Typically, medical providers will perform screening tests on a newborn baby to determine if the baby suffers from any deficits. If the tests do not reveal any issues, the attending physician will often deem the baby healthy. Some injuries that an infant suffers prior to or during birth may not be initially evident, however. For example, periventricular leukomalacia is a type of brain injury that can cause significant and permanent issues that is generally not diagnosed until weeks or months after a baby is born. Periventricular leukomalacia is often caused by negligent care, and if your child was diagnosed with periventricular leukomalacia, it is wise to speak with an attorney to discuss whether you may be able to pursue claims against the doctors that cared for you prior to and during your child’s birth. At the Arfaa Law Group, our capable Baltimore birth injury lawyers will aggressively advocate on behalf of you and your child to help you seek the most favorable result possible under the facts of your case.Signs and Symptoms of Periventricular Leukomalacia
Periventricular leukomalacia is a type of injury to the white matter of the brain, which is the area that controls motor function. People diagnosed with periventricular leukomalacia typically suffer from motor delays or deficits that can range from minor to severe. Additionally, periventricular leukomalacia can cause vision problems, low heart rate, and apneas, and people with periventricular leukomalacia face an increased risk of epilepsy and cerebral palsy.
As some of the main symptoms of periventricular leukomalacia are motor development delays, there is often a significant delay in obtaining a periventricular leukomalacia diagnosis, as it is difficult to ascertain the motor skills of a newborn baby. Certain factors place infants at a greater risk for periventricular leukomalacia, such as infections during pregnancy or shortly after birth, birth prior to 33 weeks of gestation, low birth weight, and oxygen deprivation at birth. Twins face a higher risk of periventricular leukomalacia, as well.Proving Liability Following a Periventricular Leukomalacia Diagnosis
If your child was diagnosed with periventricular leukomalacia, you may be able to seek damages via a medical malpractice lawsuit. Notably, both a child and the parents of a child can pursue claims against negligent care providers following a birth injury. The damages recoverable in each claim and the time requirements for when the claims must be pursued differ, however. A seasoned birth injury attorney can help you navigate these legal nuances.
Generally, lawsuits arising out of periventricular leukomalacia will assert that the defendant provided negligent care that caused the infant's harm. In most cases, the defendant will be an obstetrician or gynecologist that treated the infant's mother prior to the infant's birth or delivered the infant. To prove liability on a theory of negligence, the plaintiff must first show that the defendant had a duty to abide by the applicable standard of care. In medical malpractice cases, the standard of care is the care that a doctor with equal training and experience, practicing in the same specialty, would have provided when presented with similar facts.
After the standard of care is established, the plaintiff must then show that the defendant breached the duty to meet the standard of care. In most cases, expert testimony is needed to explain both the standard of care and the ways in which the defendant’s actions or failure to act constituted a departure from the standard of care. The plaintiff must also show that he or she would not have suffered injuries absent the defendant’s breach, and that the plaintiff suffered actual damages. Typically expert testimony is required to quantify the plaintiff’s damages.Meet with a Birth Injury Lawyer in Baltimore
Managing the consequences of a preventable birth injury that caused your child to suffer permanent harm can be financially devastating and mentally exhausting. If your child sustained periventricular leukomalacia or any other birth injury in Baltimore, it is prudent to speak with a knowledgeable attorney regarding the damages you and your child may be owed from the practitioners that caused your child's injuries. At the Arfaa Law Group, we are proficient at aiding people harmed by incompetent medical care in pursuing the full extent of compensation they may be able to recover. You can reach us at 410-889-1850 or through our form online to schedule a confidential and free meeting.