Causes of Cerebral Palsy in Connecticut

Cerebral palsy (CP) is caused by damage to the brain tissue that controls movement. Cerebral palsy usually occurs when the fetus is developing, although there are times after birth when trauma to the head can cause cerebral palsy. These might be during a car accident, a fall, or physical abuse.

Scientists have discovered four types of brain damage can cause cerebral palsy. These are:

  • Injury to the brain’s white matter — this part of the brain controls how signals are transmitted both within the brain and between the brain and the rest of the body
  • Abnormalities that develop in the fetal brain that are the result of genetic mutations
  • Hemorrhage or bleeding in the fetal or newborn brain
  • Restriction of oxygen delivered to the brain of the fetus or the newborn

At different times in the mother’s pregnancy, the fetal brain is progressing through different stages of development. Harm to the brain during any of these stages damages that part of the brain in development at that particular time.

Brain Damage and Cerebral Palsy

The following problems occurring during the brain’s development can lead to cerebral palsy.

  • Cerebral dysgenesis — When this occurs it is usually during the first 24 weeks of pregnancy when the fetal brain is susceptible to genetic mutations. Cerebral dysgenesis is the development of genetic mutations in the fetus’ brain. Illness, such as infections or high fever, can cause cerebral dysgenesis. Trauma also can result in this condition.
  • Periventricular leukomalacia — During weeks 24 to 36 the fetal brain is more vulnerable to this condition in which minute holes appear in the brain’s white matter, interfering with the transmission of brain signals. One cause of this condition is infection.
  • Intracranial hemorrhage, or bleeding in the brain, can cause a stroke in the fetus — This can result from pelvic inflammatory disease, other kinds of infection in the pregnant mother, placental blood clots, and high maternal blood pressure.
  • Intrapartum asphyxia — This occurs when the newborn’s brain is deprived of oxygen. This results in tissue damage that can cause cerebral palsy. This type of asphyxia can be caused by extremely low blood pressure in the mother, or by a detached placenta or ruptured uterus. If the umbilical cord is crimped or damaged during labor or delivery, this too could result in too little oxygen supplied to the newborn’s brain, causing cerebral palsy.

Birth Injuries and Cerebral Palsy

If during the birthing process the child’s brain is deprived of oxygen, the result can be cerebral palsy. An example of this is intrapartum asphyxia. An improper forceps delivery also can cause trauma to the brain, resulting in cerebral palsy.

Sadly, some instances of cerebral palsy can be prevented. If a doctor or other healthcare provider makes a mistake during the birthing process, the child is at risk of suffering permanent damage. If your child is born with a birth injury that can be linked to a preventable medical mistake, you might be eligible for financial compensation.

Talk to a Connecticut Attorney About the Causes of Cerebral Palsy

To schedule a confidential evaluation of your case, please contact Berkowitz Hanna today. Our firm is dedicated to helping families throughout Connecticut obtain justice in their  cases.