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.

The Prenatal Risks of Diabetes

If you’ve ever experienced diabetes, you know how much it alters your lifestyle and affects your health. Over 12 million women in the US are affected by diabetes, forcing a change of diets, and activities. If diabetes is not diagnosed, monitored, and controlled, it can cause a range of repercussions—blindness, kidney failure, and coma, being only some. If pregnant, women, and their preborn children, are all the more susceptible to the dangers of diabetes.

The Spectrum of Diabetes

As former physicians, some of us are acquainted with diabetes as a medical condition. You see three types of diabetes among patients; two of which you undoubtedly already know.

  • Type I is diagnosed as an autoimmune disease, appearing early in childhood or adolescence. Patients typically report symptoms like frequent urination, extreme thirst, and fluctuations in weight.
  • Type II is the more ubiquitous of the two, treated as a metabolic disorder that rises and waxes with diet and exercise. Some patients take medications to regulate their blood sugar levels.
  • Gestational is of great concern to us, being attorneys specialized in cerebral palsy. Though its occurrence is rare, gestational diabetes stems from hormonal changes in the placenta. When insulin production is hindered, oxygen does not flow effectively between a mother and her child.

Healthy Pregnancy Is Paramount

If diagnosed with diabetes during pregnancy, it is essential to your health, and the health of your baby, that you consult a physician throughout. Pregnant mothers with type 1 or type 2 diabetes must guard against spikes in their fetus’s blood sugars. Gestational diabetes occur between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy, endangering the fetus’s organs.

Because type 2 diabetes often goes undiagnosed, and untreated, pregnant mothers should always see a physician during these delicate months. A doctor will order blood tests and be able to detect the symptoms of diabetes. Mothers with type 1 diabetes may require a more nuanced approach, utilizing the expertise of an obstetrician and registered dietitian.

Potential Consequence of Diabetes

In their defense of victims of medical negligence, our birth injury attorneys have handled the cases of diabetics, be it in Baltimore or any surrounding area. It is a doctor’s responsibility to be as vigilant as possible, when consulting a pregnant woman with diabetes. A delay in blood work can result in consequences as unfortunate as a diabetic coma—and conditions like cerebral palsy for newborns.

The Life of the Placenta: Prenatal to Post-Delivery

As your baby grows inside of the womb, he or she is growing alongside an organ that we call the placenta. During pregnancy, this organ supplies oxygen and nutrients to your baby. In addition to blood and nutrients, the placenta also produces hormones like hCG, estrogen, and progesterone. Connected by the umbilical cord, a placenta and fetus exist in symbiosis until a baby’s delivery.

The Life Line

Threaded with three blood vessels, two arteries, and a larger vein, the umbilical cord is the feed by which blood flows between the mother and fetus. Some umbilical cords can grow to be as long as 60 centimeters, allowing babies the freedom to swim and move within the amniotic fluid. On some occasions the umbilical cord will wrap around the fetus, posing the risk of birth injury and cerebral palsy.

Origin of the Organ

In the third week of pregnancy, after an egg has been released and fertilized, the follicle it emerged from breaks down. Once collapsed, the former corpus luteum of the ovary begins to produce the hormone progesterone. By the fourth week of pregnancy, this mass of cells clusters into a proto-embryo and implants itself into the uterine wall. Some of these fertile stem cells split from the mass and burrow even deeper. While their brother and sister cells go on to form the embryo’s fingers, toes, and brain, these cells shape into a disc. Placentas are fully grown by the twelfth week of pregnancy—weighing as much as a full pound on the day of delivery.

Placental Complications

Like all aspects of fetal development, placental growth must be monitored by a responsible medical practitioner. Whether your baby is being born in the Baltimore area or New Jersey, birth injury and cerebral palsy could threaten their safety and livelihood. With ultrasound, a doctor can look for symptoms of placental complications like placental abruptions, accreta, and previa. After a baby has been delivered (through contractions or cesarean section), the placenta soon follows in an afterbirth. Doctors or midwives will inspect the placenta and its membranes, ensuring that all of it has been delivered.