Hydrocephalus happens when fluid accumulates in the brain. When bleeding occurs inside of the ventricles, there can be a significant amount of swelling involved. Additionally, a variety of causes including disturbances to cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) dynamics or intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) can contribute to or cause hydrocephalus in babies. This condition of fluid and swelling in the brain can lead to cerebral palsy, seizures, epilepsy, developmental delays, physical and mental disabilities and other lifelong problems. Since the symptoms of hydrocephalus can sometimes be prolonged and nuanced, it’s critical to observe infants closely for any delayed after effects of a traumatic delivery. Listed below are some common causes of hydrocephalus.

Common Causes of Hydrocephalus

  • Certain brain infections
  • Intrauterine infections
  • Abnormal blood pressure changes
  • Oxygen deficiency
  • Traumatic birth
  • Prolonged labor

Hydrocephalus in Infants

After a birth injury, it can take days for hydrocephalus to become evident to parents. If you notice any abnormal swelling, puffiness or fluid buildup around the eyes, nose or head of the baby, you need to seek immediate medical intervention. If your baby’s head appears to be enlarged, that is a pretty clear indication of hydrocephalus. A doctor should immediately evaluate any head or facial swelling. Additionally, other symptoms of hydrocephalus include vomiting, irritability, seizures, sleepiness, bulging soft spot, and trouble looking upward. In severe cases, the swelling can get so bad that it can lead to cerebral palsy, breathing problems, speech difficulties and trouble swallowing. Hydrocephalus or any kind of swelling in the facial or head region needs to be seen and treated swiftly.

Failure to Detect Hydrocephalus

Sadly, a failure to detect signs and symptoms of hydrocephalus prenatally is a serious problem in the medical field. Doctors and healthcare professionals need to appropriately evaluate all warning signs of hydrocephalus or other potentially detectable and treatable problems in utero. Equally important is the need to detect and fix any malfunctioning or infected shunts, which can be very dangerous and lead to even more negative medical outcomes for the child. Listed below are some conditions that can occur as a result of not properly evaluating detectable problems in the womb or neglecting to detect and deal with treatable conditions.

Failing to Detect Hydrocephalus Can Lead to:

  • Permanent brain damage
  • Encephalitis
  • Developmental delays
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Vision problems
  • Speech delays
  • Neurological damage
  • Mental and physical disabilities
  • Meningitis
  • Paralysis
  • Death

Immediate Intervention

Obviously, immediate medical intervention is the most important thing in any case of hydrocephalus. Swift diagnosis and treatment can make the difference of a child being able to live a normal healthy life and potentially suffering from a life-threatening, long-term disability. In many cases, doctors will need to insert a shunt surgically. In many cases, failing to properly diagnosis and treat hydrocephalus is malpractice and can lead to permanent brain damage, physical disabilities, developmental delays, epilepsy, cerebral palsy or even death. Equally important is the fact that shunts need to be properly inserted and monitored, because there is a risk of infections or complications. The stakes are high, and any kind of negligence, malpractice or error can put a child’s life at serious risk.

Medical Malpractice and Birth Injuries

The though of medical malpractice in the delivery room is enough to give any new parents or expecting parents nightmares. We count on our medical professionals, nurses, techs, obstetrical teams and other health care workers to be working together effectively and safely at all times. Nobody’s baby should be at risk for a potentially life-threatening condition because of a preventable medical error. If a doctor fails to detect a case of hydrocephalus, the damage can only progress and in some cases, get irreversibly worse. If hydrocephalus isn’t detected and treated with immediate medical intervention, it can lead to irreversible brain damage, cerebral palsy or even death. The importance of detection and immediate intervention can’t be overstated.

Jackson Hydrocephalus Birth Injury Lawyer

If you had a traumatic or difficult delivery that resulted in hydrocephalus in your infant, you need to contact a personal injury lawyer with proven birth injury case experience as soon as possible. Many conditions related to hydrocephalus, including cerebral palsy, can involve lifelong care, medical expenses, physical therapy and other costs, so it’s important to make sure you have the resources you need to appropriately care for your child over a long period of time. If you suspect medical malpractice contributed to your child’s birth injury or hydrocephalus in Jackson, contact the skilled and experienced personal injury team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 265-7766 for a case consultation today. An in-depth investigation will need to be conducted to determine if negligence or a medical error caused your child’s birth injury.


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