Can Birth Injuries Cause Cerebral Palsy in Infants?

Medical mistakes made during birth can have permanent negative consequences for children and their families. Some birth injuries may cause cerebral palsy in infants, a condition that causes impairments in movement, speech or cognition.

Cerebral palsy can arise from brain injuries caused by oxygen deprivation (hypoxia) or blunt force trauma. Many children will have difficulty walking, controlling muscle movement or speaking. Some will also suffer from cognitive impairments and intellectual disability. What types of birth injuries cause cerebral palsy?

  • Mistakes made during cesarean sections can cause oxygen deprivation and brain damage. For example, if a doctor waits too long to perform the operation. Newborns affected by these mistakes can suffer from cerebral palsy.
  • Several types of infections or health conditions are known to cause cerebral palsy. Jaundice (a yellowing of the skin and eyes caused by excessive levels of bilirubin) can cause kernicterus, a type of brain damage caused by excessive levels of bilirubin. This brain damage can cause cerebral palsy in infants. In addition, meningitis can also cause brain damage and cerebral palsy. These conditions may not always be preventable, but they are treatable.
  • Blunt force trauma is another cause of cerebral palsy. Doctors may improperly use medical equipment such as forceps or vacuum tubes and accidently injure newborns.

How Early Can Cerebral Palsy Be Diagnosed?

Cerebral palsy may not become apparent until later in childhood, and the statute of limitations on medical malpractice claims can be short.

If parents suspect their child’s case of cerebral palsy was caused by medical negligence, they should immediately discuss legal options with an attorney. Trouble walking and other delayed milestones can be an indicator of cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is an expensive condition and some children may accrue millions of dollars in health care costs.

Shapiro Law Group and its Tampa Bay medical malpractice attorneys have decades of combined experience helping children and families affected by hospital negligence.


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