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Cerebral Palsy

Philadelphia Cerebral Palsy Attorneys Assisting Birth Injury Clients

When a newborn sustains an injury to the brain during labor and delivery, that birth injury can lead to a cerebral palsy diagnosis. According to a fact sheet from KidsHealth.org, the precise causes of all cases of cerebral palsy are not known. However, in numerous cases, cerebral palsy that results from damage to a baby’s brain could have been prevented. As the fact sheet explains, problems that occur during labor and delivery, as well as misdiagnosed infections during pregnancy, can result in cerebral palsy.

Currently, cerebral palsy (“CP”), is among the most common congenital disorders in childhood. There are approximately 500,000 U.S. children who are presently living with the condition. Although there is no cure for cerebral palsy, kids who are living with this disorder can live fulfilling lives through treatments, therapy, and other tools. However, if your child developed CP as a result of a birth injury, it is important to discuss your case with a Philadelphia cerebral palsy lawyer who can provide you with more information about filing a birth injury lawsuit.

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy is not a disease, but rather is a condition that often occurs as a result of an injury to the brain of the fetus, abnormal development of the fetus’s brain, and/or a problem in which there is an insufficient oxygen supply to the newborn during childbirth. It is a disorder that, according to the KidsHealth.org fact sheet, “affects muscle tone, movement, and motor skills.”

There are three different types of cerebral palsy, including the following:

  • Spastic cerebral palsy, which results in stiffness and difficulty with movement;
  • Athetoid cerebral palsy, which results in a child’s inability to control movements; and
  • Ataxic cerebral palsy, in which a child has problems with balance and depth perception.

For many infants and children with CP, the disorder greatly inhibits the ability to control muscle movement and bodily coordination, as well as any tasks involving muscles and motor skills. Although CP does not worsen over time, it is a lifelong disorder for which there is no cure. CP often leads to difficulty with the following:

  • Standing still;
  • Breathing;
  • Bladder control;
  • Bowel control;
  • Eating; and
  • Talking.

Causes of Cerebral Palsy

The Mayo Clinic has a fact sheet that lists known causes of cerebral palsy, including but not limited to the following:

  • Maternal infections during pregnancy;
  • Fetal stroke that disrupts the blood supply to the fetus’s brain;
  • Infection in an infect that leads to brain inflammation;
  • Traumatic head injury to an infant during childbirth or shortly thereafter; and
  • Lack of oxygen to a newborn’s brain (also known as asphyxia) during labor and delivery.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the following are risk factors for developing cerebral palsy as a result of pregnancy and birth:

  • Breech birth (also known as breech presentation, which is a situation where the newborn is in a feet-first position);
  • Complicated labor and livery in which a baby may have vascular or respiratory problems’
  • Low birth weight;
  • Multiple babies sharing the uterus (for example, twins);
  • Premature birth; and
  • Incompatible Rh blood type between the mother and the child.

Speak with a Cerebral Palsy Lawyer in Philadelphia

If your child was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and you suspect the disorder resulted from a birth injury, you should speak with a cerebral palsy attorney in Philadelphia who can provide you with more information about filing a birth injury claim. Contact Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C. today to speak with an experienced advocate.

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