Cerebral palsy is a common medical condition affecting many people in San Diego, and throughout the U.S. It is estimated by the Centers for Disease Control Prevention that approximately one out of every 323 children in the U.S. suffers from cerebral palsy. The condition, which typically manifests early in a child’s life, impacts people’s motor skills and muscle coordination. There is still much to be learned about the exact causes of cerebral palsy, however, birth injuries appear to be a common contributing factor.
A type of brain injury, cerebral palsy is caused by an abnormality in a child’s brain development, or by damage to a developing brain. This can be the result of any number of factors. According to the Mayo Clinic, some of the most common risk factors include the following:
- Infant or maternal infections
- Fetal stroke
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Random gene mutations
- Lack of oxygen to the body and brain
Some of these causes cannot be prevented. Others, however, may result, or be worsened, by doctor error during pregnancy, or during labor and delivery. Failing to diagnose, or treat, conditions in mothers while they are pregnant can lead to issues for their unborn children, including cerebral palsy. Furthermore, the use of some medical equipment, such as vacuums and forceps, during delivery may cause head injuries to infants.
Regardless of the exact cause, the effects of cerebral palsy can affect people for their entire lifetime. Depending on the severity of their condition, they may require long-term treatment and care. When cerebral palsy is caused as the result of doctor error or medical professional negligence, health care providers may be held liable. People whose children have developed this condition as the result of medical malpractice may find it of benefit to consult with a legal professional to discuss their options for seeking compensation.