Failure to Diagnose and Treat Infantile Spasms Can Cause Developmental Delays, Brain Damage and Autism in Infants
Infantile spasms are rare. They usually occur in infants below the age of two. They can be easily missed. They can be misdiagnosed by physicians who have not familiarized themselves with the disorder. Just because the condition is rare does not mean it should not be considered by your physician . In fact , because it is a condition that can be treated with medication if diagnosed early it should always be suspected and ruled out when the symptoms are present. While any doctor treating infants should be aware of the disorder it is the pediatric neurologist who generally treats infants suffering from Infantile spasms . Infantile spasms are not generally treated with the same medications generally prescribed for epilepsy .
The condition is generally diagnosed by the history , including the description of the spasm and the EEG studies that demonstrate the brain wave activity for the doctor. As far as the spasm itself , it is always a good idea to capture it by video.
There are many causes of Infantile spasms. Sometimes the cause is never identified. However, once Infantile spasms appear it is critical that they be correctly diagnosed and treated as an emergency . Studies have shown that with prompt diagnosis and the correct treatment the Infantile spasms will more often than not go away without causing serious damage. Because the Infantile spasms cause the serious developmental delays seen in the untreated disorder , stopping them as soon as they manifest themselves will stop the brain damage . The good news is that with prompt diagnosis and treatment your infant will , in all likelihood, develop normally.
Often times the developmental delays can result in symptoms that are similar to Autism. Or to say it another way, the damage resulting from a failure to treat in a timely fashion may result in what your physician may describe as Autism Spectrum Disorder .
If your child has suffered developmental delay caused by untreated Infantile spasms your child may be entitled to monetary damages to cover future medical bills, future wage loss and for the loss of enjoyment of life caused by the delay in diagnosis and treatment .
The lawyers at Thomas, Garvey & McKenna have experience in representing children who were damaged by a delay in diagnosis and treatment of Infantile spasms. We will be happy to answer any questions you have without charge .