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by Jeff Rasansky - November 12, 2014
Jeff Rasansky
Jeff Rasansky, managing partner of Rasansky Law Firm, is an aggressive Dallas personal injury lawyer with 25 years of legal experience.

Can cerebral palsy be detected before birth or by ultrasound?

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a developmental disorder caused by infant brain damage, and affects a child’s movement, speech and muscle tone. This condition is usually discovered in the months following birth, and may take over a year to accurately diagnose. While there are no absolute indicators cerebral palsy during pregnancy, this is because the injuries which usually cause cerebral palsy (lack of blood flow/oxygen to the brain, or hypoxia) occur during the labor process.

Cerebral Palsy During Pregnancy

Can CP Be Diagnosed During Pregnancy?

Cerebral palsy during pregnancy.

There are certainly factors which result in an increased risk of a child developing cerebral palsy during pregnancy, including physical trauma or infection. These infections are usually bacterial, parasitic or viral, and may affect both the unborn baby and the mother. In some cases, the mother passes on the infection to the baby through the outer membrane of the uterus. These infections can result in fever, and can disrupt the optimum conditions necessary for the fetus to develop properly in the mother’s womb.

Common issues you need to watch out for during pregnancy:

  • Urinary tract infections
  • Rubella
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Toxoplasmosis

These illnesses and infections should ideally be stopped in their tracks before they cause any kind of damage to the baby. Cerebral palsy can be caused by an infection or temperature increase, as this can cause damage to the developing brain.

Risk Factor: differing blood types between mother and baby.

In some cases, mothers with a different blood type compared to that of their baby may have an increased risk of their child developing cerebral palsy. This is because the mother’s body may produce antibodies which will go on to attack various organs in the fetus. This can result in infant brain damage and the development of cerebral palsy.

Risk factors: jaundice, diabetes and hypertension.

Bilirubin (which the body produces in excess as a result of jaundice) can cross the blood-brain barrier and become toxic to brain cells, potentially resulting in CP. Mothers who have diabetes or hypertension may also be at risk of having difficult pregnancies, something that may heighten the risk of the baby developing cerebral palsy.

The doctor’s role.

It is the responsibility of your prenatal doctor to monitor you and your baby’s overall health in order to stop these infections and pre-existing conditions from leading to cerebral palsy. If your child developed CP as a result of a doctor’s negligence (e.g., not screening for certain conditions, not treating infectious diseases in a timely manner, failing to monitor distress signals, etc.), you may be eligible to recover significant compensation through a birth injury lawsuit.

Cerebral palsy is caused by irreversible brain damage. While there are many treatments available to children with CP, the condition has no “cure.” Because of this, your child may require a lifetime of rehabilitation and assistive care. These costs can be overbearing for many families, and we feel that it’s unfair to place this financial burden on the family when negligence was to blame. By speaking to a birth injury attorney about our case, your child may be able to recover the financial support needed to pay for his or her rehabilitation, equipment, and more for a long time to come.

Rasansky Law Firm.

Have questions about your specific situation? Call us and discuss it for no cost. We’ll consult with you and explain the options you have available to you. There’s no obligation, the call is free, and you have nothing to lose except for 15 minutes of your time. If we feel as though we can help with your case, we’ll even take the case on a no-win, no-fee basis.

We can help you no matter what state you’re in. Our attorneys can be reached locally (Dallas-Fort Worth) at 214-651-6100, or toll-free at 1-877-405-4313.

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