After the physical exhaustion of labor and delivery, a mother receives a seemingly healthy baby into her arms. She notices that the newborn infant is cover in fine hairs. Most noticeably is a dark patch of hair on the baby’s back. This patch could be of no significance whatsoever, but in some instances, it could be an indication of a much more severe medical condition. An infant that has a hairy patch on the back could have a condition called spina bifida.
If your infant has a hairy patch on the back that your doctor failed to discover or correctly diagnose, contact our Maryland medical malpractice attorney. The Maryland attorneys for infants with a hairy patch on the back at the Law Office of Randolph Rice are dedicated to helping you receive the compensation you deserve for any birth-related injuries or missed diagnoses. Call (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free case consultation.
Hairy Patch on an Infant’s Back and Spina Bifida Diagnoses
Some infants are born with fine hairs on various parts of their bodies. These hairs will generally fall off as the baby grows. However, a hairy patch on an infant’s back may indicate a more serious medical condition called spina bifida.
A hairy patch, unusual birthmarks, and dimples on the back are common signs of spina bifida. Spina bifida, or “myelodysplasia,” is a disorder where the vertebrae along the spinal column develop abnormally, failing to completely surround the spinal column. Because of this condition, a child’s spinal cord could develop outside the protection of the spinal column. Even the least severe form spina bifida will leave a gap in the spinal column, exposing your child’s nerves to the outside.
If these symptoms are undiagnosed and the condition goes untreated due to an inexcusable mistake, your doctor may be liable for any injuries or harm you and your child suffer.
Medical Malpractice Lawsuits in Maryland for an Incorrectly Diagnosed Hairy Patch on the Back
A doctor should determine if a hairy patch on an infant is symptomatic of a serious medical condition. Failure to correctly diagnose spina bifida can result in dangerous medical consequences. Spina bifida leaves your child’s spinal cord exposed and open to external threats or pressure. For example, blunt force trauma could cause severe nerve damage resulting in numbness, weakness, or permanent paralysis. Furthermore, the exposed layer of the membrane around the spinal cord makes your child susceptible to strep infections or meningitis.
If the doctor failed to diagnose and help treat and manage this condition, you may be entitled to sue them in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Types of Spina Bifida
Four different types of spina bifida or “cleft spine” conditions could affect your infant: spina bifida occulta, closed neural tube defects, meningoceles, and myelomeningoceles.
Spina Bifida Occulta
The most common form of spina bifida is called spina bifida occulta. Occulta, meaning “hidden,” consists of a layer of skin covering one or more affected vertebrae. Generally, the hairy patch on the infant’s back is an indication of this form of spina bifida. Luckily, it rarely results in any permanent disability or substantial symptoms, but failing to diagnose it could leave your child at an increased risk of injury and infection in infancy.
Closed Neural Tube Defects
The second form of spina bifida is a closed neural tube defect. This form of spina bifida is categorized by various formations of fat, bone, and meninges along the spinal cord. Generally, very few or no symptoms are associated with this form of spina bifida. However, in some rare instances, the formations can cause partial paralysis and adversely affect urination and bowel movements.
The rarest form of spina bifida is meningocele. This form generally consists of a single developmental issue that allows spinal fluid and meninges to protrude from between the vertebrae. An infant suffering from a meningocele may not show symptoms, or they may suffer more severe effects ranging from weakness in the legs to complete paralysis.
The fourth form of spina bifida is myelomeningocele. This form occurs when the spinal cord and neural elements are exposed through an opening in the spine. Myelomeningoceles are the most severe form of spina bifida. Infants with myelomeningoceles can experience weakness or numbness in their legs or complete paralysis along with severe problems with their bowel and bladder functions.
Medical Malpractice in Maryland for Infants with a Hairy Patch on their Back and Spina Bifida
Birth injuries or defects such as spina bifida can seriously affect your child. The consequences your child experiences can be much more severe if the condition is misdiagnosed or not detected.
There are several errors a doctor might commit when diagnosing or treating spina bifida. For example, a doctor might not discover the hairy patch on an infant’s back. Additionally, a doctor might not correctly diagnose a hairy patch or might fail to order testing for spina bifida. Medication mistakes are also possible. For example, prescribing the wrong medication or failing to warn an expectant mother about side effects that increase the risk of spina bifida complications might constitute medical malpractice.
Infants that develop spina bifida may also develop hydrocephalus, a condition in which the fluid in a child’s head increases. Failing to diagnose or treat this condition can result in serious medical consequences or death.
In many cases, these injuries and complications might justify a lawsuit against the at-fault doctor for medical malpractice.
Call Our Maryland Attorney for Complications Involving an Infant with a Hairy Patch on their Back
Watching your child suffer from a birth injury or congenital disability is painful. When the injury or further complications are caused by a trusted medical professional’s negligence, the emotional pain is worse. If your child suffered adverse medical consequences from a misdiagnosed hairy patch on the infant’s back, contact our attorney. Call the Maryland attorneys for hairy patches on an infant’s back at the Law Office of Randolph Rice today to schedule a free case consultation. Our number is (410) 694-7291.