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One medical condition which babies and young children can develop is microcephaly. In some cases, the condition can develop at birth, but in other cases it does not become apparent until months or years later. Microcephaly occurs when the brain stops growing normally or stops growing altogether. It can be seen because the circumference of the child's head is smaller than usual due to the lack of growth in the brain. Unfortunately, children who suffer from microcephaly usually have a lower life expectancy and their brains do not function at normal capacity.
What are the possible causes of this type of disorder? Sometimes it is a genetic abnormality that affects the baby while they are still in the womb. Examples of these types of abnormalities are Down's syndrome, neurometabolic syndromes, and chromosomal syndromes. All of these disorders affect the cerebral cortex, the part of the brain that is responsible for thinking, motor function, speaking, memory, and more. Other causes for microcephaly include the abuse of drugs or alcohol by the mother while she was pregnant. If the mother suffered from rubella, chickenpox, phenylketonuria, or cytomegalovirus during pregnancy, this could also increase the risk of a microcephaly.
Diagnosing & Treating Microcephaly
How will you know if your child is suffering from this condition? First of all, it may be apparent because the baby's head is smaller than it should be. In other cases, the baby may suffer from related side effects. These could include seizures, hyperactivity, facial distortions, problems with motor skills, speech difficulties, mental retardation, dwarfism, and other neurological issues. Sometimes these symptoms will disappear over time and the child will have normal intelligence. Their head may also continue to grow but it may still be slightly smaller than usual.
When doctors seek to treat microcephaly, they do not focus on trying to change the shape of the child's head. Rather they focus on the internal impact of this disorder. In most cases, children are treated by a neurologist and then have an entire medical team helping them with motor function, speech, and social skills. Those who also suffer from the side effects of seizures and hyper activity may be prescribed medication to help keep it under control.
A Long Island Birth Injury Lawyer Can Help
Could medical malpractice in any way impact a case of microcephaly? As this disorder can be caused by a health complication that the mother suffered from while the baby was in the womb, it is crucial that the doctor correctly diagnose and treat these disorders. If the mother's illness could have been prevented but it was not because of the doctor's error, they could be responsible for any consequences. Even if microcephaly was not caused by medical malpractice, negligence could lead to the condition worsening. Delayed diagnosis could result in further injury. Our team at the Law Offices of Joseph M. Lichtenstein, PC could investigate all of the evidence in your case and seek to get you the compensation you deserve.
What elements must be present in order for a medical malpractice case to hold up in court or during a negotiation? First of all, it has to be established that a doctor-patient relationship was there. Second, it has to be shown that had another doctor been in the same situation, they would have acted differently. Medical experts are often called upon to offer their opinion as to whether or not the doctor's actions fell below the standard of care expected. Last, the doctor's negligence must be linked to the patient's injury. If you believe that you have a case, please contact our team as soon as possible. We have over 60 years of combined experience and have recovered millions on behalf of our clients in birth injury cases. Call today!
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