Causes of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a disorder of movement, muscle tone, or posture that is caused by damage to the developing brain. Most often, this damage occurs during pregnancy, birth, or shortly after birth. “Cerebral” means having to do with the brain and “palsy” means weakness or problems using muscles. Children with cerebral palsy have brain damage that results in symptoms such as poor coordination, stiff muscles, weak muscles, tremors, and even paralysis.

How do I know if my child has Cerebral Palsy?

Diagnosing cerebral palsy at a young age is important to the child’s well-being. The earlier the diagnosis, the sooner intervention and treatment can begin. Sometimes, when there is an obvious problem during labor and delivery, doctors will begin looking into the possible diagnosis right away. More often, though, the diagnosis is made over the course of many months and involves several steps:

More often than not, parents who seek the assistance of The Eisen Law Firm know their child has cerebral palsy. They were diagnosed at birth or shortly thereafter with this disorder. We are then contacted to determine whether the condition was caused by a preventable medical mistake, and if so, to take appropriate action.

Causes and Risk Factors of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is caused by abnormal brain development that affects the child’s ability to control their muscles. There are many causes of abnormal brain development and therefore, many potential causes of cerebral palsy. Birth injuries, lack of oxygen to the developing brain, and infections are some of the most common causes of cerebral palsy.

Brain damage that leads to cerebral palsy can happen during pregnancy, during birth, within the first few months after birth, and even during the first years of a child’s life. Cerebral palsy can develop anytime while the child’s brain is developing.

Congenital Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy that results in brain damage before or during birth is called congenital cerebral palsy. Risk factors of congenital cerebral palsy include:

Most cases of cerebral palsy are congenital (85-90%). Many of these cases are a direct result of a medical professional’s negligence. For instance, most of the infections that a mother contracts and can pass on to her fetus are treatable, if they are properly diagnosed in a reasonable time. Jaundice can be treated with light therapy or blood transfusion, if noticed in a timely manner. Births can be sped up, so that a baby does not move too slowly through the birth canal, and mucus and meconium can be cleared, so that the baby can breathe.

Acquired Cerebral Palsy

Acquired cerebral palsy occurs when brain damage happens more than 28 days after birth. This type of cerebral palsy can be associated with infections such as meningitis or encephalitis during infancy. Other causes are head injuries; problems with blood flow to the brain, like a stroke; blood clotting problems; or, sickle cell disease. Like congenital cerebral palsy, many of these cases are the result of a preventable medical error.

Cerebral Palsy Law Firm

The Eisen Law Firm has been assisting families with their cerebral palsy negligence claims for over 40 years. We know how to review your child’s medical records and determine if their cerebral palsy is a result of medical malpractice. In fact, medical malpractice law and medical negligence cases are our focus. We only handle medical malpractice and negligence cases. You pay nothing for our services until we win. No fees. No expenses. Nothing. Call us today at (216) 687-0900 or email us to see if we can help you and your family with your cerebral palsy case.