Cerebral Palsy Information

Cerebral Palsy Treatments

Cerebral Palsy Types

Babies with Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a term used to describe a form of brain damage that can greatly affect an individual's ability to walk, talk, think and otherwise coordinate movement. Generally, cerebral palsy is diagnosed by the time a baby reaches two years old. However, in the mildest cases in which symptoms are extremely subtle, patients may not be diagnosed with cerebral palsy until they are about 5 years old. Currently, 1 in every 278 American children is living with cerebral palsy, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Causes of Cerebral Palsy

Any event that causes trauma to the brain, typically the cerebellum, can cause cerebral palsy. Specific examples of such traumas include:

  • an infant's lack of oxygen before or during the birthing process
  • infections affecting either the mother or baby
  • problems with the infant's brain development during the pregnancy
  • stroke
  • untreated jaundice
  • medical mistakes made before, during or immediately after birth

Medical Malpractice that Causes a Babies Cerebral Palsy

In some cases, doctors and nurses may make mistakes before, during or immediately after the birthing process and, as a result, cause cerebral palsy. Examples of such medical malpractice can include:

  • excessively using the vacuum extraction method
  • failing to promptly perform a C-section when birthing complications clearly call for one
  • failing to detect and treat a baby's lack of oxygen, meningitis and/or epilepsy
  • failing to diagnose and treat a mother's high blood pressure, toxemia or infections
  • failing to recognize and treat a prolapsed umbilical cord (meaning the cord is caught around a baby's neck, potentially cutting off the oxygen supply)
  • failing to detect and respond to heart rate changes in the mother or baby
  • improperly using forceps

According to reports, infants have higher risks of developing cerebral palsy when:

  • They are born prematurely
  • They have lower birth weights (less than 5.5 lbs)
  • Breech (feet-first) births occur
  • Multiple babies are sharing a uterus
  • Mothers are exposed to toxic substances, such as mercury, during pregnancy
  • Mothers have certain health conditions, such as thyroid problems, mental retardation or epilepsy

If your baby has cerebral palsy, you may not know what to do. For information about the various resources available, contact our national cerebral palsy lawyers.

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  • 3Hospitalization
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