  • This one’s a bit obvious but you’d be surprised how many people don’t do it: make sure you read through the application questions as well as any instructions carefully so you can provide the necessary information required. This is crucial as due to the high number of applications that the commission receives, not submitting the adequate or correct information could delay your application significantly.
  • Try and submit your application as much in advance of the deadline as possible, especially if you need your charity registered by a certain date.
  • Inform the commission if there are any exceptional circumstances affecting your application. For instance, if there is an urgent requirement for your charity to be registered for disaster relief donations, then the commission may consider it even if the governing document hasn’t been set up.
  • The information you need to provide includes your charity’s account details, contact details, signed governing document, proof of income, and a copy of the certificate of incorporation if you have one.
  • All the charity trustees need to complete and sign the trustee declaration form with all the necessary details.

What to expect once the application has been submitted

After you’ve submitted your application, you’ll receive an email confirmation. All the information will be assessed within 48 hours to ensure that it is complete, factual, and eligible. If there isn’t enough information, your application will be returned and you will be asked to resubmit it.

If your application is successful, it will be entered onto the register of charities and you will receive your charity number along with some guidance for the trustees. If it isn’t successful, the commission will inform you of the reasons why. You can then either address those reasons and reapply, or appeal to the Charity Tribunal.

Setting up a Charity for a Victim of a Serious Injury

You may have the ideas about setting up a charity for a victim of a serious injury, but are struggling to put thoughts and words into actions. We’ve created a comprehensive guide to help those of you looking to set up a charity for a victim of a serious injury to help you along the way.

Think About Who You Are

Before you delve into the technical steps of setting up your charity, you need to first think about what your charity is all about. You may have the idea of wanting to help victims of injury, but this idea alone will unfortunately not be enough to run a successful charity. Just like a business who sells for profit, you need to create your identity, your brand, who you are and what your charity stands for. Ask yourself questions about your organisation and its ideologies, figure out the answers and don’t move forward until you have an answer for every single one of them.

Once you’ve established the core values of your charity (it’s fine to not have a name just yet), you can move onto the next steps of setting up your charity for victims of serious injuries.

It is also worth pointing out that in this post, we will be talking about how to set up a charity for multiple victims of serious injuries, as most charities will not be supported or funded for one individual. If you’re looking at ways to raise money for one victim, you may benefit from either starting a one-off fundraising event and/or web page or partner with other UK charities. The Charity Commission give some useful advice on those who want to start a charity for an individual suffering from a rare disease; the answers can also guide those wishing to learn about starting a charity for a victim of a serious injury.

The UK Government Website gives tips on how to set up a charity here. Each of the six steps outlined on the page has to be carried out by any new charity, however, like with any organisation, a lot of thought and extra action needs to be taken in each step, depending on which kind of charity you are setting up. For a charity aimed at helping those affected by serious injury you need to:

Decide What Structure Your Charity Will Have

It is important to clarify what structure your charity will have right from the start. This is why you need to decide your charity’s ideologies and aims from the beginning. It may be tough to decide on the structure, but taking time to consider your options before getting ahead of yourself is useful. For more help on information about which structure your charity will have, refer to the gov.uk site.

Get Funding

You’ll have to show that your charity for victims of serious injury will make over £5,000 per year. Whilst it is possible to fundraise before your charity is registered, more popular options to raise the initial costs include: gifted money, grants and government funding. Know How Non-Profit give ways on how to source initial charity funding.

Plan Your First Few Years

It’s important to think about where you want to go with your charity over the years. A charity is like running a business; it takes dedication, hard work and planning.

Get the Right Support

Starting your own charity for victims of serious injury doesn’t have to be lonely. Ask local businesses and professionals for help. Talk to charities who have similar visions as you do, many will be happy to assist you, or point you in the direction of someone else you may be able to ask.

Write Your Governing Document

Your governing document has to contain a lot of information. As well as informative, the text needs to be well thought out and written. Have a look at templates of other charities’ governing documents so that you understand exactly how to compile the document before you start.

Keep Going

It’s going to be difficult when you’re setting up your charity. You’ll just want to help people who cannot afford treatment, feel depressed and haven’t got family to turn to after they’ve suffered a serious injury. Instead, you’ll be filling in forms and documents that are pages long and full of legal jargon, you’ll have to multitask and do things you’ve never done before. It’s going to be difficult, but in the end, it’s worth it. Keep going!

Starting a charity for victims of serious injuries is going to take time and effort. Whatever you do, take each step slowly. If you’re ever in doubt, refer back to the official UK government website and already registered charities’ websites. You’re doing a great thing, good luck and well done!