Litigation in Spina Bifida Cases: What to Expect

John Fisher
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Stopping Medical Injustice

Early in a mother’s pregnancy, the baby’s neural tube forms.  This tube eventually becomes the baby’s brain and spinal cord.  If the neural tube fails to close completely, the child can face brain disorders and spinal cord disorders.  Spina bifida is one of the possible disorders and there exist four varieties of this.  Depending on the type of spina bifida from which the baby suffers, the symptoms can be non-existent, mild and non-debilitating, or the victim could suffer from complete paralysis throughout the regions of the body that fall below the site of the spinal opening. 

In between those two extremes, victims of spina bifida can experience leg weakness, impaired eye function, attention deficit, and even impaired cognitive functioning. 

Experienced Kingston medical malpractice attorneys know that much about why the spinal tube fails to completely close is unknown.  With that said, the medical profession knows that folic acid taken during prenatal treatment greatly reduces the likelihood of spina bifida.  This preventative measure is very important because the spinal cord cannot be repaired if the neural tube fails to close. 

The detection of spina bifida is relatively easy too.  Examining the embryonic fluid, testing the mother’s blood during pregnancy, and ultrasounds can detect the disorder. 

Kingston area attorneys practicing medical malpractice litigation understand the medical negligence that can occur and contribute to the child’s and mother’s injuries and damages.  For example, the tests mentioned above could have been performed wrong, or not performed at all.  Even if those tests were completed, it is possible that the expectant mother was never informed that the baby could have spina bifida.  Of course, negligent pre-natal care could possibly be tied to the occurrence of spina bifida. 

In short, if a pregnant mother and baby are the victims of a wrongful birth injury, litigation is an avenue by which compensation can be received for the injury itself, pain and suffering, and the medical costs attributable to the negligent medical care. 

The victim’s attorney will commence suit against the offending medical professionals.  Medical records will be reviewed.  Expert doctors and other types of expert witnesses will testify as to the victim’s injuries, the causes of those injuries, whether or not the spina bifida is traceable to a negligent act, and so on.  Experts will also testify as to the standard of care that the doctor owed to the patient.  Proof must be established that there was a breach of that standard and such caused the victim’s to suffer injury and damages. 

All of this sounds complex, and that is because medical malpractice litigation is complex.  With that said, victims should not fear the court process. 

But what do you think?  I would love to hear from you!  Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at jfisher@fishermalpracticelaw.com.  You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com

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