Questions About Cerebral Palsy
Philadelphia and Allentown, Pennsylvania and New Jersey
What causes cerebral palsy?
When the motor control areas of a child’s developing brain are damaged, cerebral palsy can occur. The word “cerebral” refers to the brain, and “palsy” refers to impaired movement. Cerebral palsy can occur either during pregnancy, during the delivery process, or after a child’s birth up to age three. Besides experiencing hindered muscle coordination, children with cerebral palsy often have difficulty with communication, depth perception, and cognition.
Cerebral palsy can be caused during pregnancy by a mother’s exposure to infections, uncontrolled hypertension, and toxins. Inflammation is a natural part of how your body fights infections, but it can damage an unborn infant’s developing brain cells if it is not carefully monitored and controlled. A mother’s infection can also cause the fetus to have a stroke. The prolonged oxygen deprivation caused by a stroke can in turn cause the type of brain damage that leads to cerebral palsy.
Is cerebral palsy a disease?
Cerebral palsy is not a disease, but rather a brain disorder that hinders a child’s body movement and over motor functions. The difficulties experienced by patients with cerebral palsy are a direct result of damage and malformation in the brain. There is no defect within the muscles themselves.
Can cerebral palsy be prevented?
While there is never any guarantee that an infant will be born in perfect health, certain measures can be taken during a mother’s pregnancy to lower the risk of birth injury. Nurses, doctors, and other hospital employees are responsible for monitoring a mother’s medical condition during pregnancy to ensure that the unborn infant doesn’t suffer from trauma, infection, or a lack of oxygen.
Women with Rubella, inflammatory pelvic disease, or similar diseases that can negatively affect a developing baby should have their condition treated prior to becoming pregnant.
Can cerebral palsy be cured?
Unfortunately, no. When brain damage occurs during a child’s developmental period, it cannot be reversed. However, modern technology and treatments can do much to improve the quality of life for patients with cerebral palsy.
How badly will cerebral palsy affect my child?
Your child’s experience with this condition will depend on the specific type of cerebral palsy they are experiencing, and the extent of the brain damage that caused it. Some people who have cerebral palsy lead relatively normal lives, but others will need constant supervision and care for the rest of their lives.
Although cerebral palsy is sometimes unavoidable, it is all too often the direct result of a physician’s negligence during the pregnancy, labor, and childbirth process. If a medical professional fails to respond to obvious complications during a mother’s pregnancy, or fails to adequately monitor a mother for signs of fetal distress, they can be held responsible for medical negligence.
If your child is suffering from cerebral palsy and you believe it was the result of a preventable birth injury, please contact the experienced birth injury lawyers in Philadelphia at Wapner, Newman, Wigrizer, Brecher & Miller today to schedule a free initial consultation.
We represent birth injury victims throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, with offices in Philadelphia, West Conshohocken, Marlton, and Allentown.
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