Was My Child's Cerebral Palsy Preventable?
No one wants to believe that their child could be born with a life-altering condition such as cerebral palsy. Unfortunately, more than 8,000 infants and babies are diagnosed each year, with nearly 1,500 additional school-aged children also being diagnosed. The conclusion can be terrifying, with parents feeling powerless as they learn about the unique challenges their beloved child will suffer throughout their life. Here are some of the ways that parents can prevent their child from developing cerebral palsy, as well as what you can do to get help if your child has already received this devastating diagnosis.
Preventing Cerebral Palsy During Pregnancy
There are no guarantees around preventing cerebral palsy, but there are ways as a parent that you can reduce the chances that your child will develop this life-changing disability. Infections during pregnancy, severe and untreated jaundice and asphyxiation are the most common causes of preventable cerebral palsy.
Reduce your child’s risk factor during pregnancy by:
- Avoiding contact with Zika virus, German measles or other infections that can cause inflammation of the baby’s brain.
- Control blood pressure, diabetes and other underlying health issues.
- Avoid risk factors such as smoking, drinking alcohol or overuse of prescription drugs.
There are also tests that can identify whether there’s a potential Rh factor mismatch between mother and child, which can be a harbinger of problems to come. While these are largely controllable factors, there are also times that you as a parent do not have the power to protect your child from cerebral palsy.
Preventing Cerebral Palsy During and After Birth
While many types of cerebral palsy are caused by prenatal injuries, nearly 30 percent of cases are caused by injuries a child sustains during birth or their most formative years. Brain injury or hemorrhage slightly before or during birth could potentially be prevented if physicians and staff are alert and actively looking for signs of fetal distress. The failure to perform a Caesarean section in time can cause the infant to lose oxygen at an incredibly important stage of their lives: right before and during delivery. Depending on the manner of birth, brain damage can also occur due to head injuries or bleeding in the brain due to excessive pressure.
It’s important to know that you are not alone if your child was recently diagnosed with cerebral palsy. There are many options for treatment that will allow them to live a full life, as well as steps that you can take as a parent to receive financial and emotional support during this difficult time. If you suspect that your child’s condition was caused by medical malpractice or negligence before, during or after birth, contact a caring and confidential attorney today at (440) 276-3535 for a no-cost consultation. At The Mellino Law Firm LLC, we are dedicated to ensuring that you receive the justice that you deserve.