Hydrocephaly is characterized by an abnormal buildup of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) on the brain. This extra fluid often leads to increased pressure on the brain, which can cause damage. Hydrocephalus can be congenital (present at birth) or develop later. Congenital hydrocephalus causes an enlargement of the head and is the result of an imbalance between the rate at which the baby’s body produces and absorbs CSF.

Hydrocephaly Causes

Painkillers: The use of opioid painkillers during pregnancy has been shown to double the likelihood of the baby developing hydrocephaly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a study that linked the development of hydrocephaly to opioid painkillers including:

  • Hydrocodone
  • Codeine
  • Oxycodone


Treatment of hydrocephalus is surgical, requiring various types of cerebral shunts to be created. A ventricular catheter (tube) may be placed into the cerebral ventricles (cavities in the brain) to drain excess fluid into other body cavities, where it can be absorbed. Shunt systems may alternately be placed in the spine. Other surgical options may be available for certain individuals.

Your Baby’s Rights

If your baby was born with hydrocephaly that may have been caused by exposure to opioid painkillers before birth, your family deserves financial compensation. Although no amount of money will change what happened to your baby, compensation will help offset the current and future medical costs, as well as provide for the pain and suffering you and your baby have experienced. Filing a claim will also teach the manufacturers of unsafe medications that it is unacceptable to not warn parents of the risks associated with these drugs, including serious birth defects. Your suit may even prevent other families from suffering as yours has, by forcing the pharmaceutical company to change their drug’s label to warn parents of the potential risks.

Contact Us

You may be eligible for compensation to ease the financial burdens associated with your baby’s injury. Contact us today to set up a free consultation, during which we will listen to your story, answer any questions you may have and discuss your legal rights and options. If you choose us to represent you, we will work with you on a contingency fee basis; this means you pay nothing until we have secured compensation for you, either through a jury verdict or settlement.


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