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Periventricular leukomalacia: A leading cause of cerebral palsy

At DeLuca and Weizenbaum, we have seen firsthand how devastating it can be when a child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy. When these disorders can be traced to medical errors committed by Rhode Island health care providers, we help families hold these negligent providers accountable. In such cases, it is important to determine what type of underlying brain injury led a child to develop cerebral palsy.

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, cerebral palsy can result from periventricular leukomalacia, a serious condition in which white matter in the brain is damaged due to an insufficient amount of blood flow or oxygen. As this type of brain tissue plays a key role in transmitting signals to muscles, extensive damage to this area leads to impaired motor skills.

Premature babies, newborns and fetuses can all be affected by PVL, and there is currently no treatment for the condition. Further complicating the issue is the fact that children with PVL often do not exhibit symptoms until some time has passed.

Due to the severity of PVL, the professional standards for treating women in during childbirth include monitoring for the condition’s risk factors. This includes taking steps to identify and address any warning signs that a fetus is suffering from blood or oxygen deprivation. If these standards are not followed and a child develops cerebral palsy as a result, the providers may be liable for medical malpractice.

To learn more about how physicians, nurses and other health care providers can be held accountable for birth trauma that results in the development of cerebral palsy, please visit our page on birth injuries

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