What causes cerebral palsy in newborns?

| Oct 5, 2020 | Birth Injuries

Everyone hopes for a healthy and happy baby when they are expecting. In most cases, this is what parents get, but there are occasions when birth injuries still occur. One of the ways a birth injury impacts families in is when such an injury results in cerebral palsy.

What is cerebral palsy?

Cerebral means “of or relating to the brain.” Palsy means “muscle weakness or dysfunction.” When you put the two terms together, cerebral palsy means – in simple terms – muscle dysfunction caused by problems with the brain. Usually, the condition occurs in infants when the brain suffers damage from oxygen deprivation or a serious birth injury.

What are some of the risk factors for cerebral palsy?

  • Birth complications: Any complication that deprives the infant’s brain of oxygen can lead to cerebral palsy.
  • Premature birth: Babies born before the 37th week of pregnancy are at risk of developing cerebral palsy.
  • Low birthweight: Babies born weighing less than 5 1/2 pounds are also at risk.
  • Pregnancy infections: When pregnant women suffer from infections like the German measles, chickenpox and some bacterial infections, it can damage the developing brain of the fetus.
  • Medical conditions of the mother: Women with seizure conditions, thyroid problems and intellectual disabilities may also be at higher risk for giving birth to a baby with cerebral palsy.

When is a medical professional responsible for cerebral palsy?

Medical professionals owe their patients a duty of care. Regarding birth injuries leading to cerebral palsy, this means doctors must monitor the fetus as well as the mother throughout a pregnancy. When these professionals fail to do so according to health care standards, it prevents them from taking the proper steps to ensure a safe delivery when risk factors are present.

Preventable birth injuries are a form of medical malpractice for which you can seek compensation. Obtaining compensation empowers you to get your child the best care possible. Taking legal action against the parties responsible for your baby’s condition may also prevent other infants from suffering a similar fate.

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