Birth Injury Blog

What Causes Cerebral Palsy in Infants?

Posted By Beam & Raymond || 10-May-2017

Cerebral palsy is a non-progressive condition caused by a type of brain damage that happened before, during, or after birth. Cerebral palsy can lead to impairment that affects a child’s ability to control and move their muscles.

When it comes to cerebral palsy, parents are rightfully concerned as to how it happened to their child. This question is not always easy to answer. In some cases, cerebral palsy is caused by factors that cannot be controlled or prevented. In others, the brain damage may have resulted from negligence during labor or delivery. Determining which caused your child’s condition is critical to determining whether you have a potential birth injury case.

Beam & Raymond is a nationally recognized birth injury law firm that assists victims and families in understanding their rights following medical malpractice. Because these cases entail a great deal of medical information, it becomes essential for families to work with experienced lawyers who understand the causes of cerebral palsy and whether the condition could and should have been prevented if not for substandard care provided by a physician, nurse, or medical professional.

Generally, cerebral palsy may involve:

Birth injuries – Injuries during birth account for a significant percentage of cerebral palsy cases, and may include injuries that occur during labor, delivery, or immediately after birth. Often, these injuries are preventable if not for medical malpractice or neglect.

When it comes to determining the cause of cerebral palsy and whether it could have been prevented, all aspects of pregnancy and birth must be evaluated:

  • Before birth – There are a number of factors during the development of a fetus that can indicate increased risks of cerebral palsy. These could include fetal stroke, infections in the mother, nutritional deficits, exposure to teratogens, and inadequate care. Some of these factors might be unavoidable, but if they could and should have been identified during pregnancy and risks effectively managed, victims may have a potential medical malpractice case.
  • During birth – Cerebral palsy can be caused by many issues during labor and delivery. In regard to medical malpractice, errors on the part of medical professionals can cause the condition. This includes failures to identify fetal distress, such as a lack of oxygen to the baby (birth asphyxia), and take appropriate action, such as a timely C-section. Causes of cerebral palsy during birth may also be related to the improper use of forceps or a vacuum extractor. Medical professionals may also fail to identify and address preventable causes of the condition, including obstruction of a baby’s airway, placental abruption, dehydration, uterine rupture, and other complications.

Although the cause of cerebral palsy can be difficult to establish, there are risk factors and signs that indicate complications and issues which may lead to brain damage and CP. Medical professionals should be aware of these risks and signs, and should take appropriate measures to address them in a timely and acceptable manner when they occur. If they fail to act when most medical professionals would have taken action, there is a strong case for medical malpractice. However, the unique facts and circumstances surrounding the birth and what took place must always be thoroughly evaluated.

By working with proven birth injury lawyers from Beam & Raymond, you can receive the compassionate support and experienced representation you need to determine whether your child’s cerebral palsy was preventable and take legal action against the responsible health care providers. Our legal team has handled several hundreds of cases involving cerebral palsy over 34 years in 25 states, and we are familiar with many ways that medical negligence can cause the condition. We encourage you to bring your case to the attention of our legal team for a personalized case evaluation.

To discuss your case personally with a Chicago brain injury lawyer from our team, contact us for a FREE consultation. We serve families throughout the United States.

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