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Is cerebral palsy only a natural development?

Is cerebral palsy a birth injury that can be avoided? If your child suffers from it, was the injury caused by medical negligence or malpractice? These are good questions that you, as a parent, deserve to have answered.

Generally speaking, cerebral palsy is caused by the abnormal development of the brain. If that's found to be the cause, then the palsy is known as congenital cerebral palsy. This kind of cerebral palsy happens before birth, and the specific cause for it may never be discovered. There are some risk factors for this kind of cerebral palsy including having multiple births, giving birth early, or giving birth to a child who has a low birth weight.

Cerebral palsy can also be caused by damage to the brain during delivery. Only a small number of cases of cerebral palsy are caused by medical negligence or neglect, but when the damage happens, it's irreversible. Known as acquired cerebral palsy, this kind of brain damage can happens 28 days or longer after birth. Infections, injuries, and problems with the blood flow to the brain can cause this kind of cerebral palsy.

In most cases, a healthy pregnancy will help reduce the risk of cerebral palsy, but there are still some things you can look out for. For instance, were you monitored when your baby was in distress? If not, did your child suffer from asphyxiation or a lack of oxygen to the brain? Were you given inappropriate medications or drugs during your pregnancy? All of these things may have contributed to your child's disability.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Causes and Risk Factors of Cerebral Palsy," accessed Aug. 19, 2015

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