STUDY: CEREBRAL PALSY ON DECLINE DUE TO BETTER INFANT CARE
March 1, 2011
Cerebral palsy occurs just before, during and after delivery can result when doctors and nurses do not use the required care when delivering a baby and cause injury to the baby’s brain. Examples of this include failure to recognize distress or lack of oxygen in the baby, a delayed c-section and head trauma during an assisted delivery. Therefore, prenatal care is extremely important and doctors are supposed to provide comprehensive care to ensure proper development.
Cerebral palsy can be a devastating condition causing lifelong problems with the baby’s motor functions and is most common in babies born premature.
Researchers in the Netherlands have found, though, that cases of cerebral palsy are on the decline and it is likely due to general improvements in the care of infants. The study looked at more than 3,000 babies born premature between 1990 and 2005. The researchers found that the rate of cases had declined by 6.5 percent over the period of time studied. It also appeared that the cases of cerebral palsy decreased in severity in more recent years. The researchers believe that these results were due to a significant decline in white matter lesions in the brain, a kind of brain injury that occurs around the time of birth.
It was also reported that similar studies conducted in other countries, like the Unities States and Canada, reported analogous results.
One possible reason for the improvements in the care of infants and therefore the decline in cerebral palsy cases could be the threat of litigation that can occur if medical malpractice is responsible for the injury. Today, doctors and nurses know that investigations will likely be conducted to see if their negligence played a role in the injury, and if it did, they could face a costly law suit.
Source: The Los Angeles Times, ”Cerebral palsy cases have dropped,” Shari Roan, 3/3/11