Oregon Cerebral Palsy Lawyer

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What is cerebral palsy and what causes it?
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a term that refers to a grouping of various neurological conditions that affects movement, muscle coordination, and posture. The neurological conditions stem from damage to the area of the brain that control motor function and muscle control. Cerebral palsy appears in infancy or early childhood.

Most children who have cerebral palsy are born with the condition. For these cases of CP, which account for approximately 70 percent of cerebral palsy cases, the causes are usually unknown. Factors that may attribute to the development of cerebral palsy while a fetus is still in the uterus include, but are not limited to, a mother's contraction of the measles while pregnant; a mother's development of a fever while pregnant; incompatible blood/RH factors between the mother and fetus; medication or drugs given the mother while pregnant; or the mother's development of a bacterial infection while pregnant.

Approximately 10 percent of cerebral palsy cases are the result of some sort of brain injury that occurs after birth. Causes of CP in infants may include a brain infection such as meningitis, or brain trauma from a car accident, fall, or child abuse.

The remaining 20 percent of cerebral palsy cases occur during the birthing process. Asphyxia (a lack of oxygen to the brain) or brain injury that results in bleeding. Asphyxia may occur from a premature separation of the placenta, strangulation by the umbilical cord, or other complications. Bleeding of the brain may come from pressure related to a vaginal delivery or some sort of trauma during the birth process.

What happens if cerebral palsy occurred because of a birth related brain injury?
While medical professionals do what they can to avoid birth complications, including using devices to monitor the health of an infant during labor, errors and mistakes are still possible. Occasionally, cerebral palsy is the result of brain injury to an infant during the birthing process. Some situations in which this could occur include a medical professional's failure to determine that a baby needed additional oxygen, such as via a caesarean section or delaying a caesarean section. In addition, if a mother was treated with a harmful medication, or not advised to stop taking a harmful medication, brain injury could occur. Prolonged bleeding in an infant's brain, typically from head trauma, can also attribute to cerebral palsy.

If an injury occurs to a child during the course of labor, it may not be the fault of the doctor or the hospital. Doctors are held liable for birth injuries under a set of standards. Doctors and hospitals have a duty to their patients, or infants in the case of birth, meaning that the doctor must be a part of the delivery. To determine whether a doctor or hospital was at fault, an attorney versed in birth injury law must determine whether or not the doctor breached his or her duty to the patient. If a breach of duty did occur, the doctor may be liable for damages. However, if an injury occurred but was not the fault of the doctor, or the injury could not have been prevented, regardless of a breach of duty, the situation can be more complex. Hospitals may also be held accountable for a wrongful injury if the nursing staff or hired performed inadequately.

Birth injury medical negligence cases are challenging and difficult to prove. To make a claim that will hold up legally, an attorney must prove that there was a breach in the standard of care, causation, injury, and damages. A lawyer who is well-versed in Oregon medical malpractice law will be able to guide you through the legal process, assess your case to determine whether or not you can make a claim, and pursue justice.

When your child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, it can be a stressful time for you and your family. Cerebral palsy is a disorder for which there is no cure and typically requires medical treatment and therapy to manage it. Cerebral palsy is a lifelong challenge that will affect your child and you; educating yourself and seeking support and assistance when needed can help you manage how cerebral palsy affects your life and your child's life. An attorney based in Oregon can help you with this process to ensure you do the best for your child.


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