Understanding the Types of Cerebral Palsy Caused by Oregon Medical Malpractice
There are times when the birth of a child is not as joyous of an event as it should be due to mistakes made by medical professionals. While there are some situations in which mistakes do not result in serious harm, other times victims may be permanently injured. Birth injuries are unfortunately quite common, leaving children with serious, permanent, or fatal injuries. One example of a birth injury that is commonly caused by medical malpractice is cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a lifelong condition that affects children neurologically and is unfortunately irreversible. Our birth injury lawyers in Portland understand how devastating the diagnosis of cerebral palsy is, as well as how often it is completely preventable. Our lawyers are committed to helping victims and their families recover the compensation they deserve for their injury for any of the types of cerebral palsy caused by Oregon medical malpractice.
Here at Kuhlman Law, our team of legal professionals understands how important it is for victims and their families to be properly represented. We have a proven track record of success handling cerebral palsy and other birth injury cases in Oregon and Minnesota. Our birth injury lawyer in Portland can help you and your family recover the compensation that you deserve for your personal injuries. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us today to schedule you no-obligation free consultation.
What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a blanket term for a group of disorders that is a result of damage to the brain, usually as a result of loss of oxygen prior to, during, or just after birth but can be caused by other factors such as physical trauma. The damage causes impairment in the area of the brain that suffered the damage, resulting in impairments. The degree of impairments depends on how much damage the brain suffered at the time of the injury.
According to research, one in about 345 children are diagnosed with some form of cerebral palsy. Many of the different types of cerebral palsy caused by Oregon medical malpractice can range from being very debilitating to milder. The same research provides that cerebral palsy is also more common in boys, over half of children with CP can walk independently, and most children with CP have another co-occurring condition such as epilepsy or autism.
Types of Cerebral Palsy Caused by Medical Malpractice
There are many different types of cerebral palsy that can be caused by medical malpractice. The type that the child is diagnosed with is dependent on the area of the brain that has been damaged. The most common types of cerebral palsy that can be caused by medical malpractice include the following:
- Spastic cerebral palsy – This type of cerebral palsy is the most commonly occurring form of CP. Children with this type of cerebral palsy often have increased muscle tone (hypertonia) and spasticity, resulting in jerky movements. This type of cerebral palsy is caused by damage to the motor cortex, which is responsible for voluntary movement. Other symptoms of spastic cerebral palsy include impaired or abnormal walking pattern, impaired reflexes, stiffness in a certain part of the body, and contractures which are permanently tight muscles or joints cause by the excessive spasticity and muscle tone.
- Ataxic cerebral palsy – This form of cerebral palsy is caused by damage to the cerebellum, which has the purpose of controlling coordination. Children with this type of cerebral palsy often experience hypotonia (reduced muscle tone), shaking, tremors, impaired speech, impaired coordination and depth perception, and an abnormal gait when walking.
- Athetoid cerebral palsy – This type of cerebral palsy is a result of damage to the cerebellum and/or basal ganglia of the brain. This type of CP is also referred to as dyskinetic or non-spastic CP. Children with this form of CP often have both hypertonia and hypotonia (increased and decreased muscle tone), abnormal eye movements, impaired feeding, impaired posture, rigid body, and limb floppiness.
- Hypotonic cerebral palsy – This form of CP is characterized by abnormally low muscle tone. Children with this type of CP may never walk due to a lack of muscle tone in their limbs, but is dependent on the severity of the child’s CP. Symptoms that children who have hypotonic CP commonly present with impaired head control, impaired balance and stability, and overly flexible ligaments and joints.
- Mixed cerebral palsy – This form of CP refers to children who exhibit signs of more than one type of CP. Children with this type of CP have damage to more than one area of their brain.
Medical Malpractice Related Causes of Cerebral Palsy
There are times when medical providers such as doctors, nurses, advanced practice providers (NP/PA), and other providers make crucial mistakes which can forever alter the course of your child’s life. Some medical malpractice related causes of cerebral palsy includes the following:
- Delay in conducting an emergency c-section
- Opting for a vaginal birth when the mother should have a c-section based on risk factors or other complications
- Improper use or overuse of Pitocin, resulting in excessive contractions which can lead to oxygen deprivation
- Failure to provide appropriate fetal monitoring during labor
- Improper use of extraction tools (i.e. forceps or vacuum extractor), leading to physical brain trauma causing cerebral palsy
- Failing to identify fetal distress during labor
- Failing to intervene for fetal distress during labor
- Improper handling of the newborn after birth, leading to head injuries
- Failure to diagnose pre-eclampsia
- Failure to properly treat pre-eclampsia
- Failure to provide adequate prenatal care
- Failure to intervene in instances of respiratory distress after birth, leading to a loss of oxygen resulting in cerebral palsy
- Failing to identify and treat umbilical cord prolapse or rupture
- Improper monitoring of the mother’s vital signs (i.e. heart rate, oxygen, pulse, blood pressure) and overall well-being during labor and delivery, and
- Other causes of medical malpractice resulting in cerebral palsy
Warning Signs of Cerebral Palsy Caused by Medical Malpractice
There are many different types of warning signs that cerebral palsy may have been caused by medical malpractice. Cerebral palsy is a complex condition that can have various causes, and determining its link to medical malpractice requires thorough investigation by experienced birth injury lawyers and legal staff like ours. Below are some indicators that may warrant further examination in the context of potential medical malpractice, including the following:
- Abnormalities during pregnancy or childbirth: If there were known risk factors or complications during pregnancy, labor, or delivery that were not appropriately managed, it could raise concerns about potential negligence or malpractice.
- Failure to monitor fetal distress: Failure to properly monitor fetal distress and respond accordingly during labor and delivery can lead to oxygen deprivation and subsequent cerebral palsy. This is often identified through fetal monitoring strips or other monitoring devices.
- Delayed or improper response to complications: Medical professionals are expected to promptly respond to any complications that arise during childbirth. Delays in identifying and addressing these issues can be indicative of medical negligence.
- Misuse of delivery tools: Improper use of forceps or vacuum extractors during delivery can cause traumatic brain injuries leading to cerebral palsy.
- Medication errors: Administration of incorrect medications or dosages to the mother during pregnancy or labor may lead to adverse effects on the baby, including brain damage.
- Inadequate prenatal care: Insufficient monitoring and care during prenatal visits can lead to missed opportunities to identify and address potential complications.
- Post-delivery complications: Failure to provide appropriate medical care immediately after birth could exacerbate potential issues and contribute to cerebral palsy.
Damages for Families and Victims Affected by Cerebral Palsy as a Result of Medical Malpractice
Victims and families who are affected by a cerebral palsy diagnosis as a result of medical malpractice are likely eligible for damages for their injuries. Often times, a doctor will try to tell you that your child’s cerebral palsy could not have been prevented, even if this is not the truth. This is why is it wise to speak with an experienced birth injury lawyer who can review your case for FREE to determine if your child’s CP was caused by medical malpractice. Victims who suffer from CP as a result of medical malpractice may be eligible for damages. Damages are often awarded in the form of compensation. Common damages awarded to children and families affected by CP include the following:
- Home and vehicle modifications
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Financial losses related to your child’s diagnosis
- Medical bills
- Assistive devices (i.e. walker, wheelchair, crutches, etc.)
- Physical, occupational and speech therapy services
- Other special services such as specialized schooling
- Loss of wages and future earnings for parents who are unable to work at the same capacity as they did prior to their child’s birth, and
- Other damages related to your child’s CP diagnosis
If the Types of Cerebral Palsy Caused by Oregon Medical Malpractice Harmed Your Baby, Call Our Birth Injury Lawyer in Portland for Help
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.