Our Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers Explain Cerebral Palsy
Birth injuries are injuries that occur during the birthing process. Usually, these are due to physical pressure but can be due to a delayed exit from the birth canal, causing oxygen deprivation. Birth injuries should never happen. It is a physicians duty to assist the woman in the laboring process in the safest way possible. Cerebral palsy is one birth injury that can be due to complete negligence. Cerebral palsy can be due to naturally causing factors, but also can be a result of medical malpractice. Cerebral Palsy due to medical malpractice can generally be mitigated if the woman in labor and her baby are properly monitored and the physician intervenes appropriately if complications occur (i.e through the use of C-Section). Our Oregon cerebral palsy lawyers know just how serious and avoidable cerebral palsy can be and are here to get you and your child the justice you deserve.
What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral Palsy is a devastating birth injury with potential catastrophic results. Unfortunately, cerebral palsy affects how the brain functions due to brain damage (in this case sustained at birth). Cerebral palsy, also known as CP, occurs either due to physical trauma during the birth, but most commonly due to oxygen deprivation during the birthing process. This can be due to fetal distress or a prolonged labor that did not receive intervention in a timely manner. Unfortunately the effects of cerebral palsy are typically lifelong. This condition can affect the growing child’s ability to walk, talk, feed themselves, dress themselves, and can inhibit the overall cognitive growth and development of a child.
Types of CP
There are many different ways cerebral palsy is classified. Typically, CP is classified first based on the severity of the damage and then where in the brain the damage occurred.
Children and babies are generally classified as having mild, moderate, or severe cerebral palsy. Mild generally means that a person can function without much assistance (i.e walk, talk, complete activities of daily living). Moderate CP typically means that the person will need mobility assistance to some degree (i.e. braces, walker, cane) and will also need some assistance to complete activities of daily living. People with severe cerebral palsy are generally wheelchair bound and will typically need help in all areas of daily living.
As stated above, cerebral palsy is also classified in regard to where the injury occurred in the brain. Classifications for this are below:
- Dystonic Cerebral Palsy – Caused by damage to the basal ganglia causing muscle spasms, abnormal posture, jerky and slow movements
- Choreoathetoid Cerebral Palsy (subtype of Athetoid Cerebral Palsy) – People with this type of cerebral palsy generally exhibit abnormal or disabling movements in the shoulders, hips, and face. Generally, these movements are involuntary
- Athetoid Cerebral Palsy – This is also caused by damage to the basal ganglia and typically is characterized by twisting, slow deliberate movements. Muscle tone can range from flaccid (hypotonic) to excessive (hypertonic)
- Ataxic Cerebral Palsy – This type of cerebral palsy is caused by damage to the cerebellum. As a result, people typically have difficulty with walking, fine motor movements (i.e writing), and typically have tremors
How Can CP Be Caused by Medical Malpractice?
Unfortunately, cerebral palsy is typically caused due to pure negligence. Examples of this include the following:
- Improperly monitoring accelerations and decelerations (contractions) which can limit oxygen flow to the baby, causing an anoxic brain injury (cerebral palsy)
- Delaying and emergency c-section in favor of a vaginal birth
- Failure to diagnose preeclampsia or eclampsia
- Failure to monitor for fetal distress
- Failure to secure the baby’s airway at birth
- Failure to diagnose and treat an umbilical cord prolapse or rupture in a timely manner
- Improper monitoring of the mother’s blood pressure, pulse, oxygen saturation, blood sugar, etc
- Improper use of extraction tools to get the baby out of the birth canal (i.e. forceps or vacuum extractor)
- Overuse of labor-inducing drugs (i.e. Pitocin)
- Mishandling of the baby after birth, causing head injuries or other injuries to the body (i.e. excessive bleeding or bruising)
These are just some of the many ways cerebral palsy can be due to medical malpractice. Generally speaking, the provider will try to cover up the mistake made and will say that your child’s cerebral palsy was unavoidable at birth. Our Oregon cerebral palsy lawyers know this is not true and we are ready to review your birth records and beyond to determine the cause of your child’s cerebral palsy. If your child is a victim of medical malpractice due to birth injury causing cerebral palsy, you and your child may be eligible for damages. Damages include pain and suffering, emotional stress, the child’s medical bills (past, future, present), loss of quality of life, the parent’s lost wages, and lost future earnings.
Ask Our Birth Injury Lawyer For Help
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice contact the Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form. We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.
Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles, St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.
We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take medical malpractice cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.