Birth can be a rigorous event, and, in some instances, doctors will use forceps or vacuums to assist with delivery. If physicians use excessive force during delivery, it can cause trauma, however, and in some instances lasting brain injuries, like encephalomalacia. Children who sustain encephalomalacia may suffer from permanent deficits, and many of them require lifelong care, and if the carelessness of a medical professional caused their harm, they may be able to recover compensation in a birth injury lawsuit. If your child sustained encephalomalacia, it is in your best interest to contact an attorney as soon as possible. The experienced Baltimore birth injury lawyers of Arfaa Law Group are dedicated to helping children and families harmed by preventable medical mistakes seek justice for their damages, and if we represent you, we will advocate zealously on your behalf.Causes and Effects of Encephalomalacia
Encephalomalacia, or softening of the brain tissue, is a type of brain damage triggered by an interruption of the blood flow to the brain. Encephalomalacia is often caused by trauma but can also be brought about by a stroke or inflammation in the brain. For example, if a physician uses aggressive measures to deliver an infant, they may cause brain trauma that leads to encephalomalacia. In some instances, a delay in performing a C-section can cause reduced blood flow to the brain, which ultimately causes encephalomalacia.
In some cases, encephalomalacia will begin in one part of the brain and spread to an adjacent area; once encephalomalacia occurs, it cannot be reversed, and treatment is focused on mitigating the symptoms rather than repairing the underlying harm. Encephalomalacia can cause mood disorders, memory loss, vertigo, and dizziness. It can also lead to impaired vision, diminished coordination, and severe headaches. Sadly, when it occurs in infants, it is often fatal.Seeking Compensation for Encephalomalacia
When a baby develops encephalomalacia due to mistakes made by doctors during or after delivery, the child’s parents will often pursue damages in a birth injury lawsuit. As the errors that caused harm at birth are generally inadvertent rather than intentional, most plaintiffs in birth injury cases will assert negligence claims against the defendants. Under Maryland law, to prove negligence in the setting of medical care, a plaintiff must first show that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty. The duty owed, generally, is to provide care that comports with the applicable standard, which is defined as the treatment that a reasonable professional would offer when presented with a similar scenario as the one in which the harm occurred. Next, the plaintiff needs to prove that the defendant breached the duty owed in some manner.
As most judges and jurors do not have an independent understanding of the standard of care that applies to medical professionals, the plaintiff will most likely need to hire an expert to offer testimony regarding the standard and the manner in which the defendant breached the standard. Finally, the plaintiff needs to link the defendant’s departure from the standard of care to the harm ultimately suffered. In other words, they must show that the defendant’s actions or omissions directly caused the plaintiff to sustain measurable losses. This typically requires expert testimony as well, as defendants often will argue that any alleged injuries were caused by factors other than their negligence.Speak to a Trusted Baltimore Attorney About Your Potential Claims
Encephalomalacia can cause devastating symptoms, and when it is caused by inadequate medical care before and during an infant’s delivery, it may be grounds for pursuing a birth injury lawsuit. If your child sustained encephalomalacia because of the negligence of a physician, you should speak to an attorney regarding your potential claims. The trusted Baltimore lawyers of Arfaa Law Group have ample experience navigating the complexities of birth injury cases, and if we represent you, we can gather the evidence needed to provide you with a strong chance of obtaining a favorable outcome under the circumstances. We regularly represent children and their families in birth injury lawsuits in Baltimore, where our office is located. You can contact us via our online form or by calling us at (410) 889-1850 to set up a confidential consultation.