Diagnosed with Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy in Oregon

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Our Oregon Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy Lawyer Explains What Families Need to Know


When a baby is born, it will be affectionately looked at by its parents who wonder about the baby’s future. The parents will ask themselves the fundamental question of whether their baby live a happy and healthy life? The parents will look forward to their baby reaching basic milestones in is initial weeks, but when such milestones are not reached by their baby, it can be a grave cause of concern for them. They might be astounded when a pediatrician or neurologist diagnoses the baby to have dyskinetic cerebral palsy in Oregon. They will wonder the reason for the baby having dyskinetic cerebral palsy and if it could have been prevented. If you are the parent who believed that your baby’s dyskinetic cerebral palsy is a result of medical negligence, then you should have our experienced Portland medical malpractice attorney review your case. 


Each year, around 8000 babies are diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Dyskinetic cerebral palsy is the second most common type of cerebral palsy and it can be further classified into three other types of palsies: athetoid, choreoathetoid, and dystonic cerebral palsies. The severity of the dyskinetic cerebral palsy is associated with symptoms not just limited to movement deficits, but also impairments such as mental retardation, language and speech problems, and problems with the lips, mouth and tongue. These impairments cannot be healed but can only be managed better with early diagnosis and treatment. For example, with early diagnosis and treatment, a child’s quality of life and level of independence can be drastically improved from using a walker instead of a wheelchair.


Cerebral Palsy Defined by the CDC


Simply put. Cerebral palsy refers to several movement disorders in the brain. This can be a result of movement center in the brain where underdeveloped or sustained damage. Cerebral Palsy is an umbrella term for four different types of movement disorders such as spastic cerebral palsy, dyskinetic cerebral palsy, ataxic cerebral palsy, and mixed cerebral palsy. All body and muscle movements are controlled by different part of the brain, and neurons use different pathways to reach different body parts or muscles to communicate to the child about which body parts to move. Your child’s cerebral palsy can be determined by the severity, geographical location, and duration of the birth injury.


Longterm Financial Costs of Cerebral Palsy


The financial cost of proving medical care your child having cerebral palsy is directly related to the severity of cerebral palsy. It is estimated by the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) that lifetime care shall cost approximately $1.5 Million (while adjusting to inflation). The medical care shall include hiring a range of medical specialists such as neurologists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, orthopedists, psychologists, rehabilitation and physical therapists, nutritionists, and a general practitioner or pediatrician to manage the whole team. These specialists shall assist your child in managing his or her symptoms better, while optimizing their mental and physical health and making them as independent as possible. 


How Common is Cerebral Palsy?


The CDC estimates that about 1 in 323 children have some form of cerebral palsy, making it the most common form of motor disability in childhood. Further, dyskinetic cerebral palsy is the second most common diagnosis of the disease following spastic cerebral palsy. The wide range of symptoms and impairments which the children having cerebral palsy can demonstrate are issues with mobility, vision impairment, hearing impairment, sleep issues, losing control over bladder and bowel, epilepsy, communication issues, learning difficulties, to name a few. The range of symptoms depend upon the severity of cerebral palsy.


What Are the Main Causes or Risks Associated with Cerebral Palsy?


When a part or multiple parts of the brain responsible for voluntary (such as walking) and involuntary movements (such as breathing) are underdeveloped or damaged, it results in cerebral palsy. A body’s movement is made possible due to three main movement centers in the brain. The first main movement center is “motor cortex.” The motor cortex is responsible for planning, controlling and carrying out all voluntary movements such as reaching for an object. 


The second main movement center is the “basal ganglia.” The basal ganglia consists of groups of neuron cell bodies which tell the body when to start or stop a movement. The third major part of the brain controlling movement is the “cerebellum.” The cerebellum is the balance center, and it is responsible for voluntary movements like speech, balance, coordination and smooth muscle movements, and posture.


The factors which increase the chances of causing cerebral palsy can be categorized as “nature” and “nurture.” In the “nurture” category, perinatal factors such as birth asphyxia or oxygen deprivation to the brain and medical negligence resulting in a traumatic births can result in cerebral palsy. In the “nature” category, prenatal factors such as genetic mutations, infections such as herpes, syphilis, rubella and toxoplasmosis, malformed placenta which fails to provide sufficient oxygen to the fetus, premature birth and low birthweight. 


It is important to note that these factors merely increase the chances of your child getting cerebral palsy and not guarantee it. Our Portland birth injury lawyer can review your case to determine if you have a strong case and preserve your rights and the rights of your child at no risk to yourself.


What are the Four Types of Cerebral Palsy?


Cerebral palsy can be classified into four types – dyskinetic cerebral palsy, ataxic or shaky cerebral palsy, spastic or stiff cerebral palsy, and mixed cerebral palsy. Each of types display individual symptoms such as: 


  1. Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy

Dyskinetic cerebral palsy is the second most common form of diagnosis of cerebral palsy, affecting 20% of the children who have cerebral palsy. The symptoms of dyskinetic cerebral palsy include involuntary and uncontrolled movements such as slow writhing, shaking, twisting, and otherwise curling motions—usually of the hands or feet, which can get worse during stress or excitement, and completely disappear when a person is sleeping.


  1. Ataxic or Shaky Cerebral Palsy

The symptoms of ataxic or shaky cerebral palsy include involuntary twisting and shaking, which can result in a child having difficulty in grasping or gripping objects due to the shaking, as well as performing fine motor skills such as buttoning a shirt, writing, eating and swallowing. 


  1. Spastic or Stiff Cerebral Palsy

The symptoms of spastic or stiff cerebral palsy may affect either the entire body, an hemisphere, or just the legs, making joints very stiff and painful to contract or move. It makes walking, running, sitting down, and even laying down difficult, painful, and sometimes impossible for the child. 


  1. Mixed Cerebral Palsy

When the two or more forms of cerebral palsy manifest themselves in a child, a child may have mixed cerebral palsy which can make the disease more difficult to manage. 


Dystonia in General: Under Standing Subtype of CP


The cause of dystonia cerebral palsy is widely believed to be damage to the basal ganglia either through genetics or somehow otherwise acquired from neonatal brain hemorrhage, brain birth injury, or lack of oxygen to the brain during birth. Due to the damage caused to the basal ganglia or due to it being underdeveloped, communication between brain cells due to neurotransmitters is interrupted and muscle movement is impaired.


Generally, the longer an activity causing harm continues, then the greater the chance for symptoms to intensify and to become more noticeable. For example, someone may be able to hold a pen to sign a document, but they may have handwriting difficulties writing an entire letter.


Although it cannot be cured, its symptoms can be managed better with treatments. 


Athetosis (Athetoid) Part of Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy


People with athetosis (athetoid) part of dyskinetic cerebral palsy suffer from involuntary muscle movements, along with a wide range of movement impairments. It is characterized by involuntary slow writhing of the hands and fingers, and sometimes the legs and toes as well. The muscle tone can fluctuate from being very stuff to very floppy, making it difficult to eat and drink, and cause involuntary facial expressions. There might also be a difficulty in breathing and impaired speech. 


Chorea (Choreathetoid) Part of DyskineticCerebral Palsy


Depending upon the symptoms, this disease can be known as just chorea or as choreathetoid cerebral palsy. Chorea has originated from the Greek word meaning “dance.” Some of the involuntary random muscle movements that are associated with dyskinetic cerebral palsy are referred to as choreaic because the person moves as if they were dancing. But unlike a dance choreography, these movements are random and involuntary at a varied pace, from slow to fast.


The movements could range from slow movements such as fidgeting to fast movements such as violent flailing.


This may make it difficult for a person to walk, eat, speak and maintain a solid posture because these random movements will interrupt their progress. In case athetosis is also present, the patient may also display slow writhing and twisting.


Learn How Our Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy Lawyer in Oregon Can Help You


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.


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