Seek Legal Help from Chicago's Top Microcephaly Lawyers
Microcephaly is a medical condition resulting in a baby's head being smaller than what is considered normal. As a baby's brain grows during pregnancy, the baby's head grows as well. But when the brain stops growing or fails to grow normally, the skull will then generally develop smaller as well. This condition is usually congenital, although it may also be the result of outside influences or injuries during pregnancy or even after birth. Severe microcephaly relates to a more extreme form in which the head is even smaller.
Symptoms of Microcephaly
In addition to the obvious visual indication of smaller head size, other symptoms may include:
- High-pitched crying
- A failure to thrive
- Involuntary muscle contractions known as spasticity
- Inability to feed properly/lack of appetite
- Measurement of head circumference either by ultrasound test or after birth
Problems Associated with Microcephaly
Depending on the severity of the condition, problems associated with microcephaly have a wide range. Although some children have no difficulties in any aspects of their lives, school, physical endeavors or relationships, others may experience problems, including:
- Vision difficulties
- Balance and movement problems
- Difficulty swallowing
- Decreased ability to learn and function properly
- Developmental delays (including those associated with walking, sitting, standing, or speech)
- Hearing difficulties
Treatment of Microcephaly
Just as the severity of this condition ranges from severe to mild, so do the potential treatment options. Whereas some children need virtually no treatment other than routine monitoring and check-ups, others may benefit from speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, or counseling.
Causes of Microcephaly
Although the causes of this condition are often difficult to determine, it is a relatively rare occurrence; occurring in just a few births out of every 10,000. In some cases, the abnormality is unavoidable, but in other cases, microcephaly may result from doctor error or medical negligence. Some of the possible causes include:
- Inherited genetic defect
- Hypoxic ischemic stroke (HIE)
- Hemorrhagic stroke (brain bleed)
- Poorly controlled conditions, such as gestational diabetes
- Exposure to certain viruses including German measles (rubella), cytomegalovirus, chickenpox, or Zika
- Failure to treat phenylketonuria (PKU)
- Placental insufficiency
- Toxic chemical exposure
- Related in some cases to Down syndrome, or other neurometabolic or chromosomal disorders
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Deprivation of oxygen to brain
- Brain infection
- Use of vacuum extractor or forceps
- Encephalitis or meningitis
Medical Malpractice Claims for Microcephaly
Although microcephaly is often a congenital birth defect, it can sometimes result from traumatic brain injury, infections, or oxygen deprivation (hypoxia, anoxia) after birth as well. Under any of the circumstances listed above, if a doctor’s negligence either promotes, fails to diagnose, or fails to properly treat the abnormality, a lawsuit for medical malpractice should be explored. These injuries are serious, lifelong, and expensive to manage. A med mal lawsuit can help a family afford the proper treatment, care, and surgery necessary for the child to live the most normal life possible.
The basis for a malpractice claim might be a failure to protect the mother and child from dangerous drugs, diseases, or to properly treat the mother’s medical condition during her pregnancy. It may be based upon a failure to properly diagnose the condition by ultrasound, or other testing during pregnancy. It may be based upon negligence during delivery or trauma to the child after birth. There are many possible circumstances in which doctor mistakes can lead to conditions like microcephaly.
Contact a Dedicated Illinois Microcephaly Attorney
There is no reason to try to find out your own if your doctor was at fault in any way. Chicago birth injury attorneys of Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC have been helping families affected by birth injuries since 1990. We can examine your medical records free of charge to help make that determination. We work alongside medical experts who have decades of experience in this area. Millions have been collected for our clients and there is never a fee unless we are successful on your family’s behalf. Call anytime for free information at (800) 996-4824.