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FAQ on Birth Defects: Focus on Cerebral Palsy

According to the Centers of Disease Control (CDC), one in every 33 babies born in the United States is born with a birth defect; the leading cause of death in infants. Birth defects-such as spina bifida-and birth injuries-such as cerebral palsy-affect millions of American children and their families. Birth defects and injuries not only minimize a child’s quality of life and reduce life expectancy, but also require costly medical interventions.

While many birth defects are not preventable, expectant mothers can reduce their risks for birth defects and injuries. Preventive measures include taking folic acid daily, abstaining from smoking, drinking or using illegal drugs, following prescription instructions and learning how to reduce risks for infections. In addition to these measures, mothers receiving early prenatal care can significantly reduce their babies’ risk for birth defects and injuries.

Prenatal care impacts fetal health, because according to health experts, most birth defects occur in the first three months of pregnancy. This is a crucial stage of fetal development, because organs and organ systems are forming.

Proof that prenatal care is a key to prevention can be supported by national and international data. In March 2011, researchers in the Netherlands reported that after reviewing records from 1990 to 2005, incidences of cerebral palsy fell. The decline is attributed to sound care for at-risk mothers, proactive treatment of newborns, and improvements in prenatal care. This international study complements findings announced in the United States one month prior.

In the February 2011 online edition of the journal “Pediatrics,” University of California researchers confirmed a correlation between cerebral palsy and low-birth weight babies. By analyzing over 6 million birth records, pediatric neurologist Dr. Yvonne Wu and her colleagues estimate incidence of cerebral palsy at 2 to 2.5 cases per every 1000 live births, as compared to the Netherlands study which reported 1.4 per 1000. In addition, the study found that women who do not receive prenatal care doubled their risk of delivering a child with this birth injury.

In order to reduce the risk of this incurable condition, medical professionals may need to be more proactive with monitoring expectant mothers, in order to reduce risks for brain injuries to neonates. Prospective parents have an obligation to seek competent prenatal and pediatric care for their children to ensure healthy development.

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    By Teresa R Perez - January, 2018

    I have had a great experience thus far. The personal injury process is stressful and they have been helpful and courteous in getting me the right referrals. I was injured while visiting NJ and live in another state, my case is not an easy one but they are working diligently to help. I appreciate the personalized attention and highly recommend this firm.

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    The law office was great with my back and neck injury. They directed me to the right doctors and got me a huge settlement. Being a single mom, it help pay off all my debt and bills. Me and my kids can have a bill free christmas, with plenty of food and happiness, stress free. They are the best ever and I would highly recommend them to anyone rich or poor, who has been in an accident and need legal help...

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    By L C - October, 2017

    After the misfortune of suffering an injury, I had the good fortune to choose Seigel Law to represent me. During my initial meeting with Jan Seigel, I found him to be extremely confident and reassuring---he totally put me at ease. I was represented by Mark Mc Bratney---an EXCELLENT attorney. He was supportive and professional through the entire process, and provided an excellent outcome for my case.

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    Honest, trustworthy and very straight forward. In unvarnished truth Jonas Siegel will tell you exactly where you stand and what direction you should go. Jonas has tenacity coupled with a degree of tenderness, but never losing site of the end goal, which is to protect, defend and have the best outcome for his clients. I defenetly recoment this law firm. Thanks for helping me out in my case.

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    I'd like to thank everyone at segal law for the amazing experience they provided me. From the moment I stepped in to the end of the case , segal and his team delivered exactly what they promised. I couldn't have received any better treatment from a law firm. Any concerns, questions or problems I had were addressed and dealt with accordingly...

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