Parents in Providence and all over the world no doubt feel that even though challenges are inherent with raising the children, the joy and love that their children bring to their lives makes enduring such challenges well worth it. Yet that’s not to say that those feelings make dealing with parental struggles any easier. Children will often demand the utmost from their parents’ emotional, physical, and financial resources. With handicapped children, that demand is often lifelong. What’s unfortunate is that many handicaps are often preventable.
Cerebral palsy is among these. This condition is the result of a brain injury or malformation that hinders muscle control and coordination, resulting in impaired oral and motor skills. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently estimates that one in every 323 children in the United States has some form of cerebral palsy. According to CerebralPalsy.org, there are four main causes of this particular type of brain injury:
- Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL): Developmental damage to the nerve impulse centers of the brain
- Cerebral dysgenesis: Abnormal brain development
- Intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH): Arterial or venous bleeding in the brain
- Hypoxic-Ischemic encephalopathy (HIE): Lack of oxygen to the brain
Many of the children with cerebral palsy are born with it due to the first two causes listed here. However, episodes of IVH or HIE that result in a child having cerebral palsy are often due to birth injuries.
Many of the injuries that leave an infant with cerebral palsy can be traced back to provider negligence during the birthing process, such as trauma to the baby during delivery, a failure to adequately monitor fetal conditions during birth, or a delay in performing a necessary C-section. Those who experience such complications in the delivery process will want to insist that their babies are evaluated for any potential brain injuries.