Could HIE Cause Cerebral Palsy? Portland Birth Injury Lawyers

portland birth injury lawyers signs your child has a birth injury could HIE cause cerebral palsy

Oregon Medical Malpractice Explained by our Portland Birth Injury Lawyers: Could HIE Cause Cerebral Palsy?

HIE is also known as hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy.  This condition causes brain damage to a newborn due to a decreased flow of blood carrying oxygen.  This results in an oxygen deficiency.  This type of oxygen deficiency is particularly dangerous for newborns because their brains are rapidly developing.  When a newborn’s rapidly developing brain has a decrease in oxygen, it can result in serious personal injuries.  These personal injuries take the form of brain damage due to lesions to the brain.  These lesions are “gaps” or areas where the proper brain tissue does not form.  As a result, these gaps do not normally develop and the developing brain can suffer a deficiency.  When these lesions or gaps are formed on the basil ganglia or cerebellum, they can cause a serious disorder or group of disorders known as cerebral palsy.  Our Portland birth injury lawyers share information on how could HIE cause cerebral palsy and why it may be due to Oregon medical malpractice.

What is Cerebral Palsy?

The CDC defines cerebral palsy, also known as CP, as “a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture.”  There are four types of cerebral palsy, which include the following:
  • Spastic Cerebral Palsy – this is the most common and causes extreme rigidity and stiffness in the legs and arms.  This stiff causes awkward movement and difficulty moving.  The stiffness if caused by extreme muscle development or hardness known as hypertonia.  
  • Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy – this type of cerebral palsy is also known as athetoid, choreoathetoid, and dystonic CP.  This condition is caused by overly flaccid muscles due to hypotonia.  This can result in muscles being weak and shaky.  Individuals with this type of CP could also have uncontrollable and writing, twisting, tightening, rapid, or jerky movements.  
  • Ataxic Cerebral Palsy – this is the rarest form of CP and affects balance and coordination.  Individuals with this type of CP have shaking or tremors.  Individuals may be able to handle complex, macro-movements such as walking, sitting down, or laying down, however these individuals may be unable to handle fine motor skills such as writing, buttoning shirts, or typing.  Individuals may also have issues with fast or rapid movements, but be fine with smaller, more controlled movements.
  • Mixed Cerebral Palsy – mixed cerebral palsy is a combination of all the different types of cerebral palsy which could affect a person.  This includes a mixture or fluctuation between hypotonia (dyskinetic cerebral palsy) and hypertonia (spastic cerebral palsy).

How Can HIE Cause Cerebral Palsy?

There is no known, specific cause of cerebral palsy.  However, it is known that oxygen deprivation can cause brain damage—especially in a developing newborn during the birthing process.  Thus, if those hypoxic injuries are caused by HIE and do damage to the parts of the brain which affect motor movement, they could result in cerebral palsy. This means that HIE could absolutely be a cause of cerebral palsy.

What Should Families Do?

Anytime your child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, they should immediately be evaluated by a Portland birth injury lawyer like ours at Kuhlman law.  This is because cerebral palsy is rare, but it is rarely natural.  Usually there is some form of medical negligence or malpractice which caused the brain damage leading to cerebral palsy.  Indeed, many healthcare providers will even hide their instances of medical malpractice if it causes a massive type of personal injury like a disability such as cerebral palsy.  In fact, there are many instances of cerebral palsy which could have been totally preventable, such as delayed C-sections, overuse of forceps, or improper handling of a baby after birth. Thus, any cerebral palsy or CP diagnosis should be evaluated by an experienced birth injury lawyer. But families should also seek legal representation if their loved one was diagnosed with HIE or any type of hypoxic or anoxic condition.  These conditions are also typically caused by medical malpractice cause as delays in c-sections, failing to identify an umbilical cord prolapse, failing to secure an airway, delays in reacting to excessive contractions, and other similar types of medical malpractice or negligence which results in a decrease in oxygen supply to a baby.

Ask Our Portland Birth Injury Lawyer for Help

Anytime your beloved newborn is diagnosed with any troubling condition, always ask a medical malpractice lawyer like our Portland birth injury lawyer for help.  We offer a free consultation and review which means there is no upfront cost to having our compassionate team review your case.  We can help advise you of your rights under Oregon law and whether you may have a claim against a negligence healthcare provider such as a doctor, nurse, or hospital. 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.   Please act quickly, there is a limited time (Statute of Limitations) in which you can bring a claim under the law.

For a free case evaluation


(541) 385-1999 in Bend, Oregon
(503) 479-3646 in Portland, Oregon
(612) 444-3374 in Minnesota

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