Cerebral palsy (CP) is an umbrella term used for a collection of non-progressive and permanent movement disorders. Apart from physical disabilities, CP could also lead to issues with depth perception, physical sensation and communication. Different infants show different symptoms, and cases where all associated signs of CP are displayed are quite rare.
A very low percentage (close to 2%) of CP cases is due to genetic factors. A more common cause of the disorder is physical trauma to the brain during birth. There is no known cure for the disease and close to 0.2% of all newborn children suffer from it.
Birth is a delicate process and must be handled appropriately by hospital staff and attending doctors. Failure to provide proper care to the mother and baby during birth can lead to brain injury and other complications, which could lead to cerebral palsy. If your child has been diagnosed with CP, your best ally can be a birth injury attorney. Your attorney will investigate your case for any of the following brain injuries that occurred during the birth process that could be due to the negligence or carelessness of hospital staff.
Periventricular Leukomalacia (PVL)
PVL is a form of injury to the white-matter in the brain which can affect newborns, with premature infants at a greater risk of being affected by it. It is almost impossible to detect the disorder based on a child’s physical characteristics at birth since it causes motor problems, and newborns cannot perform a wide variety of movements anyway. You may not be aware that your child has experienced this type of trauma until later in life. As the child develops, symptoms such as vision problems, low heart rate, delayed motor development, seizures, etc. come to the fore. PVL can be caused by the mother experiencing low blood pressure during birth, including during vaginal labor or during a c-section.
Intraventricular Hemorrhage (IVH)
IVH is bleeding into the part of the brain which contains the cerebrospinal fluid, and is particularly common in premature infants. Birth trauma is one of the leading causes of IVH and other hemorrhages. The bleeding can occur up to 72 hours after birth, and the resulting complications depend largely on its severity. If the bleeding is not serious, there are usually no major symptoms. Intense bleeding, on the other hand, could cause serious brain injury (which could lead to CP), or even death.
Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)
HIE is a medical condition that occurs when there is a lack of adequate oxygen supply to an infant’s brain. It is commonly seen when there are complications during the birthing process, such as when a doctor fails to initiate a c-section in time, or if the umbilical cord becomes occluded during birth. The resulting brain damage is often permanent, leading to a number of developmental issues, including cerebral palsy.
Families expect that when they enter a hospital to give birth, that the staff and doctors will perform their medical duties to the best of their ability. However, when a nurse or obstetrician is negligent in their care during the birth process, the mother and child can be significantly harmed. These types of brain complications that lead to cerebral palsy are frequently seen in infants who have suffered some type of birth trauma.
If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, an Idaho birth injury law firm can help you determine the cause of the disorder and may be able to help you obtain financial compensation for undue hardship. Contact The Rossman Law Group today to discuss your child’s condition and the options you have available to you.