Hydrocephalus Birth Injury | Honolulu, Hawaii

Hydrocephalus Birth Injury

Protecting Newborns: Secure a Brighter Future Despite Hydrocephalus

Imagine a condition where too much fluid builds up in a baby’s brain, leading to serious health problems. This is hydrocephalus, a birth injury that can cause many issues if not treated quickly. Hydrocephalus birth injury happens when extra fluid fills the brain’s cavities, putting pressure on the brain. 

This can lead to developmental delays, learning difficulties, and physical disabilities. Recognizing the signs early and getting the right medical care is important. Understanding this condition can help parents make informed decisions for their child’s health and future.

Quick Summary

Below is an overview of the key points of this blog article.

  • Hydrocephalus happens when too much fluid builds up in the brain’s ventricles. This swelling puts pressure on the brain and can damage brain tissue.
  • There are two types of hydrocephalus: congenital and acquired. Congenital hydrocephalus is present at birth and can come from pregnancy issues or be inherited. Acquired hydrocephalus happens after birth due to injuries, accidents, or medical mistakes.
  • Hydrocephalus in babies can be caused by several factors, either present at birth or acquired later. These include improper brain growth, bleeding in the brain, womb infections, tumors, brain infections, strokes, and injuries during or after birth.
  • The symptoms of hydrocephalus vary depending on the child’s age, with infants commonly showing signs like a large head, vomiting, and downward eye movement, while toddlers and children may experience headaches, vision problems, and delays in development.
  • Hydrocephalus is diagnosed through a visual check by doctors, who may also order imaging tests like ultrasound, MRI, or CT scans to examine the baby’s brain in detail.
  • Hydrocephalus can be caused by genetic conditions present at birth, like spina bifida, which may not be the doctor’s fault. However, if it results from a birth injury, the doctor or healthcare workers might be liable due to carelessness or failure to diagnose the problem in time.
  • Birth injury cases in Hawaii must follow the state’s time limit for filing a lawsuit, which varies based on who files the case. Generally, medical mistake cases, including birth injuries, must be filed within two years, but children filing on their own have until they turn ten.
  • To prove negligence in a birth injury claim for hydrocephalus, you must show that the medical staff failed to meet their duty of care, leading to your child’s condition, resulting in financial and emotional losses that your lawyer will aim to recover.
  • If medical malpractice caused your baby’s hydrocephalus, you might get compensation. This can cover medical bills, pain and suffering, future care, and loss of earning capacity.

What is Hydrocephalus?

Excessive buildup of fluid in the brain’s ventricles causes hydrocephalus. This swelling can damage brain tissue due to pressure. Hydrocephalus comes in two types: congenital and acquired. 

Congenital hydrocephalus happens before birth and can be from things during pregnancy or inherited from parents. It’s there when the baby is born. 

Acquired hydrocephalus isn’t passed down from parents. It happens because of things like injuries or accidents, sometimes because of mistakes by medical professionals.

What Causes Hydrocephalus?

Hydrocephalus in babies can happen for various reasons, whether it’s congenital or acquired. Some causes include:

  • Improper growth of the brain and spinal cord
  • Bleeding inside the brain’s ventricles, mostly in premature babies
  • Infection in the womb, often rubella or syphilis
  • Tumors in the brain or spinal cord
  • Brain and spinal cord infections, like bacterial meningitis or mumps
  • Brain bleeding from a stroke
  • Brain injury during birth or soon after

What Are the Symptoms of Hydrocephalus?

The signs of hydrocephalus can vary depending on how old the child is.

Symptoms in Infants

  • Large head
  • Swollen soft spot on top of the head (fontanel)
  • Throwing up
  • Trouble eating
  • Being cranky
  • Eyes looking downward
  • Seizures
  • Weak muscles
  • Not responding to touch

Symptoms in Toddlers and Children

  • Large head
  • Headache
  • Seizures
  • Vision problems
  • Eyes looking downward
  • Nausea or throwing up
  • No appetite
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Balance or coordination issues
  • Trouble controlling urination
  • Delays in reaching developmental milestones

How is Hydrocephalus Diagnosed?

Doctors can easily spot hydrocephalus through a visual check. If a newborn or baby has a bulging soft spot on their head or a larger-than-normal head size, it might prompt a doctor to consider hydrocephalus. 

After a thorough check-up, the doctors might order imaging tests to get a better look at the baby’s brain. These tests could include:

  • Ultrasound – Ultrasound, a simple and safe procedure, uses sound waves to take pictures of the brain, often identifying conditions like hydrocephalus before birth when performed during pregnancy.
  • MRI Scan – A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan makes detailed pictures of your baby’s brain using radio waves and magnets. These images show the brain in great detail, like slices in three dimensions. While the MRI doesn’t hurt, it can be loud and needs the baby to stay very still.
  • CT Scan – A computerized tomography (CT) scan is like an X-ray but gives detailed pictures of the brain in slices. It’s quick and doesn’t hurt, but the baby needs to stay still. Sometimes, the baby might need a little medicine to help them relax.

Who Can Be Held Liable in My Child’s Hydrocephalus Birth Injury?

Some kids get hydrocephalus because of conditions they’re born with, like spina bifida. In these cases, it might not be the doctor’s fault because the child was already likely to have the problem because of their genes. But sometimes, kids get hydrocephalus because of things that happen during birth, like injuries. 

If your child got hydrocephalus from a birth injury, the doctor or other healthcare workers might be to blame. For example, the doctor might have been careless and caused the injury, or they might not have noticed the problem soon enough to do something about it.

What is Hawaii’s Statute of Limitations for Birth Injury Claims?

Every birth injury case in Hawaii has to follow the state’s time limit for filing a lawsuit. It gets a bit tricky because the time limit changes depending on who’s filing the case: a parent, a legal guardian, or a lawyer for the child. In Hawaii, the law for birth injury cases is in Section 657-7.3 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes

Part (a) of this law says all medical mistake cases, including birth injuries, must be filed within two years. But part (b) delays the time limit for kids who are filing on their own without their parents. These kids have until they turn ten to file a birth injury lawsuit.

How Can I Prove Negligence in My Birth Injury Claim?

A successful hydrocephalus birth injury claim demonstrates four things:

Duty of Care

You need to prove that the person you’re suing had a responsibility to take care of you and your child. This responsibility applies to all medical professionals, like doctors, nurses, physician assistants, and lab technicians.

Breach of Duty

You also need to prove that the person you’re suing didn’t meet the standard of care expected from a reasonable professional in their position. This means their actions weren’t what most other doctors would do in the same situation. A medical expert witness can give important testimony about this standard of care.

Hydrocephalus Birth Injury

Thirdly, you need to prove that the person you’re suing caused your child to develop hydrocephalus because of their negligence. Your lawyer can use different kinds of proof for this, like medical records, statements from doctors, and testimony from expert witnesses.

Damages

Lastly, you need to show that your family had financial and emotional losses because of your child’s injury. Your lawyer will work to get you the full amount of money you deserve from the person you’re suing.

What Compensation Can I Get From My Birth Injury Claim?

If there was medical malpractice, you might get money for your baby’s hydrocephalus. The money could cover:

  • Medical bills
  • Loss of companionship and enjoyment of life
  • Pain and suffering
  • Future medical care
  • Loss of earning capacity

The most money your child can get for pain and suffering is a maximum of $375,000 because of Hawaii’s laws. But this limit doesn’t cover mental pain, like feeling sad about missing out on things, or if the child has any physical changes from the hydrocephalus birth injury.

Why Do I Need a Birth Injury Lawyer in Hawaii?

A birth injury lawyer can take care of a medical malpractice case for you. They make the lawsuit process easier by handling all the legal stuff. Here’s what they can do to help:

  • Investigate the Birth Injury. Your lawyer looks closely at your child’s birth details to find the cause of hydrocephalus.
  • Collect Evidence. Your Hawaii birth injury lawyer gathers medical records, bills, expert opinions, and other important evidence to make a strong case.
  • File the Lawsuit. They file your birth injury lawsuit correctly, in the right court, and on time.
  • Negotiate on Your Behalf. They talk with the other side to get the best birth injury settlement without going to court.
  • Represent You in Court. If a fair settlement isn’t reached, they will take your case to trial and fight for your family in front of a judge or jury.

Hope and Support for Families Facing Hydrocephalus Birth Injury

Dealing with a hydrocephalus birth injury can be overwhelming for families. The extra fluid in the brain can cause serious issues, but there is hope. SRB Hawaii Law understands the challenges you face and is here to support you every step of the way. 

Our trusted legal team knows how to handle these complex cases, ensuring your child’s needs are met and their rights are protected. At SRB Hawaii Law, we are committed to fighting for the best outcomes for your family. 

Our birth injury lawyers will guide you through the legal process, providing the support and guidance you need. Trust us to help you navigate these tough times with care and dedication. 

Contact SRB Hawaii Law today for a free consultation to get the help your family deserves. Let us be your advocate in securing a brighter future for your child. We can also assist you with Forceps Delivery Complications and Vacuum Extraction Complications.

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