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Premature C-Section Births May Increase Cerebral Palsy Risk

Each Illinois cerebral palsy lawyer at our firm has worked closely with families raising a child with CP; we understand the day-to-day challenges faced. The condition occurs along a spectrum, and it is a mistake to lump any Illinois cerebral palsy victim together when describing the effects of the cognitive and physical injury. Like every other child, those with cerebral palsy have the potential to do great things in life and impact for the better all those around them. However, that is not to say that these children face do not face certain challenges that other children do not. For that reason, it is important for medical experts to continue working on ways to limit the prevalence of cerebral palsy-understanding how it develops and why so that future children can be spared the challenges.

For example, this week U.S. Legal News published a story that reports on a new study which found a link between premature C-section births and increased risk of cerebral palsy. The study, conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University and Yale University was presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine. We touched on this same issue in a post earlier this week. The authors found that contrary to the beliefs of some, C-section births for premature infants were no safer than vaginal birth. In fact, the C-section births might come with a whole host of increased birth injury risks, including complications like cerebral palsy.

When talking about the issues on the “Today Show” recently, the NBC Chief Medical Editor touched on the study and shared a bit more information about the findings. She noted that the researchers said that when taking all medical complications into account, premature infants who were born via C-section had a 30 percent increase in chance of suffering a birth injury. The specific form of the complications varied, but they involved things like feeding and breathing challenges, temperature control problems, and jaundice. In fact, the issues were found to have the potential to worsen over time-increasing the risk of long-term complications leading to severe cognitive and physical challenges, like those faced by children with cerebral palsy.

The problems are most prone to affect premature infants, because they are less developed. Experts in the area have found that it is actually in the last few weeks of the gestation that the child’s most critical organs-like the lungs and the brain-are developing quickly. Therefore, taking the child out of the mother’s womb before that full development presents obvious risks to the child. Developmental problems, including a whole host of learning disabilities and developmental problems are risked when a child is taken from a mother prematurely via C-section.

This counteracts some claims by doctors who believe that C-sections should be performed on infants who are growing at a slower rate in the womb. These doctors suggest that treating the premature child in ICU is preferable to allowing the slow development to continue in the womb. However, this latest finding suggests otherwise. All doctors should be aware of this work and make medical decisions with the findings in mind.

See Our Related Blog Posts:

Cerebral Palsy Primer: What It Is & When It Arises

Birth Injury Lawsuit Filed After Child Born with Cerebral Palsy