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What Causes Cerebral Palsy: Basic Facts You Should Know

Cerebral Palsy is term used to describe a set of motor conditions which result in physical disability. Cerebral Palsy is brought on by injuries to the motor control centers of a fetus or infant’s developing brain. Typically, cerebral palsy occurs during pregnancy or childbirth, but it can also occur in small infants. However, diagnosis can take some time and may not take place until later in the child’s life.

The disorder causes limitations to the child’s body movement and posture. In addition, individuals with cerebral palsy suffer from impacts to their sensory and cognitive abilities, depth perception and other issues with eyesight, and ability to communicate. Cerebral Palsy is often accompanied by other disorders. About half of children with Cerebral Palsy also suffer from epilepsy and musculoskeletal problems. Nearly seven percent of children with Cerebral Palsy are also diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Cerebral Palsy Statistics

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Cerebral Palsy is the leading motor disability among children. About one in 323 children live with Cerebral Palsy. Cerebral Palsy is more common in boys than girls. It is also more common among African American children than their White and Hispanic counterparts.

What Causes Cerebral Palsy?

· Premature Birth and Low Birth Weigh t: The prevalence of Cerebral Palsy is greater in children born prematurely and with low birth weight. A study conducted among Atlanta’s population found that the prevalence of Cerebral Palsy was approximately six per 1,000 in children weighing between three and five pounds at birth and nearly 60 per 1,000 in children weighing less than three pounds at birth. This is significantly higher as compared to the 1 in 1,000 prevalence of Cerebral Palsy among children born weighing greater than five pounds.

· Lack of Blood or Oxygen to the Brain: About ten percent of all incidents of Cerebral Palsy are caused by an interruption in oxygen supply to the fetus during birth. In addition, Ischemic Stroke, which results in the blockage of a blood vessel to the fetal or infant brain by a blood clot, can cause Cerebral Palsy.

· Infection During Pregnancy: The children of mothers who suffer from infection during their pregnancy are at greater risk for Cerebral Palsy. For example, infection of the placental membranes accounts for over ten percent of Cerebral Palsy cases among full-term births and 30 percent of Cerebral Palsy cases among premature births.

If your child has been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, you should contact an attorney immediately. An attorney can help you determine whether a healthcare professional’s negligence contributed to your child’s condition. If so, your attorney can help you receive the compensation you and your child deserve.