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Is Cerebral Palsy More Likely to Affect Black Children?

Posted on in Cerebral Palsy

Cook County birth injury attorney cerebral palsy

There are multiple different types of complications that can affect both mothers and children during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Cerebral palsy is one of the most serious issues that can occur because of birth injuries, and this condition can affect all types of children and families. However, some studies have revealed troubling statistics that indicate that cerebral palsy is more prevalent among Black children than white children. Because of these racial disparities, Black parents of children with cerebral palsy will want to understand the potential causes of their children’s condition and the steps they can take to provide for their children’s needs.

Possible Reasons for Racial Disparities in Children With Cerebral Palsy 

The key study that found these racial disparities was conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and it looked at children in a geographical area who had been diagnosed with spastic cerebral palsy that resulted because of brain injuries that occurred before or during a child’s birth. While the study found that the overall prevalence of cerebral palsy had not changed over time, Black children born at normal birth weight and at full term were more likely to experience cerebral palsy than white children in the same circumstances. Notably, the study found that Black and white children with a very low birth rate were equally likely to experience cerebral palsy. However, racial disparities play a role in these cases as well, since other studies have found that Black children are nearly twice as likely as white children to be born with low birth weight.

While the study did not identify specific reasons for these racial disparities, there are many factors that increase the likelihood that Black mothers will experience complications during pregnancy and birth that may lead to birth injuries. Economic factors are a primary concern since Black mothers and families earn lower incomes on average than white mothers and families. This can lead to increased stress and difficulty receiving proper nutrition, which may increase the likelihood of complications that affect mothers and children. Limited access to medical care often means that Black mothers do not receive the necessary treatment to prevent injuries to children during pregnancy or birth.

Racial bias may also play a role in birth injuries leading to cerebral palsy. Black patients often receive lower-quality care due to implicit bias, such as doctors discounting patients’ symptoms or failing to respond to their concerns. Black women also experience disproportionately high rates of Cesarean deliveries, increasing the chances that children may be injured due to surgical errors, infections, or other complications.

Contact an Illinois Cerebral Palsy Birth Injury Attorney

Cerebral palsy is a serious condition that will affect a child for the rest of his or her lifetime, and parents of any race will need to determine how they can provide their child with the tools to help live a successful life. Parents will want to understand the causes of birth injuries that led to cerebral palsy, and this can help them receive much-needed financial assistance and provide quality care for their child. The Birth Injury Law Alliance can work with you to determine your best options for receiving financial help, including pursuing compensation for birth injuries that occurred because of mistakes or negligence by medical personnel. To set up a free consultation and learn more about how we can help with your case, call our experienced Chicago birth injury lawyers at 312-945-1300.

 

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/cp/features/birth-prevalence.html

https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/women/reports/2019/05/02/469186/eliminating-racial-disparities-maternal-infant-mortality/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5657505/

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