Hydrocephalus occurs if cerebrospinal fluid builds up, such that it floods a brain’s ventricle cavities. When your newborn has hydrocephalus, it is possible that it was caused by head trauma during delivery. If you suspect that your baby’s hydrocephalus is a birth injury caused by medical negligence, you should consult the Upstate New York birth injury lawyers at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano. Birth injury lawsuits can be complicated, and it is important to secure representation from an attorney who understands the complexities of pursuing damages. We assist families in the areas around Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo, and Albany.Hydrocephalus
Hydrocephalus occurs if cerebrospinal fluid is blocked from entering the bloodstream and builds up in the ventricles. Hydrocephalus can be congenital, but it can also be acquired during childbirth or soon afterward. It is divided into two categories: communicating hydrocephalus and non-communicating hydrocephalus. Usually, infant hydrocephalus is non-communicating. Acquired non-communicating hydrocephalus occurs if the cerebrospinal fluid is blocked between ventricles because of trauma or another external condition. If a health care provider uses excessive force on a baby’s head, brain tissue may be damaged and blood vessels ruptured, resulting in inflammation that blocks the cerebrospinal fluid. For example, if a doctor performs a vacuum extraction improperly and aggressively, hydrocephalus could result. Hydrocephalus can prevent normal brain development and can even result in death.Liability
To hold a health care provider liable for hydrocephalus, you will need to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the provider owed your baby a professional duty of care, the provider deviated from the professional standard of care, and the deviation caused your baby to suffer hydrocephalus. Usually, your attorney will need to consult an expert on what the professional standard of care was, how it was breached, and how the breach caused harm. The professional standard of care is determined by what a reasonably prudent health care provider in Upstate New York would do under the same or similar circumstances.
You may be able to pursue damages for hydrocephalus if your health care provider caused the trauma that resulted in hydrocephalus during delivery. You may also be able to pursue damages if your health care provider delayed in diagnosing hydrocephalus, and as a result of the delay, your child sustained brain damage.
Acquired hydrocephalus can be caused by many different negligent actions or omissions by a health care provider. It can be a result of a doctor failing to order a necessary C-section to avoid a predictably difficult birth. It can also be a result of a preventable premature birth, rubella or syphilis in the uterus, bacterial meningitis or another nervous system infection, or misuse of forceps or vacuum extractors. When there are signs of hydrocephalus, your doctor should order brain imaging, such as a CT scan, MRI, or ultrasound. It is important to diagnose hydrocephalus as soon as possible so that it can be treated. Treatment may involve inserting a shunt to reduce pressure inside the baby’s head; a tube is placed in a ventricle and run to a location where it can safely drain. Usually, these shunts need to be placed for life.Damages
Hydrocephalus can be expensive to treat with surgical intervention. Furthermore, brain surgery on a newborn is risky and may not yield success. If we can establish liability for failing to prevent, diagnose, or treat hydrocephalus, we may be able to recover compensatory damages on behalf of your baby. These damages may include compensation for both intangible and tangible losses. Intangible losses can include pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. Tangible losses may include past and future medical bills, such as the cost of surgical interventions, as well as expenses for rehabilitation and lifelong care. Your losses as a parent may also be recovered.Seek Guidance from a Birth Injury Attorney
Hydrocephalus is a serious condition. Many families are not financially equipped to take care of a baby who needs the kind of lifelong care that may be required. It may be necessary to bring a birth injury lawsuit to recover damages from a provider who is responsible for the baby’s injuries. If your baby suffered hydrocephalus as a result of medical malpractice in Upstate New York, you should contact the experienced birth injury attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano. Contact us at 833-200-2000 or via our online form.