Spina bifida is a birth defect that can be recognized early and should be addressed promptly; however, due to negligence, spina bifida still often goes undetected, and its presence is not always communicated. This simple negligence can lead to years of suffering, care, and medical expenses. That’s why we’re here.
Respected Medical Malpractice Lawyers Representing Patients Affected by Spina Bifida
Spina bifida is part of a group of neural tube birth defects where the nerves of the spinal cord protrude from the back. Types of spina bifida include myelomeningocele and Arnold-Chiari malformation.
Spina bifida can cause permanent loss of bladder or bowel control, paralysis, pain, and cognitive and attention difficulties. It also greatly increases the odds of infant mortality by exposing the nervous system to dangerous infections, such as meningitis.
Spina bifida is simple to recognize early on ultrasound and address promptly, in order to decrease its many life-long medical and other effects. If you believe your hospital, hospital staff, and/or doctors did not take the proper precautions and your child is suffering from spina bifida as a result of their error or negligence, you may have legal options available to you.
At Sommers Roth & Elmaleh in Toronto, our team of medical malpractice lawyers has been helping families affected by medical errors for more than 40 years. Our lawyers are technically proficient and highly knowledgeable about Canada’s medical system. We are highly-regarded and respected as leaders in the field, and have an excellent record of obtaining substantial financial compensation for our clients.
Causes of Spina Bifida
The neural tube is the structure that eventually develops into the baby’s brain, spinal cord, and surrounding tissues. Spina bifida occurs when the neural tube does not fully develop. It is affected by both genetic and environmental factors.
Genetically, spina bifida occurs more often in families with genetic birth defects, particularly trisomy 1B. Genetic screening can help determine risks.
Environmentally, spina bifida can result from various conditions during pregnancy, including:
- Ingestion of certain medications;
- Diabetes, including Type 1, Type 2 and gestational diabetes;
- Obesity; and
- Folic acid deficiency.
What Should the Doctor and Hospital Have Done?
Unfortunately, there is no known cure for spina bifida. Once a nerve is damaged, it cannot be regenerated. Thankfully, medical science has made life much more manageable for children affected by spina bifida.
The most important aspect of treating spina bifida is detecting it before birth. Early detection allows doctors to take action immediately to prevent infection and/or further damage to the spine. Some clinics will even perform corrective surgery in-utero that prevents most, and sometimes all, problems and challenges associated with spina bifida.
Early detection is straightforward: spina bifida presents itself on ultrasounds, so a properly trained ultrasound technician, radiologist or obstetrician should identify it and notify the mother’s doctor. Unfortunately, this does not always occur and spina bifida can either go undetected or its presence may not be communicated until birth. This negligence can lead to years of suffering, and expensive medical care.
Compensation for Spina Bifida
If you believe your child’s spina bifida was overlooked before, during, or after birth, you may have grounds for a lawsuit that could allow you to receive compensation to provide financial security for yourself and your family.
In addition to damages that may be awarded to victims and families in recognition of the injuries suffered, families may also be eligible to receive other compensation. This includes funds for expenditures such as modifications to an existing home (e.g.: the addition of a residential elevator, modification of bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchen, widening of doorways to facilitate wheelchair access, and similar), purchase of a new home that is closer to hospital and other medical services, as well as attendant care services such as private nurses or personal support workers that are in addition to those covered by provincial government funding. These are often multi-million dollar expenses.
For over 40 years, our lawyers have won significant awards for our clients that pay for their child’s care, therapies, equipment, medical supplies, modified housing and transportation, and other expenses
Respected Leaders in Medical Malpractice Helping Clients Obtain Compensation for Medical Negligence and Medical Errors
If you believe that your child’s spina bifida was undetected, detected but not properly treated, or that you were not made aware of the risk of taking certain medications while pregnant, contact the compassionate and dedicated medical malpractice lawyers at Sommers Roth & Elmaleh to discuss the legal options available to you and your family. Call us at 1-416-961-1212 or contact us online for a free consultation.