Connecticut Neonatal Encephalitis Lawyer

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, a Connecticut neonatal encephalitis lawyer at Berkowitz Hanna may be able to help your family recover financial compensation. Contact a birth injury attorney to learn more.

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.

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.

Causes of Neonatal Encephalitis

There are several possible causes of neonatal encephalitis, the most common being lack of oxygen to the baby during pregnancy or birth. Other possible causes of neonatal encephalitis and encephalopathy include:

  • Fetal infections
  • Intraventricular hemorrhage (bleeding in the brain)
  • Congenital brain malformations
  • Genetic disorders
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Herpes
  • Bacterial infections such as Lyme disease and tuberculosis
  • Parasitic infections such as toxoplasmosis

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

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.

How To Find Out if You Have a Claim for Medical Malpractice

Would you like to know if you have a medical malpractice claim related to your child’s neonatal encephalitis diagnosis? If so, we encourage you to:

1. Collect Your Records

While our attorneys and staff can request your records from your doctor, it will be helpful for you to collect any records you currently have in your possession. This includes records from your pregnancy, your child’s birth, and your child’s neonatal care. In addition, scans, test results, prescriptions, bills, and anything else you may have can all help conduct a preliminary assessment of your family’s legal rights.

2. Take Notes

It can also be helpful to take notes. We recommend writing down everything you can remember that caused you to question the quality of your (or your child’s) care. We also encourage you to write down any questions you would like to ask our Connecticut neonatal encephalitis attorneys.

3. Schedule a Free Consultation

Finally, contact us to schedule a free consultation. We can arrange for you to meet with one of our attorneys in person or virtually at your convenience. After your free initial consultation, you will be able to make an informed decision about whether to move forward with pursuing a claim for medical malpractice.

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

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 neonatal encephalitis lawyers. A skilled member of our legal team could walk you through your options and help you pursue the compensation you deserve.