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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 – Related Conditions

When an infant is born with partial or full paralysis, it can be difficult to determine why unless an injury occurred during delivery. Numerous conditions can cause paralysis. Also, the primary condition can lead to other medical complications for the infant.

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Spinal Injury Conditions

If the paralysis is caused by a spinal injury obtained during delivery, the infant may be at an increased risk for other medical issues. For example, they may be more susceptible to pneumonia because of difficulty with breathing in instances with higher level paralysis. Muscle atrophy is another concern since the affected areas do not have normal movement.

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Brachial Plexus Injuries

An injury to the nerves involving the brachial plexus can result in limited movement in the shoulder, arm or hand. The most common of these injuries are Erb’s palsy and Klumpke’s palsy. However, other conditions also affect this region of the body. They include the following:

  • Parsonage - Turner Syndrome, which is an inflammation of the brachial plexus, causing severe pain around the shoulder area and partial or full paralysis of the shoulder.
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome – caused either by a congenital defect or injury, this condition causes compression to the neurovascular structures, such as subclavian
  • Burner Syndrome – the C5 and C6 nerves are stretched or compressed, which leads to paralysis

Facial Paralysis

Bell’s palsy is one condition that often occurs later in life, but it may also be present at birth. It is considered a disorder of the C7 nerve in the face, and it usually affects only one side of the face. Many times, the cause is unknown. In most cases, some or all of the paralysis goes away in time.

Cerebral Palsy

A child with cerebral palsy may suffer from other medical conditions as a result of the primary diagnosis. They may have seizures or epilepsy as well as difficulty swallowing, vision and hearing impairment and incontinence. Not all children will experience every condition. In addition to physical issues, they may have mental health conditions which are the result of the cerebral palsy. /

In some cases, an infant with one condition which results in paralysis may suffer from secondary illnesses. Other times, it may be difficult to diagnose the condition correctly because of related illnesses. If you suspect that your newborn is partially paralyzed, it is important to seek out a doctor experienced in infant illnesses and injuries to find an accurate diagnosis and begin treatment as soon as possible.