Causes of Cerebral Palsy

Baby BedsThere is nothing more traumatizing than being told your newborn baby has an injury.  One of the most troubling diagnoses a parent can hear is that their child may have cerebral palsy.

The term cerebral palsy refers to a condition that is typically a result of a birth injury, either while the child is still in the womb or during the birthing process.  In a majority of the cases, cerebral palsy is caused by a maternal infection during pregnancy. There are a number of infections that could cause cerebral palsy. These include German measles, also known as rubella, and toxoplasmosis, an infection that is caused by eating improperly cooked meat, or spread by a pathogen found in cat feces.

Maternal health complications can also cause cerebral palsy. For example, if there is Rh incompatibility between the mother and infant, the body of the mother actually produces antibodies that harm the blood cells of the fetus. In a case like this, the newborn baby may suffer from a severe form of jaundice, and this could cause brain damage.

Newborn jaundice is a fairly common condition, but in its severe and untreated form may cause serious damage to brain cells, and one of the consequences of that damage is sometimes cerebral palsy.

However, birth injury is a factor in approximately a quarter of all cases of cerebral palsy.

These birth injuries typically occur during the birthing process. One common birth injury is severe hypoxia or oxygen deprivation during birth. This typically occurs when the mother has been through a labor lasting for more than 18 hours, and when medical personnel in charge of the delivery delay performing a cesarean section. In other cases, a birth injury may be caused because of trauma to the head of the baby during delivery. The wrong use of forceps during the delivery and other types of errors during the birthing process can also cause cerebral palsy.

Cerebral palsy is an irreversible condition. Treatments that are available for cerebral palsy are limited, and most treatments will depend on medications, therapy and aids and tools to help deal with the spasticity and muscular weakness that are symptomatic of cerebral palsy.

The birth process is truly a miracle.  Amazingly, hundreds-of-thousands of children are born each year without any problems at all.  But there are those who enter this world facing struggles and difficulties that could have been avoided.

Parents who learn that their child suffers from cerebral palsy must deal with years of therapy and in severe cases, special schools and tools to make day-to-day life as easy as possible.  The emotional and financial toll is tremendous and can often result in feelings of isolation and frustration.

If you are a new parent who’s child has received a diagnosis of cerebral palsy, investigating the cause is critical.  While dealing with the diagnosis and the special needs is the first priority, it is important to recognize that Indiana allows for a limited amount of time in which parents can pursue their a possible claim related to their child’s injury.

If you suspect that your child’s cerebral palsy diagnosis is due to a medical professionals negligence, you will want to contact Indiana’s brain and birth injury specialists.  The expert team of lawyers at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson & Kennedy, LLP, can review your medical records, consult with their obstetric and birthing specialists, and determine whether you should pursue a legal claim.