Signs of spina bifida in young children

4 Signs of Spina Bifida in Young Children

Are you noticing that your child seems to be missing essential development milestones? Missing development milestones can be a sign that your young child may have an illness, injury, or birth defect that is impacting them.

Spina bifida is one of the more common birth defects that can cause both physical and mental issues. We’ll explain these common signs of spina bifida in young children:

  • Issues with walking or mobility
  • Orthopedic complications
  • Bowel or bladder problems
  • Trouble breathing or swallowing

Spina bifida can often be caught and treated most effectively either before birth or immediately after birth. If your child has spina bifida, you may want to consult a malpractice lawyer to see if you have a case for medical malpractice.

1. Issues with walking or mobility

When a child has spina bifida, the nerves that control their leg muscles don’t work correctly. Depending on the severity of the spina bifida defect, this can cause your child to either not be able to walk at all (due to paralysis), or they may have trouble walking and require crutches or other assistance to be able to walk.

2. Orthopedic complications

Because children with spina bifida have weak muscles in their legs and back, they can run into issues with both their legs and their spine. A child with spina bifida may suffer from:

  • A curved spine.
  • Dislocated hips.
  • Bone and joint deformities.

3. Bowel and bladder problems

Another issue that children with spina bifida can suffer from is not being able to control their bladder and bowels adequately. This can lead to issues with incontinence and constipation.

This issue occurs because the nerves that control the bladder and bowels are located in the lowest level of the spinal cord, where the spina bifida lesion is often located.

4. Trouble breathing or swallowing

Another issue children with spina bifida have to deal with is trouble breathing or swallowing. This can particularly be an issue if it leads to sleep apnea, which can significantly impact your child’s health and quality of life.

How can spina bifida be detected before birth?

Spina bifida occurs if, during a baby’s development, the neural tube (cells that form the brain and the spinal cord) doesn’t close properly, causing the baby’s backbone not to form completely.

There are three ways spina bifida can be detected before birth:

  • Via a blood test.
  • Via an ultrasound.
  • Via amniocentesis.

If your child has spina bifida, and your doctor did not offer you any of these options to check for spina bifida, then you may have grounds for a medical malpractice case and should consult a malpractice lawyer.

How can spina bifida be treated if it’s caught early?

The best treatment for spina bifida if it’s caught early is via surgery. There are two options for performing surgery for a baby with spina bifida:

  • Before birth. Doctors can actually go into the mother’s womb and fix the opening before the child is even born.
  • After birth. This needs to be done within a few days after birth. Surgeons can perform surgery to fix the issues (e.g. membrane or spinal cord issues) and then close the opening.

Surgery is the best chance for a child with spina bifida to lead a normal life. If you were not offered these options and have a child with spina bifida, you should consult a malpractice lawyer.

How can Sommers Roth & Elmaleh help me if I need a malpractice lawyer?

At Sommers Roth & Elmaleh, we have extensive experience pursuing medical malpractice cases, including cases with spina bifida.

When you come to us to talk about hiring a malpractice lawyer, we can discuss all of the following with you:

  • What spina bifida is and what some of its long-term effects of it can be, including loss of bladder and bowel control and paralysis.
  • What some of the causes of spina bifida are, including a folic acid deficiency and the ingestion of certain types of medications.
  • What the medical professionals should have done both to detect spina bifida and to treat it. Spina bifida can be seen on ultrasounds, and if an ultrasound technician detects it, they should have promptly informed the expecting mother of this issue.
  • What kind of compensation you may be entitled to. As spina bifida has a lifelong impact on your child, it will come with a heavy financial price tag. Our malpractice lawyers can help you understand why it’s so important to pursue a medical malpractice case and what you can spend your compensation on – for example, attendant care services and modifications to your home.

Dealing with a child with a medical issue such as spina bifida can be draining – mentally, physically, and financially. Working with one of our experienced malpractice lawyers takes the pressure off you to pursue a court case by yourself and provides you with the resources you need to strengthen your case.

It’s Important to Be Able to Recognize the Signs of Spina Bifida in Your Child

Spina bifida is a common birth defect that is fortunately treatable if caught early enough. Here are some of the signs your child may have spina bifida:

  • They can’t walk or need a mobility device (such as crutches) to support them while walking.
  • They have a curved spine or dislocated hips.
  • They can’t control their bladder or bowels.
  • They have trouble breathing or swallowing.

If your child has spina bifida, then you should talk to a malpractice lawyer. At Sommers Roth & Elmaleh, our medical malpractice lawyers will explain to you your options for pursuing a medical malpractice case and what kind of compensation you may be entitled to.

Contact Us to Learn More About Hiring a Malpractice Lawyer

We’re here for you if you’re interested in learning more about how a malpractice lawyer can help you pursue a case if your child has spina bifida. To set up a free consultation with a malpractice lawyer at Sommers Roth & Elmaleh, you can call us at 416-961-1212 or contact us online.

Jeremy M. Syrtash Jeremy is a civil litigator who specializes in medical malpractice and personal injury law, Jeremy understands the needs and concerns of his clients in order to help them navigate their complex situations. Jeremy is a passionate civil litigator who has successfully appeared before the Ontario court of justice, Ontario superior court of justice and the health professions appeal and review board. Jeremy is also a member of the law society of Ontario, Ontario bar association (oba), Ontario trial lawyers association (OTLA), the Toronto lawyers association (TLA), and the advocate’s society (tas).

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