Study Identifies Group of Risk Factors Leading to Cerebral Palsy and Early Infant Death

Pregnancy is an exciting time for expecting parents for many reasons.  They are about to bring a new child into the world and their lives are about to change for the better.  A pregnancy can seem interminable when waiting for a child to arrive, and that’s the case even if everything goes well.  If something goes wrong, that pregnancy can seem to last decades before the child arrives and diagnoses can be made.  Parents whose unborn children encounter complications or other problems during pregnancy suffer immensely, but unfortunately their children could suffer much more severely after they are born.

Given the emotions tied to pregnancy and the risks faced by fetuses and newborns in terms of their vulnerability to harm, medical researchers have been trying to identify as many risk factors as possible in recent years so that steps can be taken to minimize the dangers posed by those risks.  Unfortunately, too many children are diagnosed with conditions such as cerebral palsy or they even lose their lives soon after being born because of problems that arise.  Therefore, it’s of paramount importance that we define these dangers that they face and learn to deal with them properly.

A group of researchers recently attempted to identify some of these risk factors for cerebral palsy and for what is known as early infant death, or death that occurs within a month of birth.  These researchers were from the United States and Australia and they collaborated to complete this important work.  The study was reported on by several outlets, including at a link that can be found here.

The researchers performed an exhaustive analysis of medical records of children who were either diagnosed with cerebral palsy or who suffered from early infant death and searched for other factors that could tie them together in a statistical sense.  That analysis looked specifically for four risk factors that were uncovered in their analysis, including:

  • Asphyxial birth events
  • Inflammation/signs of infection
  • Birth defects
  • Poor fetal growth

The study found that birth defects and poor fetal growth were the most prevalent risk factors with regards to eventual diagnoses of cerebral palsy or early infant deaths.  These two risk factors were also tied to two specific types of problems related to cerebral palsy, including dyskinesia and spastic quadriplegia.

The conclusions drawn by this study suggest a few things, including the fact that it isn’t just a lack of oxygen that leads to extreme harm for newborns, as other things can lead to these results.  In addition, the study suggests that the need for competent prenatal care is critically important, as the earlier any problems are discovered with a fetus the sooner certain steps can be taken to minimize that potential harm.

If you are pregnant or you will be soon, make sure that you obtain all of the prenatal care that you need.  If your child has been harmed because of any type of inadequate care, contact the New York medical malpractice lawyers at The Fitzgerald Law Firm today to schedule a free initial consultation.