Can I File a Central Pontine Myelinolysis Lawsuit?

A prolonged bout of vomiting. Consuming too much alcohol. Running for miles without proper hydration. What do these circumstances have in common? All of them are reasons why someone’s blood sodium levels might sink like a torpedoed ship. The “fix” for low sodium levels is to raise them back up with an intravenous saline solution drip. But this has to be done very slowly. Otherwise, there’s a risk of developing a rare but serious condition called central pontine myelinolysis, or CPM. 

Have you or a loved one developed CPM because a doctor negligently raised sodium levels too quickly? If so, you may be able to file a central pontine myelinolysis lawsuit. This lawsuit can help you gain not only justice for your family, but financial compensation for your suffering.

Man in hospital for CPM injury.

What is Central Pontine Myelinolysis?

Central pontine myelinolysis (CPM), a rare but serious neurological disorder, has gained attention not only for its impact on health but also because of high-profile lawsuits, including one involving a renowned Puddle of Mudd rock star Paul Phillips. This has brought CPM into the legal spotlight, highlighting the increasing number of legal actions related to the condition.

CPM is linked to medical treatment for electrolyte imbalances. Usually, the scenario goes like this: a person heads to the hospital to be treated for low sodium. The medical term for this condition is “hyponatremia”. Reasons why someone might have hyponatremia include:

  • Chronic kidney or liver disease
  • Certain cancers
  • Drinking large quantities of water during physical activity, without replenishing electrolytes
  • Prolonged or frequent vomiting 
  • Hormonal imbalances from Addison’s disease or other conditions
  • Taking certain medications that increase urine output

In central pontine myelinolysis lawsuits, the scenario often goes like this: a person with hyponatremia feels sick, has a seizure, or exhibits other signs of low sodium levels. They head to the hospital for treatment. 

At the hospital, a practitioner gives them an intravenous saline solution drip. But they administer too much, too fast. The sudden change in sodium levels can have negative effects on the brain. The brainstem has a protective covering called myelin, and adding sodium too quickly “strips away” this protective layer. This disrupts the normal communication between nerve cells. 

As you know, the brain is like a person’s “control center”. So a person with CPM will suddenly not have “control” over things like speech, movement and coordination, and swallowing. They can get confused, irritable, and even fall into a coma. And in the worst cases of CPM doctor negligence, some people have passed away. 

Man receiving medical treatment in hospital for a Central Pontine Myelinolysis injury.

How Central Pontine Myelinolysis Lawyers Can Help

Losing control over your faculties or enjoyment of life because of a condition like CPM is devastating. And losing a loved one to CPM is a nightmare. When CPM doctor negligence wreaks havoc and your life, you may not feel like Googling “central pontine myelinolysis lawyers”. Besides, you might assume this type of lawyer doesn’t exist. 

They do! Central pontine myelinolysis attorneys are lawyers who are specially equipped to deal with cases of CPM doctor negligence (They might take on other medical malpractice cases, too.) To find one, you should ask the lawyer you’re considering hiring about their knowledge of CPM. 

Central pontine myelinolysis lawsuits can be very confusing and complex. No hospital will readily admit they messed up while treating a patient for hyponatremia. Although most cases of medical malpractice settle out of court, many CPM cases end up in court. This is why an attorney who’s familiar with CPM is an absolute must for your lawsuit.

Victim discussing a Central Pontine Myelinolysis injury case with a lawyer.

Filing a Central Pontine Myelinolysis Lawsuit

If you believe you’re eligible to sue a doctor for negligence, the first thing you need to do is to call an attorney familiar with CPM cases. 

Central pontine myelinolysis lawyers dive into a host of issues while examining a case of potential CPM doctor negligence. They may include:  

  • Could the patient’s CPM have been prevented?
  • Did the medical professional breach the “standard of care” while treating the patient’s hyponatremia? In other words, did they raise sodium levels greater than 10 to 12 mEq in 24 hours? (Or do something else that could constitute negligence?) 
  • Has the statute of limitations passed? (The statute of limitations is the “time limit” you have to file your central pontine myelinolysis lawsuit. In most states, it’s 2-3 years from the time of injury). 

Right now, there’s no cure for CPM. People who have it often need lifelong therapy and treatment. Negligent doctors or hospitals are obligated to pay for this treatment if they’ve caused CPM. To find out what your legal options are, call our central pontine myelinolysis attorneys now.