Causes of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a group of developmental disorders that originates from complications during labor and birth. It affects the motor areas of the brain, causing developmental delays. The causes are hard to pinpoint, and a diagnosis can take years. Check out this short list of causes connected with a CP diagnosis.

What Problems can Happen During Labor and Delivery?

One of the biggest problems during labor and delivery is a lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain, also known as birth asphyxia. A lack of oxygen causes damage to the surrounding brain tissue, leading to developmental delays and motor problems. There are many reasons this can occur.

A placental abruption can cause the placenta to detach from the wall of the uterus. Once the placenta disconnects, it can no longer deliver the oxygen needed for fetal development. It also causes hemorrhaging, which can deprive the brain of essential nutrients. A placental abruption caught in the early stages can usually be controlled. However, once it starts, it will not stop. Within moments of symptoms, a baby can suffer life-altering damage. If you have bleeding paired with contractions that will not stop, it is time to get help as quickly as possible.

Another cause of birth asphyxia is the improper use of tools during the delivery process. Doctors without training in the proper use of the tools can cause more harm than good. Forceps can damage the baby’s brain, leading to a lack of oxygen and damage to the tissue. This damage can cause life-long problems, diagnosed as cerebral palsy.

Infections during pregnancy can also cause complications. Sometimes the mother has an undiagnosed infection that is unknown until the baby is born. Sometimes an outside infection enters through the cervix during the delivery process. Internal fetal monitoring calls for the insertion of a transducer through the cervix, which adds the risk of introducing bacteria into the baby’s environment. Infections can lead to an increase in proteins in the blood and brain, blocking oxygen and other important nutrients from reaching their destination.

Jaundice is another cause of proteins that build up in the blood. While a mild case of jaundice is easy to fix, the longer the condition goes undiagnosed, the more the proteins build up. Sometimes the condition happens when a mother and a baby have different Rh blood types. The different factors cause the red blood cells to break down too quickly, creating unwanted proteins.

Can You File a Medical Malpractice Claim for CP?

The cause of cerebral palsy is not always clear. Sometimes there are multiple injuries that occur at birth and all of them might be a part of the final diagnosis of CP. A medical malpractice suit brings complications. There are several situations that fall under the category of medical malpractice. One of them is doctor error. If your doctor failed to diagnose and treat your symptoms along the way, it can be a reason to file a medical malpractice case. Fetal distress, unsafe prescriptions, and failure to resuscitate all fall under the doctor error category. To file a case, you need to have proof of the negligence. In many cases, the proof falls through and fault cannot be ascertained.

Children and adults with cerebral palsy can live happy and full lives. After diagnosis, a team of doctors will work together to design a plan for care. This plan will help caregivers stay consistent, giving the best quality of care to those who need it. If your child experienced trauma at birth and is experiencing developmental delays, it might be time to look into a cerebral palsy diagnosis.