The incidence of cerebral palsy in preterm infants has long been higher than the incidence in babies delivered full term. Determining why has long eluded researchers, but a recent study out of England and Canada indicates that magnesium deficiency might play a role. Doctors treated mothers in preterm labor (labor between 32-34 weeks gestation) with magnesium sulfate and noted a significant decrease in the development of cerebral palsy in these infants.
Administering magnesium sulfate was initially controversial, as earlier studies had indicated it might lead to respiratory suppression, but the new study indicates that the necessity of resuscitation was actually lower for preterm infants whose mothers were treated.
Cerebral palsy can have devastating long-term implications for individuals who suffer from it. Though many people with cerebral palsy have only moderate disabilities, others with the devastating disability might require a wheelchair or significant medical interventions for the rest of their lives. In some cases, cerebral palsy can significantly shorten lifespans, as the disability can interfere with breathing or other necessary bodily functions.
This treatment will not put an end to cerebral palsy. There are still a variety of factors that have not been accounted for in regards to what causes infants to develop cerebral palsy in the womb, and birth injuries and poor neonatal care have been demonstrated to cause many more cases.
If you or someone you love has cerebral palsy, determining whether or not the disability was preventable is important. Recognizing that birth trauma and neonatal care often play a role in cerebral palsy, it is important to have medical records reviewed by experts in the field. Too many doctors and nurses provide inadequate care for birthing mothers and newborns. Please, consider retaining an experienced lawyer to evaluate your case.