Horner’s Syndrome Attorneys New Jersey
Handling Claims for Birth Trauma in NJ
Horner’s Syndrome is a relatively rare medical condition caused by damage to the sympathetic nerves of the face. Sympathetic nerves are a part of the body’s autonomic nervous system and these nerves help your body react automatically in response to certain stimuli. Horner’s Syndrome tends to affect both males and females in equal numbers. It may occur in any age group; however it often occurs in infants and newborns. While there are numerous potential causes of this condition, the most common cause of Horner’s Syndrome is an injury that occurs during birth, ultimately causing nerve damage. When these nerves become damaged, there is an interruption in the ability of the brain to control the nerves of the eye and face.
If you have a child diagnosed with Horner’s syndrome, identifying the underlying cause of nerve damage and whether it occurred because of medical mistakes during childbirth is essential. When doctors and healthcare providers cause serious injuries and complications due to medical negligence, victims and their families can obtain compensation. Obtaining damages for your child’s injuries can provide much needed assistance when paying for medical expenses and best meeting your child’s needs. The New Jersey birth injury attorneys on our legal team will zealously pursue justice on behalf of your child, as we are dedicated to representing children who suffer harm due to medical errors across the state. To speak with an attorney who can help explain your options free of charge, call (866)-708-8617 or fill out our online form. We can be reached anytime to assist you.
What is Horner’s Syndrome?
Horner’s syndrome is a condition affecting the eyes and facial muscles, which occurs as a result of sympathetic nerve damage. Horner’s Syndrome manifests in any number of symptoms, some of which include:
- A constricted pupil in the eye (also known as miosis)
- A drooping upper eyelid (also known as ptosis)
- The lack of facial sweating (also known as anhidrosis)
- An eyeball(s) sinking into the cavity that protects the eye (also known as enophthalmos).
Notably, Horner’s Syndrome is usually unilateral, meaning it only affects one side the face. It should be noted, however, that these symptoms can differ from case to case. Not all symptoms are always present, and sometimes Horner’s Syndrome can cause additional and less common symptoms. In cases where Horner’s Syndrome develops before a child has turned two, the child may sometimes have different colored eyes, meaning their irises may be different colors. Typically, these different colored eyes result from the iris of the affected side of the face lacking color (also known as hypopigmentation).
Potential Causes of Horner’s Syndrome
Identifying the exact cause of Horner’s Syndrome can be difficult. It can result from the development of a tumor, lesions in the brain or upper spinal cord, inflammation affecting the lymph nodes, and/or trauma affecting the neck or upper spinal cord. It can also result from inherited genetic traits, which is referred to as congenital Horner’s Syndrome.
The most common cause of Horner’s Syndrome in children is trauma to the neck or shoulders during labor and delivery. Such trauma can result from failure to address abnormal positioning of the child in the birth canal, the improper use of birth instruments like forceps, and from a number of other preventable medical errors. Horner’s Syndrome can also result from trauma or surgery involving the neck, spinal cord, or chest that may have been made necessary due to a prior birth injury.
Among birth injuries that may result in Horner’s Syndrome, the leading type is an injury to the brachial plexus. The brachial plexus is a nerve network responsible for controlling the muscles in the upper arm, shoulder, forearm, hand, and fingers. When the brachial plexus is injured, this can cause an interruption in the nerve signals in the affected region and lead to problems with sensation, muscle control, and mobility. The brachial plexus may be injured by over-stretching, pulling too hard on a baby’s shoulder, and improperly addressing shoulder dystocia, a condition that occurs when the baby’s shoulder becomes wedged behind the mother’s pelvis. Many of these medical errors can have catastrophic consequences, including Horner’s Syndrome and Erb’s Palsy.
Horner’s Syndrome Treatment
An ophthalmologist may be able to confirm whether your child is suffering from Horner’s Syndrome by performing special eye tests. Further neurological testing may also be required. These tests may include ultrasounds, MRIs, x-rays, CT scans, blood tests, angiograms, and eye drop tests. Although you may be able to treat the underlying causes of Horner’s Syndrome, there is no know effective treatment for the syndrome itself.
Filing a Claim for Horner’s Syndrome Caused by Medical Negligence
If you consult with a medical professional who diagnoses your child with Horner’s Syndrome, and you suspect that medical negligence resulting in birth injury may have caused the condition, you should consult an attorney with experience in litigating birth injury lawsuits. Knowing if you may have grounds for a claim is vital when coping with the overwhelming medical costs often associated with birth trauma. With a successful claim, you can obtain damages to pay for treatments and therapies that mitigate your child’s symptoms. Contact (866)-708-8617 to speak with an experienced New Jersey Horner’s Syndrome Attorney today.