Ataxic Cerebral Palsy: Portland Birth Injury Lawyers

Understanding Ataxic Cerebral Palsy: Portland Birth Injury Lawyers Explain this Type of CP

cerebral palsy

Child with cerebral palsy, including spastic CP, ataxic CP, athetoid CP, and mixed.

Cerebral palsy, or CP, is a devastating diagnosis for a family because it will affect a child’s entire life.  Cerebral palsy is a disorder or group of disorders which result in motor disfunction and weakness.  According to the CDC, cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability in childhood.  It is caused by abnormal brain development or damage to the developing brain.  This is usually due to birth asphyxia, which is a type of oxygen deprivation to a newborn’s brain.  The deprivation could be a restriction on the flow of oxygen, or hypoxia, or the deprivation could be a complete block of oxygen, or anoxia.  Victims with cerebral palsy need to be represented by Portland birth injury lawyers that understand the law, medicine, and economics.  This is because the CDC estimates that the lifetime costs of cerebral palsy is about a million dollars.

This means that families with a child who has cerebral palsy should ensure that their Oregon medical malpractice law firm and protect their rights to compensation.  With cerebral palsy, there are many different types of compensation which could be necessary to pay for the future, lifetime expenses of a child.  This includes some of the following damages:


  • Lifetime pain and suffering
  • Lost future earnings and ability to work, even a minimum wage job or based on the parents’ careers
  • Medication costs
  • Future surgery costs
  • Future nursing care and assistance costs
  • Nursing home costs
  • Mobility assistance equipment
  • Costs for home modifications
  • Physical therapy, occupational therapy, vocational therapy, and speech therapy costs
  • Future doctors’ appointments and check outs
  • Medical bills
  • Punitive damages, in rare cases but possibly with CP cases, and 
  • Many other damages


Types of Cerebral Palsy


Our Portland birth injury lawyers know that there are four types of cerebral palsy.  Each type of cerebral palsy has different disability.  The disabilities are different based on the location and extent of the damage to the brain.  This is measured based on the length of time that a hypoxic or anoxic condition existed.  This is because the longer that the baby did not have oxygen, the longer that there were lesions forming and growing.


The four types of cerebral palsy include the following:


  • Spastic CP – causes rigidity and range of motion restrictions, also awkward reflexes and gait
  • Athetoid CP or Dyskinetic CP – causes a mixture of hypertonia (extreme muscle tone) and hypotonia (flaccid muscle tone) which can cause the muscle tone to fluctuate.  There is also involuntary movement caused by this type of CP.
  • Ataxic CP – causes balance and coordination problems, among other issues. 
  • Mixed CP – a mixture of all of the types above.


Understanding Ataxic Cerebral Palsy


Ataxic cerebral palsy is a type of cerebral palsy that causes issues with balance and coordination.  This means that most people suffering from ataxic cerebral palsy have difficultly walking, running, or performing any tasks which require basic balancing.  This is due to damage to the cerebellum which primarily governs balance.  


Some of the common symptoms of ataxic cerebral palsy include the following:


  • Tremors
  • Reduced muscle tone
  • Difficultly with speech, often requiring speech therapy
  • Problems with depth perception and vision
  • Wide gait, awkward gait, and otherwise unconventional gait
  • Difficulty with quick movements
  • Trouble with fine motor movements like buttoning a shirt or writing
  • Difficulty holding or reaching for items
  • Vertigo sometimes, which is related to balance, and
  • Other symptoms.


Signs of Cerebral Palsy in a Baby


It is really hard to gauge ataxic cerebral palsy in a baby.  That is because a baby cannot tell you what he or she can and cannot do.  Thus, it is important to know the warning signs of cerebral palsy like ataxic cerebral palsy.


Signs younger than six months:


  • Stiff or floppy
  • Head lags when you pick him or her up while on back
  • Back and neck overextended
  • Acts like pushing away from you
  • Legs get still and cross when you pick up the baby


Signs older than six months:


  • Not rolling over
  • Not bringing hands together
  • Trouble bringing hands to mouth


Signs older than 10 months:


  • Lopsided crawling
  • Does not crawl on all fours
  • Using only one side of his or her body to move
  • Trouble reaching for food or a toy


Treatment for Babies with Ataxic Cerebral Palsy


While the damage to the brain is permanent, ataxic cerebral palsy may respond well to training, therapy, and aids.  In fact, it may respond better than other forms of CP.  Most physical therapy and training can help victims with ataxic CP regain control over some balance.  Other types of occupational therapy and help victims improve their dexterity and finger grasping.  There are also some medications and treatments which can help a lot as well.  These are muscle relaxants and medications to help treat tremors.  


Victims of Ataxic Cerebral Palsy Should Ask Our Portland Birth Injury Lawyers for Help


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.

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