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Neonatal Encephalitis

Connecticut Encephalitis Lawyers for Claims Involving Neonatal Encephalitis

A baby being delivered by two doctors.Encephalitis is a complication of pregnancy and childbirth that can have potentially serious consequences. It can result from a number of different factors; and, sadly, it is often attributable to medical negligence. If your family’s doctor made a mistake that caused your child to be born with encephalitis, the Connecticut neonatal encephalitis attorneys at Berkowitz Hanna may be able to help your family recover financial compensation.

Information about Encephalitis

What Is Encephalitis?

Encephalitis is a condition characterized by inflammation of the brain. It is related to (but different from) encephalopathy, which is characterized by permanent brain damage or a disease or disorder that leads to permanent cognitive impairment. In many cases, encephalitis can lead to encephalopathy.

What Are the Symptoms of Encephalitis?

Neonatal encephalitis can have a broad range of symptoms, and this can make diagnosing the condition particularly challenging. However, modern medicine provides doctors with the tools they need to make accurate diagnoses, and newborns who present with the following types of symptoms should be tested promptly for encephalitis:

  • Bulges on the newborn’s head
  • Fatigue or lethargy
  • Fever
  • Increased irritability
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Low appetite
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures
  • Skin rash
  • Vomiting

For older children, additional symptoms of encephalitis can include headaches, speech impairments, confusion, hallucinations, and difficulty maintaining balance while walking.

What Causes Neonatal Encephalitis?

There are several possible causes of neonatal encephalitis. As explained by Riley Children’s Health, “[t]he most frequent cause . . . is lack of oxygen to the baby at some point during pregnancy or birth.” Riley Children’s Health lists other possible causes of neonatal encephalitis and encephalopathy as:

  • Fetal infections
  • Intraventricular hemorrhage (bleeding in the brain)
  • Congenital brain malformations
  • Genetic disorders
  • Metabolic disorders

St. Louis Children’s Hospital also lists the following as possible causes of encephalitis: herpes (in which case the condition is known as neonatal herpes encephalitis), bacterial infections such as Lyme disease and tuberculosis, parasitic infections such as toxoplasmosis, and autoimmune disorders caused by risk factors or complications during pregnancy. If you need help, contact the knowledgeable Connecticut Neonatal Herpes Encephalitis Lawyers at Berkowitz Hanna today.

When Can a Child’s Encephalitis Be Attributed to Medical Negligence?

Various forms of medical negligence can lead to neonatal or childhood encephalitis. This includes mistakes during pregnancy, labor, and delivery, as well as mistakes in neonatal and pediatric care. Since lack of oxygen flow in the womb is the most common cause of neonatal encephalopathy, a significant number of cases can be attributed to OB-GYN malpractice during pregnancy. This includes forms of malpractice such as:

  • Failure to diagnose HIE and other pregnancy complications that can result in reduced oxygen supply to the fetus
  • Failure to diagnose chorioamnionitis and other maternal and fetal infections that can result in reduced blood flow
  • Failure to properly treat diagnosed maternal and fetal health risks

Mistakes during labor and delivery that can lead to encephalitis include improper birthing techniques, improper use of forceps or vacuum extractors, and other forms of negligence that result in a traumatic delivery. In neonatal and pediatric care settings, the most common factor by far is a failure to timely diagnose the child’s condition as encephalitis. In many cases, children will mistakenly be diagnosed with less-serious conditions, and the resulting delay in treatment will allow the inflammation to worsen, thereby causing additional damage to the brain. Tests that can be used to accurately diagnose encephalitis in newborns, infants, and toddlers include (but are not limited to):

  • X-rays
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Computed tomography (CT) scans
  • Blood tests
  • Urine tests
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG) tests

Seeking Financial Compensation for Encephalitis Caused by Medical Malpractice

A baby who developed complications being checked by a physician.In Connecticut, individuals and families who have been harmed by medical malpractice are entitled to recover financial compensation for all of the financial and non-financial losses they endure as a result of their health care providers’ mistakes. This includes their immediate costs (such as diagnostic and treatment costs) as well as their future expenses, pain, suffering, and all other forms of financial and non-financial harm.

When we represent families in cases involving encephalitis caused by medical malpractice, we work closely with our clients and trusted medical experts to calculate full compensation for our clients’ losses. By focusing much of our practice on medical malpractice cases – and birth injury cases in particular – we have recovered millions of dollars in financial compensation for families in Connecticut, and we have become well-known for our representation in this difficult area of the law.

Discuss Your Family’s Legal Rights with a Connecticut Neonatal Encephalitis Attorneys

To find out if your family is entitled to financial compensation for medical malpractice, schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced Connecticut encephalitis lawyers. Call 203-487-5667 to request an appointment, or tell us how you would like to be contacted and someone from our firm will be in touch shortly.