Is Athetoid Cerebral Palsy Caused by Medical Malpractice?

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Oregon Birth Injury Lawyer Answers: Is Athetoid Cerebral Palsy Caused by Medical Malpractice?

Unfortunately, there are times when complications occur during the delivery of a baby that can affect them for the rest of their lives. When complications occur that cause injury to the baby, they are referred to as birth injuries. There are many different types of birth injuries, with some being more catastrophic than others. One catastrophic type of birth injury that can occur shortly before delivery, during the delivery of a baby, or shortly after delivery is athetoid cerebral palsy. While not all cases of cerebral palsy are due to medical malpractice, many cases are. Families often ask is athetoid cerebral palsy caused by medical malpractice.  This is usually because the damages have been catastrophic and irreversible to their baby.

When a catastrophic birth injury such as athetoid cerebral palsy occurs and it could have been prevented, it may be considered to be medical malpractice that our Oregon birth injury lawyer can help a victim and his or her family handle.

What is Athetoid Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy is as mentioned above a birth injury. It is the result of brain damage and is most often due to a lack of oxygen during, prior to or after delivery but can also be due to physical trauma. It is considered to be a type of movement disorder that is sadly permanent. 

There are many different subtypes of cerebral palsy, with each referring to the area of the brain that has been damaged. One type of cerebral palsy that can be due to medical malpractice is athetoid cerebral palsy. Athetoid cerebral palsy occurs due to brain damage of the basal ganglia. 

Symptoms of Athetoid Cerebral Palsy

  • Low (hypotonic) or high muscle tone (hypertonic)
  • Dystonia (twisting and other repetitive movements)
  • Chorea (abrupt moves that are irregular)
  • Athetosis (writhing, slow movements)
  • Drooling
  • Impaired posture
  • Low Apgar score at birth

Children with cerebral palsy often have impairment of speech, vision, hearing, and impaired ability to independently complete activities of daily living. Unfortunately, is athetoid cerebral palsy caused by medical malpractice can be a very serious cause of these impairments.  

Cerebral Palsy Classified

The severity of cerebral palsy is often classified as mild, moderate or severe. The severity depends on the degree of damage and how impaired the child is. Children with mild cerebral palsy may need little to no help with activities of daily living. 

Children with moderate cerebral palsy will often need some degree of assistance with activities of daily living, but can often maintain some degree of independence. Children with severe cerebral palsy will generally need assistance with all activities of daily living and will require a lifetime of care. 

How Can Athetoid Cerebral Palsy be Due to Medical Malpractice?

There are many ways in which athetoid cerebral palsy can be caused by medical malpractice. 

The diagnosis of cerebral palsy can be devastating. What can be even more difficult to comprehend is if the condition could have been entirely avoided if proper medical care had been provided. Causes of athetoid cerebral palsy due to medical malpractice include the following:

  • Failure to identify fetal distress during labor and delivery
  • Failure to intervene in the setting of prolonged or arrested
  • Inappropriate use or excessive use of Pitocin or other labor inducing drugs
  • Failure to identify umbilical cord rupture
  • Failure to safely deliver the baby, leading to the baby being dropped
  • Failure to properly use assisted-labor devices appropriately leading to trauma
  • Failure to identify and intervene in the setting of cord compression

How Do I Know if My Child’s Athetoid Cerebral Palsy Was Due to Medical Malpractice?

It is nearly impossible to know if your child’s cerebral palsy diagnosis was due to medical malpractice. Furthermore, physicians often will not be forthcoming if they suspect that your child suffered a brain injury likely leading to cerebral palsy as that could implicate them. It is important to know that cerebral palsy can be caused by other factors such as genetic abnormalities or other natural and unavoidable complications. 

However, often times it is the result of medical malpractice. Upon review with an experienced cerebral palsy lawyer, medical malpractice can be proven if it can be identified that certain actions prior to, during, or after delivery that unnecessarily lead to a birth injury or that the medical care you and your newborn received was substandard and therefore lead to or increased the risk of a birth injury such as cerebral palsy. This can be determined upon review of you and your child’s medical records as well as discussion with experts who are able to provide insight on whether or not this condition could have been avoided. That can help answer is athetoid cerebral palsy caused by medical malpractice in your case.

Signs that your child may have suffered from cerebral palsy at birth include the following:

  • Muscle stiffness
  • Floppy limbs
  • Seizures after birth
  • Weak or impaired reflexes
  • Abnormally shrill and loud cry
  • Low oxygen (hypoxia) at birth
  • Skull fractures

Why Should I Contact an Experienced Cerebral Palsy Lawyer?

Knowing the answer is athetoid cerebral palsy caused by medical malpractice is a tough one.  It also carries with it high stakes and risks.  Cerebral palsy is a lifelong condition. Most children will need additional assistance, whether it be special schooling, therapies, home care, or any other type of assistance. It will be quite difficult for you, your child, and family to deal with the devastating diagnosis of cerebral palsy and the overwhelming need for care that comes along with such a diagnosis. 

The care that is often needed is costly and if your child requires lifelong care, that is going to be very expensive. If your child’s cerebral palsy diagnosis was due to medical malpractice, you may be eligible for compensation for damages. Compensation may cover expenses for specialized schooling, therapies, home care, assistive devices, pain and suffering, or any other specialized care your child requires as a result of the diagnosis. 

Our experienced cerebral palsy attorneys know just how to review your records and work with experts to gain you the maximum amount of compensation possible if your child’s cerebral palsy diagnosis was due to medical malpractice. It is essential to work with an experienced cerebral palsy lawyer who will be able to fight for you to gain the compensation you and your child deserve. 

An Oregon Birth Injury Lawyer Can Review Your Case and Answer is Athetoid Cerebral Palsy Caused by Medical Malpractice

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.

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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