Cerebral Palsy: What Causes This Permanent Birth Injury?
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a birth injury suffered by thousands of newborn children across the country each year. It can manifest in a variety of ways and categorizations, depending on what caused or contributed to its development.
In some rare cases, CP can be linked to a congenital risk factor. For example, a genetic disorder carried by the mother that causes her child to develop at a significantly low birth rate could cause cerebral palsy in her child. However, many incidents of CP in a newborn can actually be traced to preventable mistakes or issues. This type of cerebral palsy is called “acquired CP.”
Causes of acquired CP vary greatly, but may include:
- Oxygen deprivation: Cerebral palsy is known to have a high chance of occurrence if the infant experiences oxygen deprivation at any time during development and birth. Medical providers must pay close attention to a child’s positioning and oxygen levels while the mother is in labor. The umbilical cord can become wrapped around the child’s throat, causing suffocation and oxygen deprivation.
- Trauma during birth: In addition to oxygen deprivation, many other forms of trauma during birth can contribute to high risk of CP, especially if some form of head trauma, brain injury, or placental abruption occurs. Head trauma can be caused by misuse of birth-assisting tools, like forceps and vacuum extractors.
- Premature birth: Children born before the 32nd week of pregnancy are highly vulnerable to developing CP. Obstetricians are tasked with monitoring the unborn child’s vital signs and the health of the pregnant mother to predict the risk of premature birth and make medical decisions accordingly.
- Infection: If a pregnant mother suffers a severe infection, it or its symptoms may spread to her unborn child, causing the development of CP. Once again, OB-GYNs need to monitor the health of their patients to look for signs of infection and act in a way that protects or preserves their health. Failure to do so could constitute medical malpractice.
- Lack of vaccination: Many vaccinations can protect against viruses and diseases that cause health complications in unborn children. Mothers without these vaccinations are at a higher risk of giving birth to a child with CP.
Was your child born with cerebral palsy and you suspect a medical provider’s mistake could have caused or contributed to it? Explore the situation and your legal options by calling (440) 220-4439 today. The Lancione Law Firm has a team of cerebral palsy lawsuit attorneys in Ohio at the ready to hear your story during a free, confidential case evaluation. If it appears that you have a valid claim to compensation for the hardships and harm you and your child have suffered, we will let you know what to do next.