Colorado Hydrocephalus Malpractice Attorneys
Hydrocephalus is a serious medical condition that occurs when excess fluid accumulates in the brain. It can be caused by an infection, a genetic disorder, or trauma to the head during labor or delivery, or later in life. To prevent serious and permanent brain damage, a medical professional must promptly diagnose and treat hydrocephalus. Failure to do so may be medical malpractice.
A condition that may be referred to as “water on the brain,” hydrocephalus is a buildup of cerebrospinal fluid. This leads to widening of the pathways in the brain through which cerebrospinal fluid flows. As the pathways widen, it increases pressure on the brain tissue, which can cause irreversible damage. If not quickly diagnosed and treated, hydrocephalus can lead very serious damage, including:
- Cerebral palsy
- Cognitive impairment
- Memory problems
- Developmental delays
This condition can be congenital or acquired. Congenital hydrocephalus can be present at birth and may be the result of environmental factors affecting fetal development or genetic abnormalities. Acquired hydrocephalus can develop immediately after birth, during a different stage of a child’s development, or as an adult. When the condition is acquired, it can be caused by infections such as meningitis, a stroke, head trauma, or a traumatic brain injury.
Symptoms of hydrocephalus may vary according to age. The skulls of infants have more flexibility than the skulls of adults. The most common sign of hydrocephalus in an infant is an oversized or expanding head. Infants with this condition may also experience:
- Downward-pointing eyes
Adults and children older than infants who develop hydrocephalus may display symptoms including:
- Difficulties with vision and balance
- Memory loss
- Personality changes
- Developmental delays (children)
The first way in which doctors may be guilty of malpractice is in failing to diagnose and promptly treat hydrocephalus. When an infant, child, or adult presents with symptoms indicative of hydrocephalus, the doctor must order a CT scan, ultrasound, MRI, or use pressure-monitoring techniques to definitively diagnose the condition.
When the diagnosis is hydrocephalus, emergency surgery may be needed to insert a shunt system to divert the cerebrospinal fluid from the cavity of the brain to other areas of the body where it can be reabsorbed. Failure to act quickly to diagnose and treat a patient with symptoms of hydrocephalus can result in cognitive impairment or death.
Malpractice could occur at a different stage, in which a doctor or nurse fails to properly monitor the shunt system placed in the patient’s brain and to immediately respond to any problems that occur. These shunt systems may fail for various reasons, including infection at the insertion site or movement or blockage of the catheter. Patients with malfunctioning hydrocephalus shunts may display symptoms including severe headaches, nausea and vomiting, lethargy, and loss of coordination and balance. When a medical professional fails to diagnose and provide the appropriate treatment for a malfunctioning shunt, it could be medical malpractice.
If you suspect your child or loved one has been injured through malpractice in treating hydrocephalus, it is in your best interests to speak with an experienced Denver medical malpractice lawyer. Medical malpractice claims are complex cases that require extensive knowledge of medicine, law, and litigation. Having a team of experienced medical malpractice trial lawyers by your side gives you the best chance of holding responsible parties accountable and recovering the compensation your family deserves.
Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. is the top law firm in the state of Colorado and one of the best firms in the U.S. for medical malpractice and personal injury. Our knowledge, experience, and skills are reflected in our record of verdicts and settlements for our clients. Call us at (303) 759-9945 or toll-free at (877) 433-3906. There is no charge for the initial consultation.