Medical malpractice can lead to cerebral palsy, as can many other factors. Cerebral palsy is a medical condition in which the brain sustains damage, usually before birth. The brain damage affects the person’s ability to control movement and posture. The condition can affect muscle tone.
What Can Cause Cerebral Palsy
These factors can cause a disruption or abnormality in the brain’s development and lead to cerebral palsy:
- Asphyxia (lack of oxygen to the brain), usually during a prolonged or difficult labor or delivery.
- Fetal stroke, if the developing baby experienced a stroke that disrupted blood supply to the brain before birth.
- Infections that caused inflammation in or around the brain of the infant.
- Traumatic brain injury if the baby gets a head injury from a car accident or from getting dropped.
- Infections of the mother during the pregnancy.
- Genetic mutations that cause the brain to develop abnormally.
Maternal Risk Factors for Cerebral Palsy
Many different illnesses or conditions of the mother during pregnancy have a link to the baby developing cerebral palsy. Some of the higher-risk infections and conditions include:
- Chicken pox (varicella). There is a vaccine that can prevent this contagious viral infection. Chicken pox causes outbreaks of painful rashes and itching. Also, the infection can cause devastating harm to the fetus if the mother contracts the illness during pregnancy.
- Herpes and syphilis. If the mother has either of these sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs) and the infection passes from the mother to the fetus during pregnancy, the resulting inflammation can damage the baby’s brain and disrupt the development of the nervous system, causing cerebral palsy.
- Zika virus. If the mother contracts the Zika virus during pregnancy, the baby can develop microcephaly and cerebral palsy.
- German measles (rubella). There is a vaccine that can prevent rubella. If the mother gets measles during pregnancy, the viral infection can lead to severe birth defects, including cerebral palsy.
- Many people get this common virus and assume that it is a bad case of the flu, but if a woman contracts this virus for the first time during pregnancy, the baby can develop birth defects, including cerebral palsy.
- Toxoplasmosis. A parasite found in contaminated soil, food, and the feces of infected cats can cause an infection called toxoplasmosis that can damage the developing brain of the fetus if the mother contracts the infection during pregnancy. For this reason, doctors often advise pregnant women to wear gloves when gardening or changing the cat’s litter box, or to have someone else perform these tasks until after the baby is born.
- Toxic chemicals. Some toxic chemicals, like methyl mercury, can cause cerebral palsy and other birth defects if the mother gets exposed to the toxin while pregnant.
- Medical conditions. There is a possibility that mothers with seizure disorders, intellectual disabilities, or thyroid problems might have a higher than average risk of having a baby with birth defects, including cerebral palsy.
If you suspect that your child’s suffering from medical malpractice led to their cerebral palsy, you should talk with a lawyer. You have a limited amount of time to take legal action for money damages. Call the Montero Law Center at 954-767-6500 today to line up your free consultation.