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Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis and Risks

Many cases of Cerebral Palsy can be linked to complications in the birthing process or during fetal development. Babies that are born with Cerebral Palsy are sometimes born with breech presentation. Breech presentation is when a baby is presented feet first as opposed to the typical head first birth. A complicated labor and delivery may be a sign that the infant could have cerebral palsy. Premature births and low birth weight have been shown to correlate with Cerebral Palsy. The risk for increases as the weight falls. Multiple births are also considered a risk. Cases of Cerebral Palsy are recognized by vascular or respiratory problems that are sometimes the first sign that a baby has suffered some brain damage or has not fully developed their brain. There is a numbered rating scale that reflects a newborn's condition by checking the baby's heart rate, breathing, muscle tone, reflexes, and skin color in the first minutes after birth, called the Apgar score. A low Apgar score indicated potential problems and babies with cerebral palsy often score a low Apgar. There are also indicators of Cerebral Palsy that show up in the mother carrying the child. Maternal bleeding or severe proteinuria late in pregnancy or vaginal bleeding during the sixth to ninth months of pregnancy is linked to higher risk of Cerebral Palsy babies. Mothers who have hyperthyroidism, mental retardation, or seizures are also more likely to have a child with Cerebral Palsy. Seizures in the newborn child can also indicate a higher risk of being diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy later in childhood.

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