When Is Your Baby’s Encephalomalacia Medical Malpractice?

When Is Your Baby’s Encephalomalacia Medical Malpractice?

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Encephalomalacia is a type of brain damage that can be very serious. When it occurs, there is a softening of brain tissue that is a result of inflammation or injury. In some cases, the tissue softening can begin in one part of the brain and then spread to nearby areas. The damage can change the brain in a manner that affects other parts and organs of the body. When that happens, encephalomalacia can lead to various disorders and dysfunctions. This type of brain damage can happen to people of any age, however, when it happens to infants, it often results in death.

What Are The Symptoms Of Encephalomalacia?

The symptoms of encephalomalacia depend upon which area of the brain is affected, and they can vary widely, from mild to severe. There are other factors that may also affect the severity of the condition, including the individual’s overall health and age.

There are a number of symptoms that people who suffer from encephalomalacia may experience, all of which cause some type of loss of function. The symptoms include:

  • Somnolence – This condition causes extreme drowsiness.
  • Blindness – The loss of sight may be temporary or permanent.
  • Headaches – The feeling of pressure in the head, which may be severe.
  • Vertigo – This is a condition that causes spinning dizziness.  
  • Ataxia – This condition causes difficulty with movement and lack of coordination.

There may also be different psychological effects as well, depending on the area of the brain that is affected. For example, if tissue in the frontal lobe is softened, it may cause mood swings and memory loss.

What Causes Encephalomalacia?

There are a number of things that can cause encephalomalacia including health conditions, injuries, and infections. The most common causes of encephalomalacia include:

  • Stroke – Strokes are the most common cause of encephalomalacia. They occur when there is an interruption of the blood supply to the brain, which can be a result of a lack of blood supply to the brain tissue or due to a hemorrhage of a blood vessel in the brain.
  • Scar tissue – Previous brain tissue damage (like that from a stroke) can cause the formation of scar tissue. Over time, the damaged area may form encephalomalacia within the brain.
  • Abnormal blood accumulation – There are times when there is abnormal swelling in the brain that results in an interruption of blood flow in the brain. This sometimes happens following the removal of brain tumors.
  • Traumatic brain injury – When someone suffers blunt force trauma to the head, it can lead to contusions and brain damage. Other types of brain injury, like that from a bullet or a knife, may also lead to encephalomalacia.
  • Infections – Bacteria, viruses, and fungi may cause an infection that leads to encephalomalacia.

How Is Encephalomalacia Diagnosed And Treated?

To diagnose encephalomalacia, an MRI must be done so doctors have a clear view of the brain. If the patient has encephalomalacia, the softening of the brain tissue will show. After it is diagnosed, doctors will likely order a CT scan, which will help them determine when the softening began, and how much of the tissue has been lost to the condition.

Currently, there is no cure for encephalomalacia. Once tissue in the brain is destroyed, there isn’t a way to regain what’s been lost. That means that patients who suffer from encephalomalacia do so permanently. The only treatment for the condition is early detection and the determination of what caused the problem. It may be possible for doctors to remove the damaged brain tissue with surgery, but that may not help the functioning improve in the remaining parts of the brain.

When Is Encephalomalacia Medical Malpractice?

While there are many ways that someone can develop encephalomalacia that cannot be helped, there are also times when it happens due to medical malpractice.

This is especially true in cases of encephalomalacia in babies. In certain circumstances, doctors or other medical professionals make mistakes or act negligently during childbirth. If that happens and there is an interruption of the blood flow to the baby’s brain, the baby may develop encephalomalacia, and it may be considered medical malpractice.

If you have a child that suffers with encephalomalacia, it’s important that you contact an experienced birth injury attorney to review and evaluate your case. You will likely have significant medical expenses, and they may last a lifetime.

At Ross Feller Casey, we have birth injury lawyers that are experienced in dealing with encephalomalacia cases. We have doctors on-staff to carefully investigate all your medical records to determine if negligence occurred. If your child’s case of encephalomalacia could have been prevented, our attorneys will seek to recover compensation from the medical professionals who are responsible.

All of our birth injury cases are handled on a contingency basis, so you don’t pay until we win. Contact our office today to schedule your free consultation. 

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