Schizophrenia is a disabling brain disorder which impact approximately 1.1 percent of the United States population over the age of eighteen years of age. Schizophrenia usually affects adults and rarely emerges during childhood. The chief symptoms of schizophrenia include the following:
- hearing voices that are not there
- cognitive deficits
- disordered thinking
- movement disorder
- social withdrawal
- flat affect
Recently, there has been research indicating a link between birth trauma and schizophrenia. According to Hon. Senior Lecturer Dr. B. Green of the University of Liverpool, UK, birth trauma and intra-uterine viral damage may result in dormant central nervous system damage leading to schizophrenia.
Liability for Schizophrenia Trauma
In a schizophrenia birth trauma case, the actual damage is not known until the age onset of the disease, which is usually not until the age of eighteen or older. The fetal birth trauma damage would have occurred by any of the following:
- while the baby was in utero by the introduction of a virus which caused intra-viral damage
- trauma during labor and delivery of the baby
- trauma immediately following the delivery of the baby
This damage may have been due to the negligence of the physician or health care professionals. In such an instance, there may be a medical malpractice claim based upon the negligence of the professionals to deliver the appropriate standard of medical care. For example, if a physician caused birth trauma to the child’s central nervous system by improperly delivering the baby, there may be extensive central nervous system medical problems, including birth trauma seizures, epilepsy and other birth defects which result. Such conditions could be the basis for the physician’s liability. If a child later developed schizophrenia and had to take a regimen of medications such as antipsychotic drugs and seek treatment, there may be schizophrenia birth liability stemming from the birth trauma incurred at the hands of the physician.
Help from a Lawyer
If one suspects that a child’s schizophrenia may be the result of birth trauma, one may seek to consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney. An experienced attorney can evaluate one’s case and determine whether there is a valid legal claim. Moreover, an attorney can direct one in selecting the most appropriate course of action with respect to the matter.