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Is My Unborn Child at Risk for Cerebral Palsy?

Published on Mar 27, 2017 at 5:00 pm in Birth Injury.

Cerebral palsy is a congenital disorder that affects movement, muscle tone, muscle coordination, and posture.  It is a common disorder that produces more than 200,000 new cases in the United States every year.  It is typically caused by damage to the brain before or at birth.  It is a chronic disorder that can last for years or even a lifetime.  Currently there is no cure for Cerebral Palsy, but treatment is available that may help symptoms subside.

Cerebral Palsy risk factors are events, substances, or circumstances that increase the risk of developing Cerebral Palsy.  Just because your baby has one of the risk factors, it does not mean that they will surely have the disorder.  And the absence of risk factors does not guarantee that they will be spared.  Your knowledge of potential risk factors can help keep your baby safe.

Many experts recommend meeting with a physician prior to becoming pregnant to receive a complete reproductive health assessment.  Social habits, medical history, exposure to prescription medications, and exposure to harmful chemicals and recreational drugs are all possible risk factors that can be determined before pregnancy.

Blood tests can be performed to determine any potential ABO and RH blood incompatibilities between mother and baby.  Treatment can be performed at 28 weeks gestation to prevent a blood incompatibility from becoming an issue.  Blood incompatibilities that are undetected before birth can cause a newborn to develop jaundice.  Jaundice is dangerous, yet common and treatable.  Medical treatment should be performed at the first sign of yellow discoloration.

Premature birth is a significant risk factor for Cerebral Palsy.  Premature birth is when a baby is born before 37 weeks gestation time.  A baby who is born premature often does not develop any differently than a baby born at full term.  However, the likelihood of developing Cerebral Palsy increases when a baby is born too early.

Infection and fever in an unborn baby, newborn, or pregnant mother increases the likelihood that a child will develop Cerebral Palsy.  Bacterial infection, viral infection, fungal infection, and sexual transmitted disease are all risk factors.  Pregnant mothers should be monitored by their physician and treated immediately if any sign of infection is present.

Oxygen deprivation and other birth complications increase a child’s risk of developing Cerebral Palsy.  When the brain receives inadequate supply of oxygen for a period of time, brain damage can occur.  Problems with the umbilical cord, excessive bleeding, and prolonged traumatic delivery are all complications that can occur at birth and cause brain damage.  Delivering physicians are responsible for monitoring a laboring mother and performing emergency cesarean deliveries to prevent these complications from happening.

Physicians are responsible for administering proper treatment to mother and baby throughout the entire pregnancy and delivery process.  Proper medical monitoring and treatment can dramatically reduce the risk of a child developing Cerebral Palsy.  Failure to diagnose and treat problems during pregnancy and failure to properly monitor a laboring mother is negligent behavior on behalf of the physician and can leave them liable for a child developing Cerebral Palsy.

If you or someone you love has developed Cerebral Palsy as a result of improper medical care or defective medical equipment, Bey & Associates, Atlanta, GA Cerebral Palsy lawyer is here to help.  Our legal team is experienced in medical malpractice cases that have resulted in child development of Cerebral Palsy.  Contact Bey & Associates today for a free, no-obligation consultation of your case.