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What causes cerebral palsy?

Most expectant parents in Florida wish for nothing more than a healthy baby and a healthy mother. Unfortunately, the mother and child’s health during the pregnancy process can be put in danger if proper care is not taken. Perhaps one of the most serious birth injuries a child can suffer is cerebral palsy.

Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders affecting brain function and the central nervous system. People with cerebral palsy can have significant problems with motor function, learning, hearing, vision and thought processes.

An infant can develop cerebral palsy while still growing in the womb or during the birth process. If the infant’s brain receives insufficient oxygen while in the womb or during labor and delivery or if the child is premature, this could lead to cerebral palsy. Brain bleeds and infections, head injuries, untreated jaundice and other injuries suffered during the labor and delivery process could also lead to the development of cerebral palsy.

In order to test for cerebral palsy, a full neurologic exam is often necessary. Blood tests, CT scans, EEG tests, hearing tests, MRIs and vision tests may also be performed. There is no cure for cerebral palsy — it is a condition that will last throughout childhood and into adulthood. Cerebral palsy does not necessary shorten a person’s lifespan. This means that the child may need long-term care, as they will have the condition as long as they live.

A cerebral palsy diagnosis is distressing for parents. Fortunately, there are many support groups available to parents of children with cerebral palsy. Legal resources are also available to parents who believe their child’s cerebral palsy was due to a medical error.