Cerebral Palsy Risk Factors
Being aware of the risk factors associated with Cerebral Palsy can give parents the necessary footing required to prepare themselves for a healthy pregnancy and birth.
While the following risk factors are indicators of things to be aware of during pregnancy, delivery, and after the child's birth, they aren't definitive. Just because you’re exposed to these risk factors doesn't mean that your child will have CP.
Risk Factors for Congenital CP
There are many factors that happen before the birth of a child, which increases the risk of a child developing CP. Around 85 to 90 percent of cases develop before or during the birth of a child.
Risk factors during pregnancy that can lead to CP include:
Low Birth Weight
Children are born underweight around 5.5 lbs at birth and even those who weigh lower than three lbs are highly susceptible to develop CP.
Historically, premature babies had little chance of survival in general. However, due to advancements in the medical world, they are more likely to live but still at risk for serious conditions like CP. If a child is born before the thirty-seventh week or the thirty-second week of pregnancy, the chances of them developing CP are higher.
Infections While Being Pregnant
When a woman is pregnant and develops certain infections, they lead to the production of cytokines, which are a particular type of protein. Cytokines find their way into the body and brain of the baby and cause inflammation that leads to brain damage.
The birth of twins and triplets puts them at a higher risk for CP as compared to a single delivery. This holds particularly true if the triplet or twin dies before or after birth. One of the main reasons why this happens is because, in some cases, children are born early, or they weigh less than average.
Risks of CP During Birth
Many cases of CP are due to pregnancy-related complications, but there is also a possibility of CP being caused due to complications during labor.
Birth Complications are one of the biggest causes of Congenital CP. Birth complications include uterine rupture, placenta detachment, or disruption of oxygen supply. Breech birth, which is when a baby is delivered rear end or feet first, is also a risk factor for CP.
Risks of CP After Birth
A small proportion of children with cerebral palsy or CP is caused by a brain injury that happens over twenty-eight days post-birth. It is also known as Acquired CP and frequently is related to an infection (such as meningitis) or head injury.
Causes of Aquired CP
Infections of the brain: for instance, meningitis or cephalitis throughout infancy.
Injuries to the brain: head injuries caused by automobile crashes or abuse.
Problems with blood flow to the brain―Cerebrovascular accidents, for instance, stroke or trauma within the brain related to blood coagulation, blood vessels that didn't develop properly, a heart defect that was since at birth, or RBC illness.
Get the Financial Compensation You Deserve
If you are struggling to provide the security and opportunities your child deserves, but the financial burden has become too heavy, please understand that you are not alone. If your child's disability could have been prevented if not for the actions of a negligent medical provider, you may have a valid legal claim for compensation.
Your child deserves the best medical treatments and physical therapy available - without concerns about the cost. If your child has cerebral palsy caused by medical negligence, call +1 (855) 925-1041 for a free consultation and to learn more about your legal options. Birth injury attorney Laura Brown has dedicated her career to helping families get the support they need to provide the best quality of life for their children after birth injuries due to medical negligence.
- Cerebral Palsy - Treatment Overview
- Cerebral Palsy Treatment - Mayo Clinic
- How is Cerebral Palsy Treated? - National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke