As a Cleveland birth injury lawyer, I am often the first person a concerned parent calls after he or she hears an upsetting diagnosis about their newborn child. Many times, the parent has a lot of questions, and “Why?” is the one I hear most frequently.
One common type of birth injury is a condition called Cerebral Palsy. The term Cerebral Palsy refers to a series of brain and nervous system problems that affect body movement and muscle coordination and can lead to developmental disabilities. But why does it happen? What causes Cerebral Palsy at birth?
Cerebral Palsy is caused by damage to the cerebrum, the motor control center of a brain that is still developing.
Early on, Cerebral Palsy can be difficult to diagnose because an infant does not yet have control over movement and muscle coordination. Later, when the child has had the time to develop, Cerebral Palsy may be detected through the following symptoms:
- uncommon movement of the limbs
- weak muscles
- speech impediments
- lack of mental development
- lack of coordination
- tightness in muscles and joints
On average, 2 of every 1,000 births results in Cerebral Palsy. Cerebral Palsy can occur any time during pregnancy, or ever after birth. As a personal injury lawyer, I commonly encounter Cerebral Palsy caused by birth injury.
One of the most common causes of Cerebral Palsy at birth, is Asphyxia (oxygen deprivation).
Asphyxia is the medical term used to describe a lack of oxygen to the brain. When an infant’s brain is oxygen deprived, it can cause damage to the part of the brain that controls motor movements, resulting in Cerebral Palsy.
Some factors that may lead to oxygen deprivation at birth, and ultimately, Cerebral Palsy, include, but are not limited to:
- a prolapsed umbilical cord (can choke the child)
- hemorrhaging during delivery or while pregnant
- abnormal positioning of the child in the birth canal
- failure to perform a cesarean birth (or C-Section) when necessary
- shoulder dystocia
- prolonged birthing process
Cerebral Palsy caused by lack of oxygen to an infant’s brain during birth can be devastating. The effects of Cerebral Palsy last a lifetime, and there is currently no cure.
As your birth injury lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®
Author: Tim Misny | For 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.