New Jersey Hydrocephalus Lawyers
Representing Birth Injury and Pediatric Malpractice Victims across New Jersey
Your child’s brain is an extremely complex and delicate organ, which may be adversely affected by the slightest abnormality or interruption in appropriate functioning. For example, a variation in the necessary amount of cerebrospinal fluid surrounding the brain structures may cause serious complications and permanent brain damage. Hydrocephalus is a serious medical condition that occurs when excessive cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain. Also known as “water on the brain,” hydrocephalus may result from an infection, genetic disorder, or head trauma during labor or delivery. Regardless of the underlying cause of your child’s hydrocephalus, doctors must diagnose and treat this condition in a timely manner to prevent irreversible harm.
If errors during the delivery of your baby or medical negligence involving diagnosis or treatment of hydrocephalus caused your child serious injuries, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. Our attorneys have extensive experience representing victims of birth injuries and pediatric malpractice throughout the tri-state area. With offices in Newark and Manhattan, we fight for justice on behalf of victims in New Jersey and New York on a regular basis. When you enlist our firm, we dedicate all of our knowledge and resources to achieving maximum compensation for you and your family. We provide aggressive legal representation at no cost to you until we achieve a recovery. For more information and a free consultation about your child’s hydrocephalus malpractice claim, contact us today at (866)-708-8617 or send us an email.
What is Hydrocephalus?
Hydrocephalus is offered referred to as “water on the brain” because the word itself is made up of two parts: “hydro,” which means water, and “cephalus,” which means head. Although we call it water, the fluid that builds up in the brain is actually cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). CSF is a clear liquid substance that is essential to proper brain and bodily functioning. It not only acts as a protection for the brain and spinal cord, it also transports nutrients to the brain, removes waste from the brain, and ensures the appropriate amount of blood within the brain. Although necessary, excessive cerebrospinal fluid in the brain can cause severe complications and lifelong disabilities.
What Causes Hydrocephalus?
Hydrocephalus can either be acquired or congenital. Congenital hydrocephalus is present at birth. It may result from genetic abnormalities or environmental factors that affect fetal development. Acquired hydrocephalus can develop immediately after birth or during another stage of the child’s development. In some cases, acquired hydrocephalus is caused by an infection like meningitis. In other cases, a traumatic brain injury, stroke, or other head trauma can lead to hydrocephalus.
The signs and symptoms of hydrocephalus may present differently depending on the age of the child.
Symptoms in Infants
- Enlarged head
- Bulging soft spot on the top of the head called the fontanel
- Poor feeding
- Downcast eyes
- Poor muscle tone
- Lack of responsiveness to touch
Symptoms in Toddlers and Children
- Enlarged head
- Vision disturbances
- Downcast eyes
- Nausea or vomiting
- Lack of appetite (anorexia)
- Balance or coordination problems
- Urinary incontinence
- Missing developmental milestones
Complications of Hydrocephalus
When there is excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain, the ventricles become overwhelmed and begin to expand. When the ventricles widen, intracranial pressure (pressure on the brain tissue) increases. At this point in the progression of hydrocephalus, moments can determine if your child makes a full recovery or suffers a permanent disability. Some of the potential complications of hydrocephalus include:
- Cerebral palsy
- Developmental delays
- Cognitive impairments
- Seizure disorders
- Memory problems
Hydrocephalus and Medical Malpractice
Medical negligence can occur in a variety of ways as it relates to hydrocephalus. First, doctors may fail to identify hydrocephalus while your child is still in the womb. Also, medical errors during labor and delivery may result in head trauma that causes hydrocephalus. After a baby is born, failure to diagnose hydrocephalus can allow the condition to progress, ultimately causing permanent disabilities. There are a variety of techniques that can be used to confirm a hydrocephalus diagnosis, including physical examinations and imaging tests.
If your child is diagnosed with hydrocephalus, physicians must immediately take action to relieve the pressure on the brain. Often, they will perform surgery to insert a shunt system in the brain. The purpose of a shunt is to drain cerebrospinal fluid and prevent further accumulation in the brain. Failure to diagnose or treat hydrocephalus can lead to brain damage or even death.
Consult a New Jersey Hydrocephalus Attorney about your Child’s Case
If your child has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus and you suspect medical negligence during prenatal screening, labor and delivery, or pediatric treatment caused complications, contact our New Jersey medical malpractice attorneys for a free case evaluation. Having assisted countless birth injury and pediatric malpractice victims in New Jersey, we are thoroughly prepared to answer your questions and explain your legal options. Simply call (866)-708-8617 or contact us online.
- Hydrocephalus, MedlinePlus
- Hydrocephalus Fact Sheet, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke