Knowledgeable Connecticut Hydrocephalus Lawyers for Malpractice Claims
As an expecting mother or father, you will learn more than you ever thought you would about the potential risks and complications of childbirth. While parents are often told that they need to be prepared for the possibility of something going wrong during pregnancy or delivery – because complications can, and do, arise with relative regularity – what parents are not often told is that many birth injuries are the result of malpractice.
One birth injury that is frequently the result of malpractice is hydrocephalus. As explained by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), hydrocephalus is characterized by, “an abnormal buildup of fluid in the ventricles (cavities) deep within the brain. This excess fluid causes the ventricles to widen, putting pressure on the brain’s tissues.” Among birth injuries, hydrocephalus is relatively common, with one to two out of every 1,000 babies being born with the condition.
What Do Parents Need to Know about Hydrocephalus?
1. The Symptoms and Long-Term Effects of Hydrocephalus Can Vary.
Hydrocephalus is not strictly a birth injury. While many newborns suffer from hydrocephalus, older children and adults of all ages can develop the disorder as well. Symptoms vary among age groups. As a result, it is important for new parents to be aware of the symptoms that can be indicative of hydrocephalus in newborns. These symptoms include:
- A bulging soft spot on the top of the newborn’s head
- Excessive tiredness
- Feeding problems and vomiting
- Limited eye movement (specifically eyes fixed in a downward position)
- Unusually large head or rapid increase in head size
According to NINDS, “If left untreated, hydrocephalus can be fatal. Early diagnosis and successful treatment improve the chance for a good recovery.” If treatment is effective, this can eliminate the excess cerebrospinal fluid in the brain, and a newborn may not experience any long-term complications. However, delayed or ineffective treatment can result in neurological damage, and this can potentially result in various types of long-term complications.
2. Prompt Diagnosis Is Crucial to Mitigating the Effects of Hydrocephalus.
Given the importance of effective treatment, prompt diagnosis is crucial to mitigating the effects of hydrocephalus. Diagnostic tests used to identify hydrocephalus in newborns include neurological examination, ultrasounds, MRI and CT scans, lumbar puncture (spinal tap), fundoscopic examination, and intracranial pressure monitoring (ICP). If a newborn presents with symptoms of hydrocephalus, appropriate diagnostic testing should be performed immediately in order to determine what treatment is necessary.
3. Hydrocephalus Requires Invasive Treatment.
In addition to the risk of long-term neurological complications, one of the most frightening aspects of infant hydrocephalus for parents is the form of treatment that is required. Currently, there are two primary forms of treatment for hydrocephalus:
- Insertion of a tube (or “shunt”) into the brain in order to drain the excess cerebrospinal fluid; or,
- An incision in the third ventricle in the brain in order to improve the flow of cerebrospinal fluid out of the brain.
Both of these forms of treatment present risks as well, and mistakes during these procedures can cause additional damage and potentially lead to further complications if not performed correctly.
4. Hydrocephalus Can Develop Due to Medical Errors during Pregnancy, Labor, and Delivery.
There are two forms of hydrocephalus: congenital hydrocephalus and acquired hydrocephalus. Both forms have the potential to result from medical mistakes. Errors such as failure to adequately monitor the fetus, failure to accurately diagnose maternal and fetal health conditions, and the application of excessive pressure to the baby’s head during childbirth can lead to congenital defects and physical trauma. These types of errors can – and generally should – be voided in most cases.
5. If Your Child Has Been Diagnosed with Hydrocephalus, Your Family May Be Entitled to Compensation.
If your child has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, your family may have a claim for malpractice. Unfortunately, birth injuries resulting from medical mistakes are far more common than they should be, and many families are forced to seek financial compensation for their doctors’ mistakes. At Berkowitz Hanna, our Connecticut hydrocephalus attorneys have decades of experience helping families recover financial compensation for malpractice. We can help you determine if your child’s condition is the result of malpractice; and, if it is, we can help you recover the financial compensation you and your family will need for the recovery process.
What Should Parents Do Following a Hydrocephalus Diagnosis?
If your child has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, or if you believe that your doctor may have failed to diagnose hydrocephalus, your next step should be to consult with an attorney. Not only will it be important for you to obtain legal advice, but it will also be important for you to see a specialist who can help prove your family’s right to financial compensation. We can arrange for you to speak with one of our Connecticut hydrocephalus attorneys at your convenience, and we can also refer you to an appropriate specialist. We have good relationships with specialists throughout Connecticut, and we can help you schedule an appointment as soon as possible.
You don’t need to do anything to prepare for your initial consultation. Our attorneys can explain everything you need to know and ask you questions in order to assess your legal rights. However, gathering your relevant medical records and preparing a list of any questions you would like to ask can help ensure that you get as much out of your initial consultation as possible. In any case, the most important thing is that you get started—and you can do so by phone or online.
Speak with a Connecticut Hydrocephalus Attorneys at Berkowitz Hanna
For more information about pursuing a malpractice claim for your child’s hydrocephalus, please contact us to arrange a free initial consultation with one of our Connecticut hydrocephalus lawyers. To schedule an appointment as soon as possible, call or submit your case online today.