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Did Your Newborn Suffer Cerebral
Palsy or Another Brain Injury Before
or During Labor and Delivery?

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Our Birth Brain Injury Resource Guide

the guide

Get a FREE guide of resources available throughout Ohio to children and families of children who were born with brain injuries.

Our guide can help you build a foundation of knowledge and tools that will help you help your child
now and in the future.

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Birth Paralysis – Life Expectancy

When a baby is born, the parents begin envisioning a full life for their little one. They soon begin making plans for their future, saving for college and considering other decisions that must be made someday. However, a child born with an injury or medical condition that results in paralysis may cause parents to wonder if their dreams and hopes for a future will disappear.

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Recovery for Nerve Damage

In most cases of brachial plexus injury, including Klumpke’s palsy and Erb’s palsy, the child will recover and have complete use of their arm. Even in severe cases where surgery is necessary, the infant will grow and be able to function normally in most situations. There are instances where the child does not regain use of the affected arm, but it rarely holds them back and does not lessen their lifespan.

Elk & Elk

The same is true of facial paralysis. Many times, this condition is treatable and will heal. In other situations, the paralysis may be permanent, but it is not serious enough to reduce the life expectancy of the patient.

Children with cerebral palsy may grow up and live until they are senior citizens. However, some will have an earlier mortality rate due to the severity of the condition. For example, a child who is diagnosed with cerebral palsy may have a reduced life expectancy if the condition affects their respiratory system or causes feeding difficulties or seizures.

Spinal Cord Injury

The lifespan of a baby born with a spinal cord injury will vary based on the severity of the injury and the location. An injury that occurs lower in the spine will have less of an effect than one higher on the spine. If the injury impacts the ability to breathe and a ventilator is required, the expected number of years for them to live is much shorter.

In the past, the main cause of death for those with spinal cord injuries was renal failure. However, today it is pneumonia as well as septicemia. The inability for the person to be able to move normally and keep all systems functioning will result in more health issues. If these health issues are severe, the result may be death.

With the advances in medicine, paralysis does not have to be a death sentence for a newborn. Many times, they can recover completely. When this does not happen, they can still grow up and lead happy and fulfilling lives as adults.