The findings of a new study from the United Kingdom state that premature babies who suffer even so-called mild brain injuries before or during birth, can face an increased risk of cerebral palsy and other developmental issues. According to the study’s findings published Nov. 4 in the medical journal Pediatrics, researchers discovered that even mild brain bleeds suffered by preterm infants can result in life-changing conditions such as cerebral palsy as well as cognitive, vision and hearing impairments.
What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a set of medical conditions that has an impact on the parts of the brain that control the muscles. It is a condition that can create problems with movement, posture and balance. Some children who have cerebral palsy may also experience other symptoms such as intellectual and developmental disabilities. About one in 300 children in the United States have cerebral palsy.
A majority of these children are diagnosed with the condition around the time they are 2 years old. Cerebral palsy is one of the most common causes of mobility and movement issues in children. Birth injuries, particularly injuries to the developing brain, are often cited as factors in cerebral palsy cases. Also, complications during pregnancy, labor and delivery tend to result in brain injuries during birth, which may cause cerebral palsy.
What the Report Found
In this most recent study from the U.K., researchers looked at observational studies across 10 databases conducted between 2000 and 2021. Researchers looked for neurodevelopmental outcomes for preterm infants who suffered mild brain injuries and compared them to infants who did not suffer such injuries.
Their findings showed that preterm infants who suffered the mildest types of preterm brain injuries faced a 35% increased risk of developmental impairment, a 76% higher risk of cerebral palsy and a similar level of risk for cognitive, visual and hearing impairments. For those infants that had suffered more severe brain injuries, those risks increased significantly. At most risk were preterm infants who suffered any type of white matter injury. They faced a 15-fold increased risk of cerebral palsy.
Factors Increasing Cerebral Palsy Risks
There are a number of risk factors and circumstances that lead to cerebral palsy. This is why it is important that doctors and medical teams remain vigilant and monitor the mother and child for risks, which include:
• Maternal infection or illness during pregnancy
• Extensive bleeding or other complications during labor and delivery
• Oxygen deprivation or fetal distress during prolonged or difficult labor
• Traumatic brain injury during birth
• Incompetent use of birth-assistive tools such as forceps that cause head injuries
Medical Negligence (Carelessness) and Compensation
As New York personal injury lawyers, we have seen many instances of cerebral palsy that occur due to medical negligence (carelessness) during labor and delivery. It is the responsibility of medical professionals to monitor the condition of the fetus and the mother and make decisions that reduce or eliminate a risky delivery. If your child has cerebral palsy he or she may be able to receive compensation that helps pay for medical expenses, lost income, cost of therapy, future treatments, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc.
The experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you. One of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.
We have seen many cases where New York City Health and Hospital Corporation facilities deliver babies who are born with cerebral palsy or brachial plexus palsy (Erb’s palsy) stemming from negligence (carelessness), and/or medical malpractice in the labor and delivery etc. of the children.
The following list identifies some of these hospitals (operated by New York City Health and Hospital Corporation):
• Jacobi Hospital aka Bronx Municipal 1400 Pelham Parkway South Bronx, New York 10461 718-918-5000
• Lincoln Hospital 234 East 149th Street Bronx, New York 10451 718-579-5000
• North Central Bronx Hospital 3424 Kossuth Avenue Bronx, New York 10467 718-519-5000
• Coney Island Hospital 2601 Ocean Parkway Brooklyn, New York 11235 718-616-3000
• Kings County Hospital 451 Clarkson Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11203 718-245-3131
• Woodhull Hospital 760 Broadway Brooklyn, New York 11206 718-963-8000
• Bellevue Hospital 462 First Avenue New York, New York 10016 212-562-5555
• Harlem Hospital 506 Lenox Avenue New York, New York 10037 212-939-1000
• Metropolitan Hospital 1901 First Avenue New York, New York 10029 212-423-6262
• Elmhurst Hospital 79-01 Broadway Elmhurst, New York 11373 718-334-4000
• Queens Hospital Center 82-68 164th Street Jamaica, New York 11432 718-883-3000
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