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What causes cerebral and Erb's palsy?

Cerebral palsy can be caused by an injury to the brain that takes place during the pregnancy, during the delivery or even after birth. A child may also suffer cerebral palsy due to a condition known as asphyxia, which is when the brain doesn't receive enough oxygen.

There are a few situations that can contribute to birth injury cerebral palsy. Failing to recognize that the child needs oxygen, for instance, can lead to cerebral palsy. Negligence might be the case if the medical provider waited too long to complete a cesarean section or had an unreasonable delay in performing the delivery.

There are some medications that can cause cerebral palsy if a mother uses them during pregnancy. Extremely premature births can result in cerebral palsy as well, as can prolonged bleeding in the baby's brain after delivery. Most often, bleeding on the brain is due to an injury during birth that should be recognized by doctors. You can recognize the symptoms of cerebral palsy fairly easily. Slow development, floppiness of the limbs and poor coordination can all be signs.

Another kind of palsy, brachial palsy (also known as Erb's palsy) happens in around two out of every 1,000 deliveries. This happens when the brachial plexus is injured during delivery. This palsy is caused by excessive pressure on the head, neck or shoulder of the baby, most often during delivery through the birth canal. Erb's palsy can result in paralysis or weakness of the baby's arm and limited or no movement in the fingers or hands. Since a baby can't tell you that it can't feel its limb, the most common sign is that the child holds the limb very close to him or herself and doesn't seem to attempt to move the fingers. If you notice this, it might be a sign that you need to talk to your medical provider about a potential palsy case and that you should reach out to your attorney about possible malpractice.

Source: FindLaw, "Birth Injuries: Cerebral Palsy and Erbs Palsy," accessed Oct. 25, 2016

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