Hydrocephalus, sometimes called “water on the brain,” is a condition that often affects infants after they are born. With hydrocephalus, cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in open areas inside the brain, causing swelling and enlarged head size. In many cases, hydrocephalus can be treated and your child will make a full recovery, but only if the condition is caught in time.
If your doctor failed to diagnose your child with hydrocephalus when the signs and symptoms should have been noticeable, your doctor may have committed medical malpractice. You can sue negligent physicians on behalf of your injured child for the effects of delayed diagnosis or failure to diagnose, potentially receiving substantial compensation for their injuries and any future harm the condition will cause them. For help with your claim, call Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today.
Injuries and Complications from Failure to Diagnose Hydrocephalus
Hydrocephalus, as mentioned, is an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain. Typically, your body pumps fluid through your brain cavity and spine to help protect the nerves and help the neurons fire properly. Sometimes this fluid accumulates in open spaces in the brain, potentially increasing pressure, stretching the infant’s skull, and causing complications.
Hydrocephalus affects less than 200,000 people each year and is normally treated and resolved. However, serious complications can result if your doctor fails to catch the symptoms and stop the condition. When properly diagnosed and treated, an implant to reduce the flow of fluid into the bran usually fixes the issue. However, further damage may occur, and more invasive treatment may be required if the condition is left unchecked.
Increased pressure on the head can result in serious brain injuries and tissue damage if hydrocephalus goes undiagnosed. The pressure can harm brain functions and development of an infant’s brain, potentially leading to mental, cognitive, and physical symptoms such as delayed development, reduced motor function, and other problems. In many cases where hydrocephalus is left completely unchecked, the condition is fatal.
Suing for Medical Malpractice in Diagnosing Hydrocephalus
Diagnosing hydrocephalus usually requires scans and tests to confirm the diagnosis, but initial signs and symptoms of hydrocephalus are somewhat obvious. Water on the brain and increased pressure in the head can be extremely painful and cause severe headaches. Infants typically cry a lot, but attentive physicians should be able to tell when the crying is caused by pain and not the typical issues a newborn faces.
Additionally, newborns with hydrocephalus usually present with an enlarged head, which should inspire a doctor to investigate further.
If your doctor fails to diagnose hydrocephalus, their care may be considered negligent. The legal definition of negligence in a medical malpractice case is a failure to use the proper care and skill to provide medical care that meets the standard of care. This standard is not set by a rulebook or list of definitions, but rather by the objective standard of what a reasonable physician would do in your case. If your doctor unreasonably ignored warning signs of hydrocephalus and failed to diagnose and treat your baby until the condition was advanced or until your child passed away, the doctor should be held accountable.
Compensation for Undiagnosed Hydrocephalus in Infants
When suing for medical malpractice, the goal is to receive financial compensation for the injuries the patient faced. In the case of a delayed diagnosis of hydrocephalus, there are a few problems you can sue for. First, you can claim damages for the pain and suffering and other effects that should have been avoided by prompt medical treatment. While surgery and recovery for hydrocephalus treatment might hurt, it helps a patient avoid the ongoing pain and discomfort as well as the potentially permanent injuries and death of untreated hydrocephalus. Second, you can sue for the additional medical care costs that arise from undiagnosed conditions. If your child’s condition goes unchecked, your baby might need more invasive brain surgery that would have been unnecessary with timely treatment.
You can also sue the negligent healthcare provider for other effects outside of the pain and medical care. Even though your child may be an infant now, undiagnosed hydrocephalus could cause permanent problems that will affect your child into the future. This may require additional surgeries, medication, rehabilitation, and occupational therapy. Moreover, it may affect your child’s future ability to work and earn a living. These future care costs and the cost of future lost wages can be claimed in addition to damages for the future pain and suffering your child’s infant hydrocephalus will cause them.
Your attorney can help you understand what your case is worth and how to claim these damages. Typically, it is simple enough to prove the cost of care your child already received by producing medical bills and financial statements. Proving future projected damages may require working with a financial expert who can help prove your damages in court. Proving pain and suffering is often complex, especially with infants, but your attorney can help prove these damages in your case.
Contact our Miami Attorney for Delayed Diagnosis and Failure to Diagnose Congenital or Acquired Hydrocephalus
If your child suffered from congenital hydrocephalus at birth or suffered acquired hydrocephalus soon after birth, your doctor may have an obligation to properly diagnose and treat their condition. Leaving this condition unchecked is often incredibly risky and can cause permanent injuries or death. To sue for your child’s pain and suffering and additional medical care, contact our Miami lawyer for failure to diagnose hydrocephalus cases. Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA can set up a free, confidential legal consultation to help with your case. Contact us today at (305) 694-2676 to schedule your free consultation.