Signs of Ataxic Cerebral Palsy

medical malpractice lawyer Bend OR neonatal seizures

Understanding the Signs of Ataxic Cerebral Palsy, Explained by Our Birth Injury Lawyer in Bend, Oregon

Although many parents are fortunate enough to birth healthy babies, there are times when babies suffer birth injuries. While some birth injuries are temporary, other types of birth injuries are catastrophic and permanent. One type of birth injury that is permanent and often catastrophic is cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is often caused by a loss of oxygen shortly before birth, during delivery, or shortly after birth. One type of cerebral palsy that can be particularly catastrophic is ataxic cerebral palsy. There are several signs of ataxic cerebral palsy that families should be aware of to ensure that a baby has not suffered a birth injury. If you notice these signs, it is important to speak with your doctor and then call an experienced birth injury lawyer in Bend, Oregon.

Here at Kuhlman Law, our birth injury lawyers understand how devastating ataxic cerebral palsy often is, as well as how often ataxic cerebral palsy can be preventable. We understand how costly the expenses related to cerebral palsy are, and feel that children and their families affected by cerebral palsy should never have to pay a dime for any expenses related to a medical provider’s mistake. If you feel your child’s cerebral palsy could have potentially been prevented, call our experienced birth injury lawyer in Bend, Oregon today for a FREE consultation to learn how our legal team can help you recover the compensation you deserve.

Cerebral Palsy Explained

Cerebral palsy is as mentioned above, a type of birth injury. Cerebral palsy is an umbrella term that refers to movement disorders caused by brain damage. Cerebral refers to the brain while palsy refers to weakness. There are several types of cerebral palsy, all which may be caused by birth injuries and medical malpractice during the labor and delivery process.

What Causes Cerebral Palsy Due to Medical Malpractice

While there are many causes of cerebral palsy, cerebral palsy is caused by damage to the brain or as well as abnormal development in the brain. Most often, cases of cerebral palsy occur as a result of oxygen lost shortly before birth, during labor and delivery, or just after birth. Common instances which can lead to cerebral palsy include the following:

  • A baby is born significantly premature and mismanaged by medical staff
  • A baby suffers a brain bleed, likely due to prematurity or mishandling
  • A baby suffers a loss of oxygen (hypoxia or anoxia) due to failure of a healthcare provider to identify fetal distress in the newborn during labor
  • There is a delay in performing a c-section when complications arise, leading to a loss of oxygen at birth
  • A newborn is improperly resuscitated or a medical provider fails to identify that the newborn is in respiratory distress, leading to a loss of oxygen
  • A physician fails to identify and treat jaundice, leading to kernicterus which in turn causes cerebral palsy due to brain damage
  • Improper use of extraction tools during delivery
  • Ischemic strokes
  • Failure to provide adequate prenatal care
  • Abnormal development of the brain
  • Dropped baby or a baby that is improperly handled
  • Delays in resuscitating a baby
  • Bacterial or viral infections that were not tested for or managed by medical staff, and
  • Many other common causes of medical malpractice that our birth injury lawyer in Bend, Oregon can handle.

Types of Cerebral Palsy

There are many different types of cerebral palsy. In addition, there are many different subsets of each time. Generally speaking, there are considered to be four or five different main types of cerebral palsy that infants can suffer from. These types include spastic cerebral palsy which is the most common type, mixed cerebral palsy, dyskinetic cerebral palsy, hypotonic cerebral palsy, and ataxic cerebral palsy.

Each type of cerebral palsy is determined by what area of the brain is damaged. In the case of ataxic cerebral palsy, the cerebellum of the brain is damaged. This makes the signs of ataxic cerebral palsy specific to it as opposed to other types of cerebral palsy.

Ataxic Cerebral Palsy Explained

Ataxic cerebral palsy is the most uncommon type of cerebral palsy. As mentioned above, the cerebellum is damaged which leads to impairment in movement. The cerebellum affects the body’s ability to balance, so damage to the cerebellum can cause difficulties with balance.

Additionally, this type of cerebral palsy causes significant and uncontrolled shaking. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, depending on the severity of damage. Sometimes, cerebral palsy is not immediately identified after birth. However, as a child gets older, you may notice signs that indicate that your child may be suffering from a birth injury such as cerebral palsy.

In infancy, difficulty grasping objects, tremors, or even difficulty swallowing food may be possible signs of ataxic cerebral palsy. As an infant gets older, motor milestones are often delayed, indicating that there is something wrong.

Symptoms and Signs of Ataxic Cerebral Palsy

There are certain symptoms that can indicate a child is suffering from ataxic cerebral palsy. Some of the most common symptoms of ataxic cerebral palsy include the following:

  • Tremors
  • Impaired eye movements
  • Impaired hand and eye coordination
  • Impaired ability to maintain balance
  • Widespread feet when attempting to stand or walk
  • Poor motor skills
  • Impaired speech, and
  • Related symptoms and signs of ataxic cerebral palsy.

How is Ataxic Cerebral Palsy Diagnosed?

Ataxic cerebral palsy is most often diagnosed between the ages of two and four. While there is no specific definitive test to diagnose ataxic cerebral palsy, diagnosis is made by review of the symptoms the child is experiencing. In some cases, imaging such as a CT scan or MRI may be performed, and an EEG may also be performed to identify if a child is suffering from seizures.

Your child’s doctor may ask questions related to his development, such as has your baby met their milestones in an appropriate timeframe? They also may ask about any symptoms your child has been experiencing, such as tremors, or issues with balance and movement.

Treatment for Ataxic Cerebral Palsy

While there is no cure for ataxic cerebral palsy, there are certain therapies and medication that can help children with ataxic cerebral palsy. It is important to have a comprehensive team of experienced medical professionals who can help your child to improve their quality of life as much as possible. Your child’s pediatrician, a neurologist, speech therapist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, dietician, and specialist in rehab may all be able to help your child as well as many other dedicated healthcare professionals.

Medications such as antispasmodic to help with muscle spasms may help children with cerebral palsy. Anticonvulsant medications may help if a child is suffering from seizures. Other medications that may help children with ataxic cerebral palsy include anticholinergic medications, pain medications, laxatives, and anti-anxiety medications.

How Can Ataxic Cerebral Palsy Be Caused by Medical Malpractice or Birth Injuries in Oregon


Ataxic cerebral palsy can be caused by medical malpractice when a healthcare provider fails to provide an appropriate standard of care during pregnancy, childbirth, or after delivery, which results in the child developing cerebral palsy. This is known as a deviation from the standard of care and is often caused by the negligence of a healthcare provider. That means that most instances of ataxic cerebral palsy due to negligence could have been avoided and prevented, which means your child has needlessly suffered due to the errors of a healthcare provider in Oregon.

Medical malpractice in the context of cerebral palsy can occur in several ways. For example, a doctor may fail to diagnose or treat an infection during pregnancy that leads to brain damage in the developing fetus. Similarly, a healthcare provider may fail to properly monitor the fetal heart rate during labor and delivery, leading to oxygen deprivation and subsequent brain damage. In some cases, medical malpractice may also occur after delivery, such as a failure to properly monitor and treat jaundice or meningitis, which can lead to ataxic cerebral palsy.

Damages and Liability Against a Healthcare Provider When the Signs of Ataxic Cerebral Palsy are Present

When medical malpractice results in cerebral palsy, the healthcare provider responsible for the negligence may be held legally liable for the resulting harm and damages. This can include compensation for medical expenses, ongoing care and treatment, lost earning potential, pain and suffering, and other related damages.

To establish a case of medical malpractice in the context of cerebral palsy, it must be shown that the healthcare provider’s actions fell below the acceptable standard of care for their profession and that this negligence caused or contributed to the child’s cerebral palsy. This often involves the use of medical expert witnesses to establish the standard of care and whether it was breached.

This can be a tricky standard without the help of an experienced birth injury lawyer in Bend, Oregon like ours a Kuhlman Law.


How Our Birth Injury Lawyer in Bend, Oregon Can Help You if You See the Signs of Ataxic Cerebral Palsy

The diagnosis of ataxic cerebral palsy is often incredibly overwhelming and devastating. The life you pictured for your child may now be completely different due to their disability. Unfortunately, cerebral palsy often can be quite costly for families of children with cerebral palsy to manage.

This is why even if you are unsure if your child’s cerebral palsy was caused by medical malpractice, our team of dedicated lawyers can help review your case for FREE to determine if medical malpractice played a role in your child’s CP diagnosis. If your child’s CP was caused by medical malpractice, we will fight to recover you and your child the compensation you deserve for any needs your child may have related to their cerebral palsy for their lifetime.

Was a Loved One Diagnosed with Ataxic Cerebral Palsy? Do You See the Signs of Ataxic Cerebral Palsy? Contact Our Experienced Birth Injury Lawyer in Bend, Oregon Today for Help Today


If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or wrongfully 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

– or fill out the form below –

Recent Posts

Call Now Button