A study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology has found a higher frequency of cerebral palsy in babies born during the nightshift. This confirms what I’ve noticed over the years in representing clients in birth injury cases in Newfoundland and Labrador.
After examining medical charts for two million births in California hospitals over 14 years, the study found that children were 22% more likely to develop cerebral palsy between the hours of 10 PM and 4 AM.
Cerebral palsy is a spectrum condition which describes everything from learning disorders to profound brain damage requiring 24-hour a day care. The brain disorder usually affects a person’s coordination and body movements. It is most often caused by lack of oxygen to the brain before, during or shortly after the birthing process.
Hospitals already have issues with staff shortages and fatigued workers, so it makes sense that these problems might be worse during the “graveyard shift”.
Experts in causation of cerebral palsy have told me over the years that most cases of cerebral palsy are not preventable with reasonable medical care. However those that occur perinatally, or in the period leading up to and surrounding the birth process, may be preventable by good medical management and intervention by caesarian section or other means intended to prevent damage from lack of oxygenated blood to the brain.
If you think that your child or the child of a family member or friend has CP which could have been prevented, Patient Injury Law can help.