Testicular torsion rarely qualifies as birth injury malpractice, because it more commonly affects children and adults. It is the twisting of the nerves, blood vessels and ducts (called the spermatic cord), which reduces or blocks blood flow to a testicle. The testicle rotates within the sac, and if its position is not corrected, irreversible damage can occur in as little as a few hours. The primary injury is the complete loss of a testicle.
Neonatal Testicular Torsion Injuries
Any male can be affected by testicular torsion. It can be caused by some structural defects, but 65% of testicular torsion cases are in males aged 12 to 18.
Testicular torsion occurring while in the womb (in utero) is rare, but it does occur. At birth, nurses and doctors must carefully examine the child for a firm, enlarged or discolored scrotum. Depending on how long the spermatic cord has been twisted, salvaging the testicle may not be possible. Doctors must carefully consider whether a surgical procedure is likely to have any success. One study points out that emergency surgery may work just over 21% of the time.
Testicular torsion injuries typically affect one testicle, though it can also damage both testicles. If blood flow is cut off for a sufficient length of time, the testicle will die and cannot be salvaged. The injuries include a 50% reduction in potential sperm production (possibly causing issues of infertility), and the obvious cosmetic injuries caused by the removal of one testicle.
If your child was born and testicular torsion was not immediately identified, leading to the loss of a testicle, contact our birth injury lawyers at (440) 252-4399 or send us a free, confidential message online. We can help determine whether your doctors acted in accordance with the standard of care to help your son.