Understanding the Complexity of Fetal Lung Development

During the 42 weeks of pregnancy, our babies rapidly evolve—from a pair of zygotes—to an aquatic life in the womb—and finally, one breathing in the world. Being almost a miracle in itself, the human lung forms early in fetal lung development, appearing in the embryonic phase at the fourth or fifth weeks of gestation. Branching to the left and right, they bud as two seeds would.

Phases of Development

After the passing of the embryonic phase, it is in the 17th week of the pregnancy that our two organic buds each grow a respiratory system, respectively. Capillary vessels sprout up and down, supplying the blood that will transport oxygen into the fetus’s nascent, growing brain. By the canalicular phase, there exists a clear barrier between air and blood flowing in the womb. Carbon dioxide and other gases are now able to be evacuated from respiratory capillaries in the lungs.

Saccular and Beyond

The saccular phase, at 36 weeks of pregnancy, is when the fetus’s lungs are said to be fully developed. At this final stage of fetal lung development, the lungs have begun producing surfactant—a soapy substance meant to preserve lung tissue and prevent it from damage during exhalations. As Baltimore lawyers know all too well, it is at this critical stage that a fetus is most prone to birth injury and the danger of cerebral palsy.

Prenatal Malpractice

Without an adequate production of surfactant, a fetal lung cannot be said to be mature. Doctors specializing in prenatal care are instructed to order an amniocentesis, should they suspect the potential for a premature pregnancy. If it appears that a mother and her baby will enter labor prematurely, an injection of steroids can be administered to accelerate the development of the baby’s lungs. By neglecting to act on these warnings, a doctor may be deemed guilty of prenatal malpractice.

Premature Complications

When a mother and her baby have been deprived of antenatal steroids, she and her child can face an unsafe delivery. Immature lungs ultimately result in less oxygen flowing to a newborn’s brain (called hypoxia)—manifesting as respiratory distress syndrome, transient tachypnea, or even periventricular leukomalacia. Lacking a steady supply of oxygen during pregnancy, a baby is vulnerable to birth injury and later diagnosis of cerebral palsy.

This is What It’s Really Like Caring for a Child with Cerebral Palsy

Every year, 10,000 babies are born with cerebral palsy, making it the most common neurological disorder in the nation. Cerebral palsy is a lifelong, non-progressive disorder that affects a person’s ability to control his or her movement, as well as maintain good posture and balance. According to Cerebralpalsyguide.com, because of the added strain on the body throughout the child’s life, adults use five times the amount of energy as an average person, just to walk or move about freely. A day in the life of a person growing up with cerebral palsy will be faced with increased pain, stiff muscles, slip and falls, loss of independence, fatigue, amongst many more troublesome symptoms.

Although some children are born with the genetic abnormalities associated with cerebral palsy, in some cases, children will acquire the disorder due to a birth injury. At Gershon, Willoughby, Getz & Smith, LLC, we are the choice cerebral palsy attorneys for so many because many of our attorneys are also medical doctors. Our team is skilled at “reading between the line” and interpreting complicated medical paperwork, that only an experienced doctor would understand. If, as a parent, you suspect your child has suffered a birth injury resulting in cerebral palsy, we can get you the compensation you deserve.

As this may all be new to you, this is what it’s really like caring for a child with cerebral palsy.

First and foremost, as parents, nothing can prepare you for the lifelong journey ahead of you while you raise a child with special needs. In just six short months after birth, the child will start to show the early warning signs of cerebral palsy. This might include the head lagging backward as you pick your little one up, an extremely stiff or relaxed body, or unusual posture and a favoring to one side of the body. The child won’t reach milestones typical for his or her age like crawling, talking, or walking. Instead, your child will need extra support with all of these things.

As the child starts to grow, the condition will sometimes leave him or her with an intellectual impairment, such as the need to be placed in a special program at school. In moderate to severe cases of cerebral palsy, children will experience delayed growth and development due to the muscle and limbs that have been affected. What’s more, over time speech and language disorders can develop, which can be frustrating not only for the child, but for the parent watching the baby suffer. Cerebral palsy does not go away, but the sooner disabilities are managed through physical, occupational, and speech therapy, the better chance the child has enjoying an independent and healthy adult life. This is a lifelong journey and commitment for the whole family.

As you can see, caring for a child with cerebral palsy takes a lot of heart, patience, time, and not to mention money, for something that could have been prevented at birth. If you want justice for your child, contact our lawyers for cerebral palsy today and we’ll set up a meeting to assess your case immediately.

What You Need to Know About Skin Cancer Misdiagnosis

Here at Gershon, Willoughby, Getz & Smith LLC, we are a team of medical doctors and birth trauma attorneys in Baltimore, MD who want nothing more than to help our clients get the compensation they deserve. Not only does our firm handle cases involving birth injuries and cerebral palsy, but we also represent medical malpractice cases for people suffering from a cancer misdiagnosis, surgical errors, labor malpractice, and many more medical conditions.

One of the most commonly misdiagnosed forms of cancer is skin cancer. To help potential clients who may have suffered due to a skin cancer misdiagnosis, we have compiled a list of reasons for a skin cancer misdiagnosis. If any of the situations below sound familiar, you need to contact us today because you might be a victim of medical malpractice.

Physicians incorrectly diagnose cancer as something markedly less severe

  • Sometimes skin cancer is diagnosed as eczema, a simple infection, or another less serious skin irritation. Failure to provide a correct diagnosis gives the cancer time to spread, a higher likelihood of more aggressive treatment, or even death.

Inability to recommend further testing

  • Unfortunately, doctors misinterpret the results of diagnostic or pathology reports, thus delaying the treatment of cancer. Most doctors employ pathologists to do biopsy testing because they are less expensive than dermatopathologists. Managed care plans also limit a physician as to where they send a tissue sample for testing.

Unnecessary treatments for non-existent cancer

  • Diagnosis of skin cancer goes both ways. Patients can sometimes suffer unnecessary treatments and surgeries for skin cancer they don’t even have. Unnecessary surgeries can happen when specimens are sent for testing, and benign samples cannot be differentiated from malignant unless viewed under high magnification instruments.

It’s important for skin cancer patients to know exactly what type of cancer they have to start appropriate treatment immediately. Although the standard of care varies from case to case, if you’ve experienced a misdiagnosis due to oversight by a hospital or physician, our birth trauma attorneys can help. Gershon, Willoughby, Getz & Smith LLC offers free consultations. Please visit browse our website and fill out a contact form, and we will be in touch shortly.

Seeking to File a Lawsuit Against a Radiologist? Our Firm Can Help

Here at Gershon, Willoughby, Getz & Smith, LLC, we do more than handle cerebral palsy and birth injury cases—we’re also proficient at handling various types of medical malpractice cases. If you or someone you know is seeking to file a lawsuit against a radiologist, hospital, or another type of medical practice, our firm can help.

Radiology Errors – They Happen More Than You May Think

Today, most medical malpractice lawsuits against radiologists are the result of a radiologist’s failure to diagnose or communicate any potential issues or concerns with the patient directly, or with the patient’s physician. There’s no doubt that a radiologist’s job can be tough, and some abnormalities hard to find, but many also simply fail to diagnose issues that would have been found by other radiologists easily.

The Failure to Communicate Properly Is One of Their Biggest Issues

If you didn’t know, the majority of radiologists don’t communicate with their patients; rather, they communicate with other doctors who then inform the patient of what the radiologist found. However, too often, a radiologist simply doesn’t dictate his or her findings correctly or fast enough, and thus causes a total communication breakdown. Some radiology medical malpractice cases have simply come about because the radiologist forgot to review an image until it was too late.

For instance, if X-rays are done on a patient on Friday, the film isn’t reviewed until Monday, and the patient passed away over the weekend because the radiologist failed to discover a life-threatening condition or ailment, the patient’s loved ones may seek legal counsel. When a radiologist misinterprets, misreads, or even neglects to review an MRI, X-rays, ultrasound, sonogram, etc., in time, the patient can suffer severe injuries or loss, or even die if a certain condition isn’t found in time.

We here at Gershon, Willoughby, Getz & Smith, LLC are here to protect the rights of medical malpractice victims and their loved ones. If you believe that you have a case against a radiologist, please reach out to our firm right away. To learn more about our cerebral palsy attorneys, or the other types of medical malpractice cases we handle, please also feel free to browse our site.

Recover Compensation for the Misdiagnosis of a Heart Attack with the Help of a Medical Malpractice Attorney at Our Firm

As expert birth injury, cerebral palsy, and medical malpractice attorneys, we here at Gershon, Willoughby, Getz & Smith, LLC, would like to let you know that although heart attacks are a common medical emergency, many aren’t detected until the last minute, or even right before and/or after death occurs. Therefore, if you suspect that you or someone you know has suffered because a heart attack was misdiagnosed, it’s important for you to speak with an attorney to discover if that was truly the case, and if you or your loved one are entitled to any compensation.

A Heart Attack Misdiagnosis – Happens More Than You May Think

All throughout the year, millions of people all over the United States visit their family doctors or emergency rooms because they are experiencing shortness of breath, chest pain, and many other warning signs of heart attacks. However, because some of these symptoms can be the signs of other ailments or conditions, many healthcare providers fail to diagnose heart attacks and thus send the patient on his or her way without the proper treatment.

Why are patients sometimes not diagnosed as having a heart attack and/or with the potential of having one in the future?

As we mentioned above, some healthcare specialists view the signs as being a caused by something else. Additionally, the signs that a woman is suffering from a heart attack are sometimes different than what a man would exhibit and vice versa.

Some studies have even shown that women have been misdiagnosed because they indicated that they were suffering from fatigue, vomiting/nausea, and light-headedness that they and their physicians unfortunately believed were caused by other non-threatening illnesses. The fact of the matter is, just because a woman (or another person) is not experiencing the “typical” signs of a heart attack such as chest, shoulder, jaw, neck, or arm pain, and shortness of breath, that doesn’t mean a heart attack should be automatically ruled out.

In fact, a good healthcare provider would consider the symptoms along with your age, whether you’ve had previous heart conditions, overall medical history, lifestyle choices, the medications you take, and many other factors. When it all comes down to it, the healthcare provider should have carefully assessed your current condition and run any tests to determine whether or not you are suffering from, or are at risk of suffering from a heart attack in the future.

If you believe that you or a loved one suffered a heart attack because it was misdiagnosed, or have a loved one who died from a heart attack that could have been prevented, please reach out to our firm to schedule a complimentary consultation. To learn more about the medical malpractice and birth defect attorneys on our team, please also browse our site, or give us a call.