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What Are Some Common Cerebral Palsy Risk Factors?

Cerebral palsy is caused by abnormal brain development or brain damage. It is characterized as an impairment of the body’s ability to control movement and posture. Children affected by cerebral palsy may have trouble with motor coordination and cognition. While circumstances leading to the condition vary, certain risk factors may increase the likelihood that a child develops cerebral palsy. Below, our Chicago birth injury lawyers explain a few cerebral palsy risk factors.

What Is a Cerebral Palsy Risk Factor?

Risk factors are characteristics or attributes that increases the likelihood that a child may develop cerebral palsy. Risk factors are not signs, symptoms or causes of cerebral palsy. Even if one or more risk factors exist, the presence of risk factors does not mean that a child will develop cerebral palsy.

What Are Risk Factors of Cerebral Palsy During Pregnancy?

Cerebral palsy affects as many as four children per 1,000 in the United States and is one of the most common birth injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 85 to 90 percent of cerebral palsy is congenital, or related to brain damage before or during birth. Cerebral palsy risk factors during pregnancy may include, but are not limited to:

  • Maternal infection or other medical conditions not monitored by the mother’s healthcare professional, such as increased blood pressure and high levels of protein in the urine (a sign of preeclampsia)
  • Maternal health conditions such as thyroid problems, lyme disease, seizures and intellectual disabilities
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals during pregnancy

What Are Cerebral Palsy Risk Factors During Labor and Delivery?

Certain medical conditions during labor and delivery may also increase the risk for cerebral palsy. Some common risk factors for cerebral palsy include:

What Are Cerebral Palsy Risk Factors After Birth?

When a baby is born, a few risk factors may increase the likelihood that a child develops cerebral palsy more than 28 days after birth. This is called acquired cerebral palsy. These risk factors may include:

  • Brain injury as the result of head trauma
  • Complications with blood flow to the brain, such as from neonatal strokes
  • Brain infections
  • Jaundice (a buildup of bilirubin in an infant’s body when, if left untreated, can lead to brain damage)

What Can I Do to Prevent Cerebral Palsy in My Child?

There are some steps you can take during pregnancy to prevent your child’s risk of developing cerebral palsy. Early and regular prenatal care is essential to a healthy pregnancy. Attending all doctor appointments and voicing any concerns you have is also important.

Sometimes, however, cerebral palsy occurs as a result of medical malpractice. Examples of medical negligence may include, but is not limited to:

  • Communication failure among doctors and nurses
  • Misuse of vacuum or forceps
  • Failure of the physician to appropriately diagnose a mother or baby’s medical condition
  • Excessive dosage of a uterine stimulant drug such as Oxytocin/Pitocin

How Do I Know If My Child Has Cerebral Palsy?

Some common signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy may include:

  • Difficulty feeding
  • Reduced muscle tone
  • Delay in reaching certain milestones such as rolling over or crawling, and walking on tip-toes

Making an appointment with your pediatrician to diagnose your child may help you get some clarity.

What Should I Do if I Suspect My Child Has Cerebral Palsy?

If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, and you suspect that it is the result of medical malpractice or negligence, consider speaking to our compassionate birth injury lawyers. We represent children and families nationwide, and have offices located in Chicago, New York, Wilmington, DE and Birmingham, AL.

Discuss your unique situation with us during a free consultation by calling us at (877) 262-9767 or filling out our online contact form.

The following reviews from our clients do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of another legal matter. The cases mentioned in the reviews are illustrative of some of the matters previously handled by Grant & Eisenhofer involving various areas of birth injury law. These reviews are endorsements.

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The following reviews from our clients do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of another legal matter. The cases mentioned in the reviews are illustrative of some of the matters previously handled by Grant & Eisenhofer involving various areas of birth injury law. These reviews are endorsements.

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