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Things to understand about cerebral palsy

Cerebral palsy is a serious health concern that no parent wants to think about. Unfortunately, it is a medical issue that impacts thousands of children every year.

Many children are diagnosed with cerebral palsy as the result of a brain injury during the birth process. In many cases, this is something that could have been avoided if the medical team would have made more informed and timely decisions.

Here are some of the causes of cerebral palsy:

-- Oxygen deprivation to the brain during delivery and labor.

-- Infections during pregnancy.

-- Severe jaundice.

-- Metabolic and physical trauma of the birth process.

-- Rh incompatibility.

As you can see, some causes of cerebral palsy are related directly to a medical error. Others, however, are not. For example, oxygen deprivation can be caused if the delivery team is not paying close attention to important vital signs. Conversely, Rh incompatibility is not something that doctors can do anything about.

When a woman becomes pregnant, it is important for her to learn as much as possible about potential complications, such as cerebral palsy. Along with this, it makes good sense to find a qualified medical team and facility for delivery.

While cerebral palsy is uncommon, it is a medical issue that strikes many infants every year. There are certain things you can do as a mother to help prevent this, such as making sure your doctors and delivery team are on the ball at all times.

If your baby is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, it's important to visit a specialist to pinpoint the cause of the concern.

Source: Web MD, "Understanding Cerebral Palsy -- the Basics," accessed May 11, 2016

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