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What are some common causes of cerebral palsy?

All Pennsylvanians care about the health of newborn babies. And, cerebral palsy is one condition that occurs if an infant's brain is traumatically injured. It can affect an infant's ability to maintain balance, coordination and motor control. Th extent of the disability is dependent on how serious the injury is and when the injury occurred.

According to one source, approximately 70 percent of cases of cerebral palsy are due to injuries the infant suffers while still in the mother's womb. About 20 percent of cases of cerebral palsy are due to injuries the infant suffers during the birthing process. Finally, 10 percent of cases are due to injuries the infant suffers after he or she is born.

Many things can negatively affect the proper development of an infant's brain. For example, if the mother suffers an infection while pregnant, she could pass that malady down to the fetus. certain infections, such as cytomegalovirus and rubella, can lead to cerebral palsy in the infant, as they result inflammation in the infant's brain that affects its development.

And, if an infant suffers severe jaundice after he or she is born, and the condition is not properly treated, he or she could develop cerebral palsy. This is because severe jaundice that is not properly treated can lead to an unsafe amount of bilirubin building up in the infant's brain, leading to toxicity.

Injuries to the infant's brain could also occur during the birth process or right after. Cerebral palsy could be caused by blunt trauma. Moreover, if an infant suffers brain hemorrhage prior to being born, this can lead to damage in the area of the brain responsible for motor control. Finally, certain infections can cause cerebral palsy after the child is born, such as meningitis.

As this shows, there are many causes of cerebral palsy. If a physician fails to notice the signs of a condition that could lead to cerebral palsy or other birth injuries, and these conditions thus go untreated, the physician may be held responsible for the damages the infant suffers.

Source:, "Causes of Cerebral Palsy," accessed on June 4, 2017

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