Cerebral palsy is a neuromuscular condition that affects the muscle tone and control in infants.
The human body is extremely delicate. The delivery processes puts both the mother as well as the baby under tremendous stress. Birth injuries are an unfortunate outcome of an otherwise joyous moment. Cerebral palsy is among the worst outcomes of a birth injury. In this post, our Chicago injury lawyers will discuss factors that can lead to cerebral palsy.
What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a neuromuscular condition that affects the muscle tone and control in infants. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) estimates that about 1 in every 323 babies are affected with it. While CP can be congenital or acquired due to abnormalities in brain development, the exact triggers are still unknown. Congenital Cerebral Palsy is the most common form of CP and is found in as many as 90% of all CP cases.
Congenital CP: Causes that Increase Risk of CP
Congenital CP refers to all CP cases where CP related damage takes place before or during childbirth. The exact cause of CP is not yet clear in medical science, however, there are certain causes that increase the risk of contracting congenital CP.
Low Birth Weight and Premature Birth
These are two factors that are often seen as interlinked causes of congenital CP. Infants with a birth weight lower than 5.5 pounds – especially babies weighing less than 3.5 pounds are more susceptible to developing CP.
All premature babies have increased risks of contracting CP. However, babies born before 32 weeks of pregnancy are especially vulnerable, considering the fact that they have higher risks of suffering from medical conditions that can lead to CP.
Multiple births and Infertility treatments
A mother carrying multiple babies is often at risk of premature births, which increases the chances of CP. Moreover the risks of CP increase if one of the siblings dies shortly after the birth.
Women who conceive after infertility treatments often have multiple births. This increases the risks of the infant developing CP.
Mothers with certain infections like bacterial meningitis and viral encephalitis that affect the brain and spinal membranes of the child during pregnancy can increase the risk for the baby contracting the infection that can cause CP.
Jaundice and Kernicterus
Jaundice (or yellowing of the skin) occurs when the bilirubin count in the infant’s body exceeds normal levels. Untreated severe jaundice in infants may lead to a condition called kernicterus. At times, this condition results in a fast breakdown of the red blood cells in the baby’s body leading to CP.
Birth Injuries and Other Conditions or Infections
If the mother experiences birthing complications where the oxygen supply to the baby gets depleted due to conditions like uterine ruptures, placental detachment, or issues with the umbilical cord have an increased risk of giving birth to babies with CP.
Compensation for CP Caused by a Preventable Birth Injury
Caring for a baby with CP can be daunting for new parents. Apart from the stress of ensuring proper care, medical bills can become a serious burden. Therefore, it is wise to speak with an experienced Chicago birth injury lawyer, who can help you recover adequate compensation from the at-fault healthcare provider for medical malpractice.
Call Willens Law Offices today at (312) 957-4166 to schedule a free and private consultation.