Enophthalmos describes a condition when the eyeball sinks back into the eye socket, the bony cavity surrounding the eye.
Enophthalmos is sometimes used in Horner’s syndrome as part of the diagnostic criteria, but this is actually a mistake. Recent research indicates that enophthalmos is not a Horner’s syndrome symptom, but rather, the other Horner’s syndrome symptoms merely create the appearance of enophthalmos.
According to a study published in PLOS Medicine, when measured, the eyeballs of Horner’s syndrome patients are in the correct position. Instead, the appearance of a sunken eyeball is caused by the drooping eyelid, or ptosis, an actual symptom of Horner’s syndrome.
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The Signs of Horner’s Syndrome
Although enophthalmos is not actually present in Horner’s syndrome, the appearance of a sunken eye can still be used as a sign to a nurse, parent, or another concerned party that the child may have this condition.
Other noticeable signs of Horner’s syndrome include:
- Miosis, a constriction of the pupil on the affected side
- Ptosis, a drooping of the upper eyelid on the affected side
- Anhidrosis, a decrease is sweating in the affected area
If you notice these symptoms or have other reasons to suspect that your infant may have Horner’s syndrome, you should discuss your concerns with a trusted pediatrician or ophthalmologist.
Horner’s syndrome could indicate that your child was a victim of medical negligence, or it could point toward a much more serious medical condition such as neuroblastoma. It is important to get to the bottom of what happened and ensure your child gets treatment right away, if necessary.
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Causes of Horner’s Syndrome
Horner’s syndrome may occur as a result of an injury to the nerve pathway that connects a certain area of the brain to the eye and surrounding area on the affected side of the face. Babies may suffer this type of injury during childbirth.
Horner’s syndrome can develop from:
- Trauma to the head, neck, or shoulder during delivery
- A stroke in the brainstem
- Injury to the carotid artery
- Trauma to the neck, upper spinal cord, chest, or back of the head before or after birth
- Neuroblastoma tumors
Many of these causes are preventable. In some cases, the injuries occur as a direct result of medical negligence. Either the doctor failed to monitor the pregnancy or the health of the baby, or they failed to act to diagnose, treat, or mitigate the effects of a condition or complication.
Holding the Doctor or Hospital Liable for Your Child’s Injury
If a doctor’s negligent actions fall below a reasonable standard of care and harm your child, that doctor may be liable for your damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit. You may be able to recover compensation for your medical bills, future costs of treatment, pain and suffering, and more in this type of legal action.
You do not need face settlement negotiations or a medical malpractice lawsuit alone. A lawyer who handles birth injury cases may be able to pursue a claim for damages on your behalf. Depending on the laws in your state, this may include:
- Identifying a medical expert witness to confirm the validity of your case
- Obtaining your child’s relevant medical records
- Working closely with the medical expert so they can review the files and give an expert opinion
- Submitting the expert’s review and other necessary paperwork
- Navigating the medical malpractice claims system in your state
- Meeting all deadlines
- Calculating a fair settlement value of your case
- Negotiating with the insurance company or legal team for a just payout
- Taking your case to trial, if necessary
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Discuss Your Case with Someone Today for Free
The Birth Injury Lawyers Group helps families nationwide fight medical malpractice cases. If you believe that your child’s Horner’s syndrome was caused by doctor negligence, call us today at (800) 222-9529 for a free consultation on your case with a member of our team.
During your initial consultation, you will discuss what led to your child’s injuries, their Horner’s syndrome diagnosis, and their ongoing medical needs and care. We can also discuss what specific deadlines pertain to your case based on your state’s statute of limitations.
The Birth Injury Lawyers Group operates on a contingency-fee-basis, meaning your family will pay nothing for our labor unless and until there is a settlement in your case.