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Does Meningitis Cause Cerebral Palsy?

Pregnancy comes with many risks. Even minor infections or viruses could harm a baby’s health. Because of that, more serious conditions, like meningitis, can be very dangerous for fetuses and might even lead to cerebral palsy.

Meningitis is a disease that can cause a baby to develop cerebral palsy if there is no medical intervention. Meningitis in a fetus can be avoided if the root cause is an infection in the carrying parent. If the parent is given the right medication, the infection should not spread to the baby, who, in turn, should not develop meningitis or cerebral palsy. If meningitis is linked to your child’s cerebral palsy, it could be because an initial infection was not treated properly. In that case, you might be able to sue for medical malpractice, if you can prove that it is more likely than not that a doctor’s negligence led to your child developing cerebral palsy.

To get a free case review from our Baltimore birth injury lawyers, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras now at (410) 694-7291.

Meningitis and Cerebral Palsy

Meningitis is the infection and inflammation of the meninges, which are the membranes that protect the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis can be fatal if left untreated, as it causes swelling of the brain. In fetuses, meningitis can be especially devastating and cause cerebral palsy.

Can Meningitis Cause CP?

Meningitis can lead to cerebral palsy in babies. Meningitis typically occurs during a widespread infection. For example, the carrying parent might get an infection or virus that then affects their child. Because fetuses are so vulnerable, especially when developing crucial organs and body parents, a parent’s infection might cause meningitis in a fetus. Meningitis involves the swelling of the brain, which can lead to abnormal brain development, which is generally precedes cerebral palsy. While there is a higher risk of a baby developing cerebral palsy if they have meningitis themselves, the carrying parent having meningitis and swelling of the brain could cause complications during pregnancy that lead to cerebral palsy in their child.

What Are the Chances of Meningitis Causing CP?

Diagnosing the meningitis or doing anything to reverse it can be challenging when a fetus has meningitis and is still yet to be born. Common treatments for meningitis include antibiotics and steroids. Suppose the parent has meningitis or another infection that could eventually lead to meningitis. In that case, they should be treated with the proper medications to prevent the infection from harming the baby and causing the baby to get meningitis and possibly cerebral palsy. If a doctor regularly assesses your baby’s development during pregnancy and checks on your health, there should be little risk of meningitis causing a congenital disability in your child. That said, infections can worsen quickly, and the effects of meningitis in babies can sometimes be irreversible, making immediately addressing any infections you or your baby has crucial.

What if Meningitis is Linked to Your Child’s Cerebral Palsy?

If a child was born with a congenital disability like cerebral palsy, and the parent or the child was also diagnosed with meningitis, it is important for parents to confirm, to the best of their ability, whether or not that is true. If it is, the fact that your child had meningitis in the first place could be due to medical malpractice.

Fetuses can get infections in various ways. A common cause of fetal infections is invasive procedures during pregnancy. If a doctor does not properly clean tools during exams or certain procedures, they might cause an infection in a fetus that develops into meningitis.

Furthermore, doctors treating parents should be aware of the signs of viral infections and meningitis. If a patient presents with such symptoms or they report experiencing symptoms to their doctor, and their doctor does not prescribe them safe medications or further investigate the situation, the virus could spread to the baby. And, if intervention still does not happen, the baby could develop meningitis and, eventually, cerebral palsy.

Although meningitis can seem unavoidable in certain situations, that is not always the case. Meningitis is a treatable disease that can be prevented if certain infections or viruses are caught and treated quickly. Our Pikesville, MD birth injury lawyers can evaluate your case to determine whether or not your baby’s meningitis might have caused its cerebral palsy and if the initial disease could have been handled with the proper medical intervention.

Can You Sue if Meningitis Caused Cerebral Palsy in Your Baby?

It is important for parents to understand that it is not always possible to sue if meningitis causes their babies’ cerebral palsy or if their children are born with congenital disabilities. Cerebral palsy is a congenital disability that is not always due to medical malpractice. If it is, however, our attorneys can explain your options for holding a negligent hospital or doctor accountable.

To learn if filing a lawsuit is a possibility in your case, our lawyers will ask to see your medical records during pregnancy and your child’s medical records at birth. If you had certain procedures done that could have given you an infection, our attorneys will note that as a possible origin point of meningitis. Or, if in your medical records, an infection was noted, but you were not prescribed the proper antibiotics, that might be the root cause of your child’s cerebral palsy.

Even if you or your child had meningitis, that does not mean it caused their congenital disability. Errors made during delivery are also top causes of cerebral palsy. If a doctor immediately claims that cerebral palsy is due to meningitis, but there is nothing to support your child’s diagnosis of meningitis, it could be because they acted negligently during delivery and caused your child’s cerebral palsy.

Call Our Lawyers About Your Birth Injury Case

Call (410) 694-7291to have your case assessed by the Parkville, MD birth injury lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras.