Yes, in serious cases, hydrocephalus can lead to death. Hydrocephalus places pressure on the brain due to the increase of fluid build-up in the ventricles. Although the condition can happen in victims of all ages, from an article published in the Journal of Pediatric Neurosciences, it occurs in three to four children for every 1,000 births. It commonly occurs in newborns who have suffered some sort of trauma before or during birth. As their brains are at a very formative stage in their development, newborns subjected to hydrocephalus often face the most serious complications.
The severity of hydrocephalus can depend on factors like:
- How quickly the condition is diagnosed and treated
- Any underlying medical or developmental issues in the newborn
- The severity of the symptoms when they first begin
- And more
Those asking can hydrocephalus be fatal may need to think back to any root incidents that may have caused the condition to occur, as there are several reasons for fluid to begin building up in the brain. Even though hydrocephalus can occur naturally in newborns, many of the most serious cases are brought on by the negligence of medical staff during the mother’s pregnancy.
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The Causes of Hydrocephalus
Hydrocephalus can be caused by numerous conditions in newborns, including:
- Bleeding in the brain, sometimes from head trauma or premature birth
- Irregular central nervous system development, possibly affecting the flow of spinal fluids
- Infections of the mother’s uterus or infections of the child’s central nervous system, potentially causing inflammation in the newborn’s brain
- And more
Hydrocephalus occurs in many children born with spina bifida. This condition can cause fluid to build in the ventricles of the brain, causing swelling and possibly leading to brain damage if left untreated. As medical professionals should be aware of the risk factors associated with spinal bifida, including obesity, certain medications, and diabetes, they should act to prevent hydrocephalus before it progresses.
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Medical Staff Negligence
Just as medical staff can injure the head of a newborn using unsafe practices, thereby causing hydrocephalus to occur, their inaction can also cause complications. Either of these scenarios can result in them being found liable for the ensuing injuries. For example, by allowing the mother’s diabetes to go untreated or undiagnosed, the medical staff may cause spinal bifida to occur, resulting in hydrocephalus. A lack of treatment, in general, is a major cause of the more serious complications associated with hydrocephalus.
As medical staff is responsible for the general safety of their patients, including both mother and newborn, the victims of these negligent acts may be eligible to bring legal action against the responsible parties. This negligence may allow them to recover damages associated with their losses, including any financial, physical, and mental hardships they may have faced.
Hydrocephalus is generally treated through surgical means, either by using a “shunt” or performing an endoscopic third ventriculostomy. The shunt is the most frequently utilized method. It consists of a tube being placed in the infant’s brain, allowing the fluid to properly disperse to other areas of the body where it can be absorbed.
As for the endoscopic third ventriculostomy, a surgeon performs this procedure by making a hole in the ventricles, allowing the fluid to drain. As with all surgical options involving the brain of a newborn, these procedures can bring a new array of risks and complications.
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Birth Injury Lawyers Helping Victims File Hydrocephalus Lawsuits
Here at the Birth Injury Lawyers Group, our attorneys proudly stand up against countless types of medical malpractice committed against mothers and their children. No mother should be forced to ask can hydrocephalus be fatal. Whether your case was caused by direct physical harm to the child, a lack of treatment, or something in between, the responsible parties need to answer for their wrongdoings. After all you have had to endure, our attorneys want to make the legal process as painless as possible so you can feel comfortable moving on with your life.
When you place your trust in a team of doctors, and they fail you on such a grand scale, you may be entitled to damages for your pain and suffering.
Damages awarded in these medical malpractice lawsuits may cover a variety of losses, including:
- Medical expenses
- The cost of ongoing treatment
- Loss of consortium
- Mental anguish endured by the victim and their immediate family
- Permanent physical or cognitive disabilities
- Lost wages
- And more
To learn more about our legal services, the Birth Injury Lawyers Group will give you a free consultation today. Call (800) 222-9529.