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What is cerebral palsy?

Cerebral palsy in infants can be a devastating condition. The causes can be natural, or could be linked to a doctor's negligence. No matter the cause, understanding the condition is vital to treating and raising a baby with cerebral palsy.

Around 70 percent of all cases of cerebral palsy are caused by developmental issues within the womb. Much of the time, the cause is unknown. But there are a few issues that may arise that are known to cause the condition. 

One of these causes is infections. A mother being infected with certain viruses like toxoplasmosis, cytomegalovirus or rubella while pregnant could lead to nervous system damage in the fetus. Some of these, like cytomegalovirus (herpes) and toxoplasmosis (a parasite carried by undercooked meat and cat feces) are preventable. Others cay go completely unnoticed.

Blood issues can also cause cerebral palsy. Because a newborn’s liver takes a few days to start working, they often have jaundice after birth. While this generally leaves no side effects, it can cause brain damage. Jaundice can also be caused by Rh (blood type) incompatibility. If this happens, the mother’s antibodies attack the fetus’s blood cells.

In addition to these, about 20 percent of cerebral palsy cases are a result of birth trauma. Head damage from the doctor’s birthing practices can have lasting effects. It can also be caused by the baby being stuck in the birth canal, which can cause severe oxygen deprivation.

Parents with an infant who was born with cerebral palsy in New Orleans know how overwhelming the medical expenses associated with this permanent disability can be. If you think it was due to a negligent doctor, it is a good idea that you contact an experienced lawyer. You may be entitled to compensation.

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