Although the process of carrying a pregnancy to term and delivering an infant is hardly unique, it is fraught with opportunities for complications and injuries to both the child and the mother. One of the most common outcomes of exposure to dangerous conditions during pregnancy and childbirth is cerebral palsy, a developmental disorder that varies in severity and can make it difficult for a child to develop normatively both physically and neurologically.
Many cases of cerebral palsy are congenital, but there are tragic cases that are the result of medical malpractice on the part of neonatal and delivery doctors, nurses, and anesthesiologists. Here are some of the most common avoidable causes of cerebral palsy during pregnancy and childbirth:
Untreated Infection and Fever
When a pregnant mother develops an infection, her body produces cytokines to fight the infection. Unfortunately, these can cause inflammation to the baby as well as the mother, leading to brain damage in the baby. A high fever can cause a similar reaction, which is why diagnosing and treating infections and fevers quickly and effectively is so important during pregnancy.
Poorly Timed Vaccinations
Although vaccinations are crucial for preventing dangerous illness during pregnancy, certain vaccinations used weakened live viruses to trigger an immune system response. Given during pregnancy, these vaccinations – such as the vaccine for measles, mumps, and rubella – have the potential to expose a pregnant woman and her infant to these diseases, which can lead to serious illness, including brain damage.
Prolonged Labor and Other Oxygen-Depriving Conditions
Certain conditions during childbirth can deprive an otherwise healthy fetus of oxygen for long enough that the infant suffers from brain injuries. These include prolonged labor, uterine rupture, umbilical cord problems, early placental detachment, meconium aspiration, and more. Many, if not most, of these conditions can be limited with appropriate medical care during childbirth.
Jaundice is a common symptom in newborns caused by a buildup of bilirubin in the baby’s body. It is easy to treat when it is diagnosed early, but left untreated, jaundice can cause a serious condition called kernicterus. Kernicterus is a type of brain damage that can cause cerebral palsy. During pregnancy, a mismatch between the mother’s and baby’s blood types should also be identified with routine neonatal testing because it can lead to severe jaundice, brain damage, and cerebral palsy.
Call a Chicago Cerebral Palsy Lawyer
Watching your child struggle as the result of an injury or condition that could have been avoided is every parent’s worst nightmare. If your child’s cerebral palsy happened because of medical malpractice, you may be able to take action and recover compensation that could help you manage your child’s condition. Call [[title]] at [[phone]] to schedule a consultation with an Illinois birth injuries attorney.