Study Finds Colds, Stomach Infections during Pregnancy Not Tied to Cerebral Palsy

A new study shoots down the theory that a baby born to a pregnant woman who suffers colds or stomach bugs during pregnancy, has an increased risk of cerebral palsy.  However, other more serious infections could lead to a slightly higher risk of a baby developing cerebral palsy.

The researchers looked at 587 people with cerebral palsy, and compared them to 1,154 persons without cerebral palsy.  They found that more severe infections like chickenpox and cytomegalovirus were associated with a higher incidence of cerebral palsy in the baby.  These infections were especially dangerous in the second half of the pregnancy.  However, the researchers found no particular link between a pregnant woman’s upper respiratory or gastrointestinal infections, and an increased risk of cerebral palsy in her baby.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 10,000 babies every year will develop cerebral palsy.  Cerebral palsy is a condition in which there are a number of deficiencies in brain development that affect posture, sight, hearing, cognitive development, balance and mobility.  These deficiencies can set in before delivery, during birth or immediately after the child is born.

One of the more common causes of cerebral palsy that Hawaii birth injury lawyers come across is brain damage during birth.  This kind of brain damage can occur during Cesarean or natural deliveries.  Many of these injuries occur because doctors fail to treat seizures soon after birth, or wrongly use forceps during delivery.  A baby may also be at risk of suffering brain damage if it is left in the birth canal for a long time or if the doctor delays performing a C-section.

For instance, an emergency C-section is necessary if the baby is being strangled by its own placenta.  If the surgery is delayed, the baby may suffer irreversible brain damage, leading to cerebral palsy.

Posted in Birth Injury

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