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Understanding cerebral palsy as a birth injury

San Diego parents who await the birth of their children with joy and anticipation have much to look forward to. Sadly, for some parents, the realities of what lie ahead can be very different than the original expectations. Birth injuries can change the course of babies’ and parents’ lives forever. Cerebral palsy is one condition that can result from a birth injury. WebMD.com indicates that up to 20 percent of people with cerebral palsy contracted it due to an injury sustained during birth.

Cerebral palsy may not be evident upon birth even if the associated brain damage took place at that time. Many children are not able to be diagnosed until two or three years of age. Up to 50 percent of cerebral palsy sufferers can exhibit symptoms of mental retardation and seizure disorders. CerebralPalsy.org also notes that fine motor skills, gross motor skills, balance, posture and speech may all be negatively impacted.

A lack of oxygen to the brain during birth or immediately following birth is a common cause of cerebral palsy as a birth injury. Known as Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy, this oxygen deprivation is also a primary cause of death among infants. Blood flow can be cut off to babies before or during birth as well as after birth if infection or trauma occurs. When medical professionals do not accurately detect or respond to these situations, the negligence can leave families struggling for years.

While an error during labor or after birth is not the only cause of cerebral palsy, it is nonetheless something that all parents should be aware of. Knowing what to watch for and when to get help is important.

 

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