Multicystic Encephalomalacia and Cerebral Palsy in Infants | Illinois

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Multicystic Encephalomalacia and Cerebral Palsy in Infants

Posted on in Cerebral Palsy

Chicago cerebral palsy birth injury lawyerAll healthy humans have an important fluid called cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) that surrounds the brain and spinal cords, protecting the crucial central nervous system. CSF helps prevent injury to these fragile parts of our body, cushioning them when they are injured by falls or impact injuries. CSF also plays an important role in transporting nutrients to the brain and taking away waste products. 

Certain kinds of brain damage can cause pseudocysts, or fluid-filled sacs, to present in the brain’s white matter and neocortex after serious brain injuries that cause softening or loss of brain tissue. This condition is known as cystic or multicystic encephalomalacia. Instead of normal brain tissue, CSF fills these sacs, resulting in long-term brain damage, which, among other symptoms, commonly manifests as cerebral palsy. When this happens as a result of trauma to the mother or child during childbirth and is caused by a negligent healthcare provider, the parents of the child may be able to recover compensation. 

Symptoms of Cystic and Multicystic Encephalomalacia

Cystic and multicystic encephalomalacia are often associated with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, which is caused by traumatic events during labor that cut off an infant’s access to oxygen for long enough to cause brain damage. During labor, signs that encephalopathy may have occurred include: 

  • An umbilical cord that is tightly wrapped around an infant’s neck
  • Prolonged labor leading to fetal distress 
  • Placental abruption
  • Uterine rupture
  • Meconium aspiration 

Medical teams must immediately respond to asphyxia risks to ensure a baby can breathe. For example, sometimes an emergency C-section must be performed; other times, a baby may need to be placed on a ventilator right away. When these measures are not quickly taken, a baby can suffer severe brain damage resulting in cerebral palsy. 

Signs of Cerebral Palsy in Young Children

When encephalomalacia is not immediately preventable or diagnosed, children suffering from this condition often suffer from cerebral palsy and display common signs of brain damage as they develop. These include: 

  • Not meeting developmental milestones in speech, movement, or cognition 
  • Learning challenges
  • Muscle spasticity 
  • Seizures 

Children with cerebral palsy often require extensive lifelong intervention strategies. These can include educational supplementation, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and intensive medical intervention. Parents whose children suffer from cerebral palsy as a result of an avoidable medical error during labor or delivery may be able to recover the cost of some of or all their child’s treatment. 

Call a Chicago, IL Birth Injury Lawyer

If your infant suffered from a rare or complex injury at birth, you need the help of a Cook County birth injury attorney with specific experience negotiating and litigating cases of unusual birth injuries. At Birth Injury Law Alliance, Ltd., we work hard to conduct complete investigations to determine the party or parties who are responsible for your loved one’s injuries. To schedule a free consultation, call our offices today at 312-462-4200



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