Preventing Birth Injuries with the Use of In-Utero Steroids

One of the most physically, emotionally, and financially stressful ordeals that a new mother and family can endure, a premature childbirth is often ripe with risk and medical complications. Once a doctor, medical clinic, or hospital suspects that a baby may be born prematurely, they must act swiftly, ensuring that they make every effort to prevent against a birth injury like cerebral palsy or sepsis.

When a baby is born before the 34th week of pregnancy has passed, they remain susceptible to syndromes like severe respiratory distress. To prevent against this effectively, it’s imperative that a physician or medical practitioner actively monitors the lung development of the fetus. Should a doctor detect any signs of underdeveloped lungs, he or she must administer a corticosteroid like Betamethasone to the mother immediately.

A crucial tool in prenatal medicine, Betamethasone directly aids in the maturation of fetal lungs. As it spurs the growth of a baby’s lungs, the drug also supports the baby’s circulatory system. In any case, regardless of the circumstance, Betamethasone should be mentioned as a precaution against potential birth injuries.

Risk of Underdeveloped Lungs

When a baby is born prematurely with underdeveloped lungs, they require the lipoprotein called surfactant to open their airways sufficiently. Babies that lack surfactant will often suffer collapsed alveoli—making it extremely difficult for them to breathe. With stiff lungs, a baby is then prone to further complications, infection, and respiratory illnesses.

Premature babies suffering from respiratory distress become more prone to hypoxia—limited in the amount of oxygen that reaches their brains. If improperly treated, extended bouts of hypoxia can result in birth injuries like hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy and cerebral palsy.

Preventing Against Birth Injuries

By far, proper monitoring of a fetus is the most effective way to prevent against birth injuries like cerebral palsy. During their years as medical practitioners, our attorneys witnessed the dangers of negligent prenatal care first-hand. Doctors who neglect their duties, ignoring the development of fetal lungs, must be held responsible.

Our firm will consult with any family that is now suffering the complications of a premature birth. A free consultation may always be scheduled with Gershon, Willoughby, & Getz by calling us at 1-877-292-6491.

The Alpha-Fetoprotein Test (AFP) and What High Levels of the Protein Could Mean for Your Baby

Pregnant mothers undergo a number of crucial screenings during their months of pregnancy. It is the responsibility of doctors, medical centers, and hospitals to order and interpret the results of these screenings appropriately, heeding the laws and guidelines of a larger medical community.

Alpha-fetoprotein, a byproduct of an unborn baby’s liver, is one such substance that doctors will routinely screen, taking blood samples from pregnant mothers. By measuring AFP levels within a mother’s blood, doctors can identify potential problems such as spina bifida and anencephaly. Chromosomal disorders, like Down syndrome and Edwards syndrome, can also be observed with an AFP screening, along with other congenital and neurological conditions.

Varying AFP in the Blood

In a majority of cases, AFP levels in a pregnant mother’s blood will be relatively low. Because it is only produced by the fetus, AFP is never observed in the blood of healthy women who are not themselves pregnant.

Utilizing a maternal serum triple or quadruple screening, doctors can gauge the levels of AFP in a pregnant mother’s blood. During most pregnancies, a doctor will choose to conduct this test at 15 to 20 weeks, checking for the levels of alpha-fetoprotein, human chorionic gonadotropin, and a subtype of estrogen (known as unconjugated estriol). With a quad screening, doctors will also check for hormone hormone inhibin A.

Based on a number of factors—including a woman’s age, familial history, diabetic condition, and any prescribed medications—a doctor must assess risks to the mother and her unborn baby, as well as the chance of any birth defects.

Interpreting High Levels of AFP

After weighing the results of an AFP screening, physicians must inform pregnant mothers of the potential dangers posed to herself and her unborn baby. Abnormally high levels of AFP may be indications of cerebral or spinal problems—commonly known as neural tube defects. Should the doctor, medical center, or hospital fail to report this during the months of pregnancy, a family has every right to seek the assistance of birth defect lawyers near the Baltimore area.

Seeking Justice for Birth Injuries

Although it may disturb us, medical malpractices do occur on a regular basis. Mothers who have suffered as a result of malpractice or negligence involving alpha-fetoproteins should not hesitate to file a claim and consult the services of experienced birth defect attorneys.

At Gershon, Willoughby, & Getz, our legal firm will employ every resource available to bring your family closure, and justice.

The Occurrence of Cerebral Palsy in U.S. Hospitals

As disturbing as it may be for us to ponder, we sometimes find ourselves subject to medical malpractices. Because human error is still as much a part of our reality as ever, cases of birth injuries and other medical misfortunes plague us to this day. According to a statistic from the United Cerebral Palsy, a non-profit devoted to the birth injury, over 764,000 U.S. children and adults suffer from this condition. Moreover, as many as 8,000 babies are born each year with a later diagnosis of cerebral palsy.

The Symptoms of the Condition

Although symptoms may not be readily apparent, cerebral palsy is as plain and recognizable to our cerebral palsy lawyers as it is to any medical doctor. The most ubiquitous form of cerebral palsy is classified as a “Spastic” disorder—identified by its characteristic contraction of muscles and reduced motor function in victims. As a direct result of these spastic muscular contractions, children with cerebral palsy may also experience difficulty swallowing, a chronic impediment in their speech, an abnormal range of sensations and visual or auditory perceptions, a respiratory problem, and scholastic disabilities.  

The Primary Causes of Cerebral Palsy

Today in the United States, our top lawyers consult with birth injury victims whose cases vary as much as their health and circumstances do. Our professional years within pediatrics, obstetrics, radiology, and neurology allow us to pinpoint the exact causes of cerebral palsy in each case we encounter.

In some cases, a head trauma during delivery can cause the onset of the condition. In others, a surgical intervention, like a caesarian section, may exert too much pressure on the baby’s head or neck. Any head trauma at this crucial stage is likely to restrict or stop oxygen and blood flow to a baby’s brain.

The Proper Response to Cerebral Palsy

If you or any of our lawyers suspect that your baby may be suffering from cerebral palsy, we will order all the medical tests required to confirm this. After a CT scan, MRI, and ultrasonography, a diagnosis of cerebral palsy will be clear to any medical expert. Once we have compiled sufficient evidence, our firm will move ahead in the legal process, fighting on you and your family’s behalf. To learn more about how we can help with your cerebral palsy claim, please browse our site.

Being Aware of the Dangers, and the Resource After a Volvulus Misdiagnosis

One of the most unfortunate and tragic of misdiagnoses that can occur during a pregnancy and delivery relates to the condition of volvulus.

Volvulus, when it occurs, involves a twisting of the intestine—thereby blocking blood flow to cells in the intestines and the rest of the fetus. Usually, we associate volvulus with a condition we call intestinal malrotation.

The Symptoms of Intestinal Malrotation

Within a year, babies born with intestinal malrotations will exhibit symptoms of this condition, as an acute and chronic disease affects their GI tracts.

  •  Bowel obstructions may be the most ubiquitous of symptoms; usually seen in an infant’s first week of life. Although volvulus may go undiagnosed at times, it is fatal enough that it cannot go ignored for long.
  • Because of intestinal malrotations, babies’ heart rates may be quickened.
  • A swollen abdomen, drawing up of the legs, and bodily pain may also be clear indicators of intestinal malrotation—aggravating into volvulus.
  • Most conspicuous and concerning of all, bloody stool, rectal bleeding, and diarrhea may also be visible.

Diagnosing Volvulus

If your infant has been affected by volvulus or intestinal malrotations, you don’t have to bear the burden and the pain alone. The lawyers at our Baltimore firm specialize in cases of volvulus and cerebral palsy, wielding their medical experience and legal knowledge. During a free and confidential consultation with you, we’ll explain some of the steps you can begin to take, with an evaluation and diagnosis being one of them.

In the care of a physician, your baby may be examined through abdominal X-rays, blood tests, or stool guaiac. A barium swallow procedure may be implemented, allowing us to obtain clear and direct evidence of any blockages in your baby’s GI tract.

Understanding Your Legal Options

Once we have enough evidence gathered, our volvulus and cerebral palsy attorneys will make a legal case against the doctor, medical center, or hospital that failed to diagnose and treat against volvulus and intestinal malrotation. During the process, we will confer with you constantly as we utilize all the tools and resources at our disposal to bring you closure and assistance during your harshest hour.

Understanding the Dangers of Hyperbilirubinemia in Newborns

The final weeks leading up to a baby’s delivery can be the most crucial during a pregnancy. It falls to an experienced, and responsible physician to ensure that mothers and babies can pass these days smoothly, and safely, without causing health problems for either. Because two of our top birth injury lawyers were trained as medical physicians, they understand everything that a doctor should be doing at this most pivotal stage and in the minutes after a successful delivery.

Unfortunately, instances of malpractice and misdiagnosis during pregnancy have increased in recent years. One occurrence in particular that alarms us, and requires our legal support is the condition known as hyperbilirubinemia.

Definition of the Condition

When a newborn is developing in the womb, complications may occur that affect how the neonate liver processes the yellow bile that is bilirubin. In fact, if too much fetal hemoglobin is rapidly produced and the baby’s liver can’t break the bilirubin down, this can case excessive bilirubin excretion into the baby’s bloodstream.

Potentials for Malpractice

At Gershon, Willoughby, & Getz, our birth injury lawyers have been serving the Baltimore area, taking up cases of malpractice resulting from excessive bilirubin in infants.

Upon observing any symptoms of hyperbilirubinemia in a newborn, doctors should quickly order that a baby’s blood be tested for high levels of bilirubin. When visible, symptoms can include a yellowing of the facial skin, a yellowing of the whites of a baby’s eyes, lethargy, and unwillingness to feed.

Responding to the Condition

Once a physician has reason to believe that an infant is suffering from jaundice, he or she should then administer phototherapy, thereby reducing bilirubin levels in the blood of the baby. In order to maximize the efficacy of such a treatment, doctors must also identify any other potential liver diseases that the baby may be suffering. A failure to respond in a swift and authoritative manner can aggravate the condition even further, resulting in damage to the infant’s brain.

Assessing Your Malpractice Case

If you believe your infant has been affected by hyperbilirubinemia, our lawyers will do all they can to study your case and bring you justice. Utilizing our medical expertise and knowledge of the law, we’ll identify the exact instances of malpractice and compensation that you, and your infant and loved ones are owed.