Injuries, Cerebral Palsy
Birth injuries can be defined as injury
to the fetus sustained during the labor and delivery process. Approximately
6 to 8 injuries per 1,000 live births occur in America each
year. Some of the most common injuries are related to
prolonged or difficult labor, use of forceps, an abrupt delivery,
or prolonged fetal distress.
Birth injuries can be varied. Trauma to the peripheral
nerves produces a major group of birth injuries. Brachial
plexus injuries, or injuries to the network of interjoining
nerves in the neck, are caused by stretching of the cervical
roots during delivery, usually when shoulder dystocia is present.
Shoulder dystocia occurs when the babyıs head is delivered,
but the shoulders cannot be delivered because they are stuck
behind the mother's pubic bone.
Upper arm palsy (Erb's palsy), is the
most common brachial plexus injury. Shoulder dystocia
may occur when a baby is unusually large. An ultrasound
scan will help determine whether the baby is too big to pass
through the motherıs pelvis which would necessitate a cesarean
Another group of disorders characterized by loss of movement
or loss of nerve functions is called cerebral palsy.
These disorders are caused by injuries to the brain that occur
during fetal development at or near the time of birth.
The incidence of cerebral palsy is approximately 2 to 4 individuals
for every 1,000 births. Cerebral palsy is caused by
hypoxia (low oxygen) to the brain. Classifications of
cerebral palsy include: spastic, dyskinetic, ataxic, and mixed
cerebral palsy. Spastic cerebral palsy includes about
half of the cases.
Babies born with cerebral palsy may not have signs of the
condition at birth. This is because the babyıs nervous
system needs to mature further before the signs become evident.
However, babies with severe forms of cerebral palsy
may have signs of the condition at birth or shortly thereafter.
Signs of spastic quadriplegia include problems sucking and
swallowing, a weak or shrill cry, either a very floppy body
or a very stiff body, irritable when awake, sleeps a lot.
Some of the early signs noticeable by the age of three months
include the babyıs failure to turn to sudden noise, does not
follow objects with his or her eyes, or does not show facial
Although there is no cure for cerebral palsy, the symptoms
do not progress over time. If you or someone you know believes
that a child was injured during the birthing process, call
Phillips & Mitchell toll free at 1-866-321-1580 for a
free consultation or
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