Failure to Diagnose Hydrocephalus

Medical Malpractice Lawyers Representing Injured Victims in Baltimore

When a newborn or child suffers from hydrocephalus, the results can be devastating damage to the brain that can disrupt cognitive development and function. If your child has suffered due to an injury related to a failure to diagnose hydrocephalus, and you suspect that it was because of a doctor’s negligence, a skilled Baltimore medical malpractice attorney at Arfaa Law Group may be able to help. We know that this is not an easy time for you and your family, but you can take solace in knowing we fight hard for our clients’ rights.

What is Hydrocephalus?

Hydrocephalus is essentially an overabundance of cerebrospinal fluid within the head, and it is sometimes colloquially referred to as “water on the brain.” It is either the result of a blockage to the flow of the cerebrospinal fluid or the body’s inability to absorb it. Cerebrospinal fluid is essential as it cushions the brain within the skull, acting as a shock absorber. It also transports nutrients to brain tissue and carries away waste, and makes up for any changes in the volume of blood within the brain.

While hydrocephalus can occur in patients of various ages for a variety of reasons, it can cause significant issues for newborns and infants. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 1 to 2 out of every 1,000 babies are born with hydrocephalus. Left untreated, the condition can cause severe disability and even death.

Medical Malpractice in Maryland

Many medical injuries are preventable. Hydrocephalus is often the result of head trauma suffered by a baby during the process of childbirth. In some cases, head injuries during childbirth are the result of medical malpractice by doctors and/or other medical professionals during the labor and delivery process. For instance, a doctor may use forceps or a vacuum extractor improperly, leading to head trauma. In other instances, the doctor may fail to recognize signs of fetal distress and proceed with vaginal delivery, causing head trauma. Diagnosing hydrocephalus in a timely manner is critical to treatment and recovery.

When failure to diagnose hydrocephalus is the result of a medical professional’s error, carelessness, or wrongdoing, that medical professional can be liable for medical malpractice. Medical malpractice is a legal cause of action that occurs when a medical professional deviates from the appropriate standard of care in his or her specialty, thereby causing injury to a patient. A person who alleges medical malpractice is required to prove four elements:

  1. A duty of care was owed by the doctor to the patient;
  2. The doctor violated the applicable standard of care;
  3. The patient sustained a compensable injury; and
  4. The injury was a direct cause of the doctor’s violation of the duty of care.
Damages in Medical Malpractice Cases

The cost of caring for a child with developmental delays can be extremely high. In cases of malpractice, parents should not have to bear this financial burden in addition to dealing with the stress and heartache of their child’s struggles. As such, Maryland law allows victims of malpractice to recover compensation that allows them to have a better quality of life. Common examples of damages include compensation for medical care, lost wages, pain and suffering, rehabilitation costs, and costs of future care. It is important to note that there is a cap on non-economic damages in Maryland medical malpractice cases. The cap for 2018 was set at $800,000, but it changes every year. Our lawyers can examine the facts of your case to establish an appropriate damages amount, and help you understand how we got to that number.

Baltimore Attorneys for Medical Malpractice

Failure to diagnose hydrocephalus and treat it in a timely manner can result in developmental delays and lifelong impairments. If this is happened to your child, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At Arfaa Law Group, our seasoned medical malpractice lawyers are committed to protecting your rights and holding negligent medical professionals in Baltimore and beyond accountable for the harm that they cause. We are here to answer your questions and address your concerns. Call us today at 410-889-1850 or contact us online.