LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Marcus Bazzell Boston | Oct 30, 2017

Is A Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis In A Baby Always Caused By Genetics? Not So Fast…

Is a cerebral palsy diagnosis in a baby always caused by genetics? In other words, in cerebral palsy cases in which a baby has a diagnosis, will genetics always be the cause? For some families, genetics is the reason given for their baby’s brain injury, but upon further review, birth trauma is the cause, not genetics. Only after getting second opinions through other medical professionals are these families given another explanation, birth trauma.

The purpose of me writing this Maryland birth injury educational article is to help you understand some of the key areas of analysis in birth injury cases, specifically when your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

WHAT IS CEREBRAL PALSY?

What is cerebral palsy? Cerebral palsy is essentially multiple disorders. These disorders effect things such as movement, balance, and muscle tone. If you break the words down, cerebral deals with the brain and palsy means muscle problem or weakness. According to some numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “1.5 to more than 4 per 1,000 live births or children of a defined age range” have cerebral palsy.

Children who are diagnosed with cerebral palsy generally face challenges throughout their lives due to the area(s) of the brain injured. This is one reason why parents looking to help their child reach out for second opinions.

IS A CEREBRAL PALSY DIAGNOSIS IN A BABY ALWAYS CAUSED BY GENETICS?

For parents dealing with a cerebral palsy diagnosis the question, is a cerebral palsy diagnosis in a baby always caused by genetics is an important one. If genetics is not the cause, then we expect those who caused the injury to be held responsible.

When analyzing a baby brain injury at birth, there are certain areas of analysis. In no way will I cover all of the areas, as this would make this article too long, but I will explain some of the top areas. First, a review of the fetal heart strips can provide a helpful glance into how the baby was tolerating a vaginal delivery. One of the main functions of the fetal heart monitor is to give the doctors and nurses a peak into how the baby’s heart is dealing with the delivery. Heart beats can give good insight into things like profusion. When the fetal heart monitor reveals that the child may be in distress, if an emergency C-section is not performed before the baby’s fetal reserves are depleted, then an injury to the brain can occur, usually due to a lack of blood and oxygen to the brain.

After the baby is born, families will sometimes note that he child was blue in color. In addition, the baby may have suffered from seizures and may have also had to be taken to the NICU. As doctors work to understand the cause of the baby’s issues, a genetic workup may be performed. Sometimes early on doctors will lead with a genetic cause of the baby’s injury when in actuality, it was an injury sustained due to action, or in-action, by a doctor(s) and or nurse(s).

HAS YOUR BABY BEEN GIVEN A CEREBRAL PALSY DIAGNOSIS?

To speak to me further about some of the challenges you are facing with your baby this is what I invite you to do. Pick up the phone and give me a call. I can be reached at 301-850-4832.

Remember, not every case of cerebral palsy is due to genetics. A second opinion may be exactly what you and your family need to help your child meet the challenges they may face into the future.

Marcus B. Boston, Esq. Boston Law Group, LLC 2 Wisconsin Circle, Suite 700 Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815 bostonlawllc.com 301-850-4832

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