What Is Spina Bifida?
Spina bifida is the most common neural tube defect in the United States, affecting 1,500 to 2,000 babies out of the four million born in the United States every year, according to the National Institutes of Health. Babies born with spina bifida can have symptoms ranging from mild to severe. At its most severe, the spinal cord is exposed through the opening in the spine and the result is paralysis. Other symptoms of the more severe type of spina bifida include problems with feeding, swallowing, and breathing; excess fluid on the brain (resulting in damaging pressure on the brain); and a risk of developmental delays. There are several screening tests for spina bifida, including the alpha-fetoprotein screening test (a blood test) and amniocentesis.
Spina Bifida and Wrongful Birth Cases
If you were not informed of your child’s spina bifida before his or her birth, you may have a wrongful birth case. An error may have occurred in one of several steps in the process:
– Your doctor failed to read or interpret test results properly (e.g., AFP, ultrasound, amniocentesis) or did not advise you of your risks for giving birth to a baby with this condition.
– The medical lab failed to perform the appropriate tests or failed to report the results.
In both of these instances you were deprived of the choice to terminate the pregnancy or were unprepared to care for your disabled child. This may be grounds for a wrongful birth case. Contact O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble for Help. At O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble, our attorneys have extensive experience dealing with wrongful birth cases. We can help you determine if you have a wrongful birth case.
In one wrongful birth case we handled, a mother took the precaution of going to a specialist to determine if her fetus had a rare genetic disorder. The medical testing company failed to do the test and the doctor failed to notice the omission. The baby was born with myotubular myopathy, a disease that requires round-the-clock care. The jury awarded $28 million to the family, which enabled them to properly care for their sick child.
At O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble we know that no parent wants to make the heartbreaking decision about whether to terminate a pregnancy or bring a severely disabled child into the world. Parents do have the right to know the facts, and doctors and medical laboratory professionals have a responsibility to perform proper tests and inform the parents of the results.
If your baby was born with spina bifida contact O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble. The initial consultation is free, confidential, and you are under no obligation. Contact us online or call at 1-908-928-9200 or 1-800-586-5817