Early Birth and Cerebral Palsy

Around 1 in 13 babies are born prematurely every year in the UK.

What is a premature birth?

A premature birth is one that occurs before the 37th week of pregnancy. Labour will usually happen naturally in most cases and will have all the signs of a full term labour, however there are a number of challenges and risks which come hand in hand with a premature birth. Those born earliest are at a greater risk of complications and one of the long-term risks of premature birth is cerebral palsy.

Premature birth and cerebral palsy

While being born prematurely doesn’t necessarily mean that a baby will develop any health issues, research has shown that between 40-50% of children with cerebral palsy were born prematurely.

There are a number of reasons why a premature birth causes cerebral palsy. Some of the risk factors include:

  • Low birth weight
  • Increased rate of infection
  • Damage to brain
  • Oxygen deprivation
  • Bleeding in the brain (intraventricular hemorrhage, or IVH)
  • Brain injury called periventricular leukomalacia (PVL)

Generally speaking, premature babies who are born weighing less than 3 1/3 pounds are up to 30 times more likely to develop cerebral palsy than full-term babies, due to a high risk of bleeding in the brain.

Children that are born prematurely can also develop serious respiratory issues due to immature and poorly developed lungs. This can lead to periods of decreased oxygen delivered to the brain which could result in cerebral palsy.

If you’re concerned that your child’s cerebral palsy was caused because of the failings of the medical profession then seek advice straight away.

At Express Solicitors we not only help you to obtain the compensation your child deserves, but we also provide a source of support and will guide you through the legal process, step by step.

For more information, please see the ‘How We Can Help You’ page on our website.

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