Spina Bifida

Cleveland Spina Bifida Attorneys

What Is Spina Bifida?

Spina bifida is a congenital condition where the embryonic neural tube (the tissue that develops into the brain and spinal cord) does not properly close before birth. The most common type of spina bifida involves malformations near the lower back.

After birth, the area can be surgically closed, but the child will not recover function to the injured area of the spinal cord. Research shows that folic acid, taken prenatally, can reduce the incidence of spina bifida by 70%. Additionally, it can reduce the severity of spina bifida when it does occur. Regardless, in the United States, the incidence of spina bifida is 0.7 per 1,000 births.

Contact The Becker Law Firm for a free consultation with one of our spina bifida lawyers in Ohio. You may be entitled to receive financial compensation for your child’s injuries.

Detection of Spina Bifida

Spina bifida is detectable by ultrasound. Those scans frequently show what is known as the “lemon sign” (concave frontal bones) and the “banana sign” (the cerebellum appears pulled and flattened). Clubfeet may be apparent, as is ventriculomegaly (a brain condition where the ventricles become dilated).

It is also detectable by testing the mother’s blood through an AFP screening, and by amniocentesis (examination of the fluid surrounding the baby).

Disability Because of Spina Bifida

A spina bifida diagnosis is not “one size fits all.” Rather, there are many different degrees of disability, based mostly on the level of the spinal lesion. The higher the lesion, the more physical problems the child is likely to have.

Spina bifida can cause:

  • Leg weakness or paralysis
  • Bladder and bowel problems
  • Abnormal eye movement
  • Orthopedic problems, like scoliosis, clubfoot, and hip injuries
  • Attention problems
  • Impaired executive functions (problem-solving, planning, organizing)

Spina Bifida Lawsuits

There are several types of medical malpractice lawsuits that can arise when a child is born with spina bifida. Because spina bifida is frequently detectable by ultrasound, sonographers and radiologists may be liable for failing to observe signs of the condition. Even if they do detect signs of spina bifida, they may be liable for not communicating that information to the obstetrician, or the obstetrician may be liable for not communicating that information to the mother.

These types of lawsuits, known as wrongful birth lawsuits seek to recover for the extraordinary cost of caring for a child with birth injuries. In a wrongful birth lawsuit, the parents state that they would have legally terminated the pregnancy had they known about the congenital defect. Wrongful birth lawsuits are permitted in just over half of the states.

If you have a child who was born with spina bifida, and your obstetrician or sonographer failed to detect it or failed to inform you about the problem, contact our birth injury lawyers in Ohio.

We can be reached at (440) 252-4399, so please don't wait to give us a call.

$13.5 Million Birth Injury
Becker Law Firm attorneys Michael Becker and David Skall obtained a jury verdict for $13.5 million in Akron, Ohio. The case involved a now 16- year-old boy who suffered a brain injury at the time of birth (specifically a watershed injury). The doctor held liable for causing ...
  • $13.5 Million Birth Injury
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  • “Michael Becker helped us secure our daughter’s future needs. We will always be grateful for the impact he has had on our family.” - Kris Harmon, mother of Perri
  • “Mike represented us as if he was fighting for his own family member. I knew that my son was getting the best representation in Northeast Ohio.” - Knyesha Washington
  • “David handled our case professionally and really cared about my daughter and her outcome.” - Client
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