Hydrocephalus Birth Injuries – Atlanta Birth Injury Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Hydrocephalus is a serious condition in which fluid builds up in the cavities of the brain. This fluid build-up creates added pressure on the brain, which can cause permanent brain tissue damage and long-term effects on a child’s brain function.
Hydrocephalus can be caused by genetic abnormalities, infection, and abnormal development of the central nervous system in utero. This type of hydrocephalus is known as congenital. However, hydrocephalus can also be caused by brain injuries during birth and is known as acquired hydrocephalus.
No parents should have to experience traumatic birth injuries to their child at the hands of a doctor. If you or a loved one has experienced a serious and debilitating injury at birth, contact the team at Pope and Howard for help building a case to seek just compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering and more.
Symptoms and Causes of Hydrocephalus in Infants
When an infant is born, there are a few different symptoms that can indicate possible hydrocephalus. These include:
- Bulging fontanelle (also known as the “soft spot” on an infant’s head)
- Cranial swelling or enlarged head size
- Poor feeding
- Eyes that fix downward or “sunsetting” eyes
- Muscle tone/strength problems
Acquired hydrocephalus isn’t always immediately recognizable, especially if the buildup of fluid occurs over the course of a few days, weeks, or even months, and can cause serious harm to the brain development of an infant leading to long-term damage and developmental delays.
Acquired hydrocephalus can happen at the hands of a medical professional or doctor. Some of the most common causes of this birth injury include:
- Improper use of forceps
- Improper use of vacuum
- Combined use of forceps and vacuum in delivery
- Failure to perform a caesarian section, especially for higher birth-weight babies
- Intraventricular hemorrhage of pre-term/premature infants
- Failure to diagnose and treat hydrocephalus quickly
Treatment and Long-Term Effects of Hydrocephalus
The severity of the hydrocephalus will often determine the treatment and long-term effects of hydrocephalus. Treatment of this birth injury should happen swiftly to help decrease the chances of long-term brain damage.
The most common treatment for hydrocephalus is to clear and drain the excess cerebral spinal fluid from the brain through a ventriculoperitoneal shunt, which can help restore normal circulation and reduce pressure on the brain. However, putting in a shunt is a very invasive procedure, can cause infection, and often requires repairs and replacements throughout the patient’s life.
Another common treatment, called Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy (ETV), involves making a tiny hole at the bottom of the third ventricle to divert cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) and relieve pressure. Doctors may also recommend choroid plexus cauterization to decrease the production of CSF.
If left untreated or diagnosed too late, hydrocephalus can be fatal. Even when treated, it can cause a myriad of injuries and issues including:
- Developmental delays
- Learning disabilities
- Memory issues
- Vision loss
- Physical and muscle coordination issues
- Seizures or epilepsy
- Short attention span
Contact Experienced Hydrocephalus Birth Injury Lawyers in Atlanta, GA
If you or a loved one has experienced infant hydrocephalus due to malpractice of a doctor or medical professional, our team is here to help advocate on your behalf. We have years of experience helping our clients get compensation for medical costs, damages, and pain and suffering. Give us a call at (404) 885-9999 today.