Cerebral palsy is a neurological developmental disorder that impairs cognition, movement, speech, perception and behavior. In approximately 75 percent of all cerebral palsy cases, the condition is caused by brain damage that occurs in the womb. While about 15 percent of cerebral palsy patients develop the condition up to the age of 3, most cerebral palsy research and literature is geared to pediatric patients.
There is no cure for cerebral palsy. As a result, cerebral palsy treatments focus on improving a patient’s quality of life while reducing debilitating symptoms as much as possible. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 10,000 infants are diagnosed with cerebral palsy each year. This means that two to three people of every 1,000 are living with cerebral palsy.
Like cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy (also referred to as brachial plexus injury) is a condition marked by paralysis and difficulty moving. Caused by nerve damage that occurs during birth, Erb’s palsy arises when an infant’s neck is strained in the birth canal and the spinal nerves at C5, C7 and/or T1 are torn or completely severed. This, in turn, limits a child’s ability to use one or both arms. According to the United Brachial Plexus Network, up to three infants out of every 1,000 born are diagnosed with Erb’s palsy.
Causes of Cerebral Palsy
In many cases, the exact cause of the brain damage associated cerebral palsy is unknown. However, any combination of the following factors can cause or worsen a case of cerebral palsy:
- a genetic predisposition to cerebral palsy
- birth defects
- breech birth (when a baby comes out legs first, rather than head first)
- epilepsy, infections and or thyroid disorder in the mother
- head injuries
- lack of oxygen before, during or after the birthing process
- low birth weight (particularly if the baby weighs less than 2 pounds)
- multiple births
- premature birth
Additionally, doctors and nurses may make mistakes that cause cerebral palsy, such as not performing a C-section when birthing complications make it clear that immediate delivery is necessary.
Causes of Erb’s Palsy
Like cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy typically arises during complicated pregnancies. The damage to the neck’s nerves occurs when a baby’s head is dramatically pushed to one side during delivery. Erb’s palsy is most likely to occur when babies are birthed in a breech position and/or they weigh more than 8 lbs 13 oz. Additionally, mothers with pelvic abnormalities and those with gestational diabetes have a higher risk of delivering a baby with Erb’s palsy.
Has your infant been diagnosed with Cerebral or Erb’s palsy? If so, the experienced birth injury lawyers at Gacovino, Lake & Associates would like to help you. With the help of medical experts, we will conduct a thorough evaluation to determine if medical malpractice played a role in your child’s birth injury. If a medical mistake can be proven, we will fight aggressively and relentlessly to ensure all responsible parties are held accountable. Using cutting edge strategies inside and out of the courtroom, we will work tirelessly to ensure you and your child recover compensation for your injuries and losses.
To schedule a private discussion of your potential case, please contact us today. We have the experience, the skills and the resources to provide you and your family with the representation you need and deserve.