The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released information that some New Mexico residents may find useful. According to the CDC, cerebral palsy is a disease caused by abnormal development or damage to the brain. It affects muscle control and the majority of cases are congenital, i.e., related to brain damage occurring during or before birth.

There are several factors that may increase the likelihood a child will have cerebral palsy, though the presence of one or more factors does not mean the child will necessarily have the disease. Among the most prevalent risk factors are low birth weight, premature birth and the use of assisted reproductive technology. Jaundice or kernicterus, complications during birth, and certain medical conditions of the mother may also contribute to cerebral palsy in a child.

Because the causes of congenital cerebral palsy are not fully known in most cases, the CDC offers broad advice toward its prevention. The health of the mother is of primary importance, and so the mother should endeavor to be as healthy as possible both before and during pregnancy. A basic hygiene regimen including frequent hand-washing may reduce the risk of infection. Supplementing a diet with magnesium sulfate may also reduce the risk of cerebral palsy in preterm babies.

In some cases, cerebral palsy is a result of errors made by hospitals or medical personnel. In birth injury cases, the injured party may not have direct access to many of the relevant facts. An attorney with experience handling medical malpractice cases may be able to help parents secure answers from doctors and other parties or seek compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses or other damages. An attorney may be able to assist during settlement negotiations or by drafting and filing a complaint for damages in civil court.