Child with Cerebral Palsy in a wheelchair

Cerebral palsy is a term used for the group of non-progressive brain lesions that affect body movement, balance and posture. Non-progressive brain lesions do not produce ongoing degeneration of the brain. Cerebral palsy is generally a result of an abnormality or disruption in brain development before, during, or after birth. It may also be caused by a combination of risk factors before, during and after birth. The damage affects one or more parts of the brain that control muscle tone, muscle coordination, muscle control, reflex and motor activity. The cause differs from case to case, and is not always determined in every instance, but often the cause of cerebral palsy is a birth injury.

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Cerebral Palsy Infographic with Causes of Cerebral Palsy

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While the cause may be unknown for many cases, it is important for the parents to know the most common circumstances surrounding this type of disorder; because a birth injury of this type is sometimes preventable with the collective efforts of the medical team and the family. In the United States, cerebral palsy is the most common developmental disability, and in many cases it is caused during delivery, medical malpractice and negligence. Knowing the causes of cerebral palsy may help the parents and the medical team to better prevent and treat the condition. The following are the common causes of cerebral palsy:

Intrauterine Causes

  • Exposure to radiation
  • Maternal infections
  • Maternal diabetes
  • Maternal high blood pressure
  • Poor maternal nutrition
  • Premature dilation leading to premature delivery

Delivery Causes

  • Premature delivery
  • Low birth weights
  • Lack of oxygen related to difficult labor
  • Multiple births (delivery of twins, triplets, etc.)

Neonatal Causes

  • Jaundice
  • Lead poisoning
  • Physical brain injury
  • Meningitis
  • Asphyxia caused by choking on foreign objects, poisoning, and near drowning
  • Interventricular hemorrhage

If any of these descriptions fit your situation, your child’s cerebral palsy may be a result of medical malpractice. Contacting a RI medical malpractice attorney at d’Oliveira & Associates to schedule a free consultation can best determine your legal options.

d’Oliveira & Associates
390 Broadway
Providence, RI 02909
(401) 831-8600