Cerebral palsy is a very common disability that affects the way children move. Anywhere from 1 to 4 babies per 1,000 births will be diagnosed with cerebral palsy. CP can vary in severity, with some people showing mild symptoms and others intense ones.
There are several causes of cerebral palsy. Some cases are congenital. This means that brain damage during or even before birth was a cause. Problems with anesthesia during labor are one cause of cerebral palsy. Although epidurals have benefits for mothers, when they’re administered incorrectly they can injure mothers and babies. For example, if the injection enters the bloodstream directly, it can cause seizures. Other injuries to babies include low blood pressure. Epidurals aren’t the only culprit with congenital CP can include Pitocin. This is administered to stimulate contractions. However, Pitocin can be too stimulating, and the force of the contractions can squeeze the baby’s head too much.
Not every case of CP can be traced to the birthing process, however. Other cases of CP are caused by brain damage that occurred more than a month after birth. Specific causes can include infections like meningitis, or trauma to the head. These cases are known as acquired cerebral palsy.
With good medical care, including assistive devices and therapy, children with CP can go on to have very fulfilling lives. If hospitals and medical professionals have caused the cerebral palsy through medical malpractice, they can be held liable. That’s important because proper care for a disabled child becomes expensive quickly. Families who need to know more about the cause of their child’s CP should contact an experienced advocate. Innocent children and their families shouldn’t have to pay for preventable errors during childbirth.