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.

The Benefits of Occupational Therapy for Victims of Cerebral Palsy

In the wake of a birth injury, children often develop symptoms of cerebral palsy. As lawyers and former doctors, we at Gershon, Willoughby, Getz & Smith, LLC do everything in our capacity to bring justice to these children and their families. Thankfully, there exist multiple forms of therapy to aid and assist the victims of this medical condition.

Occupational Therapy for Children

Though our thoughts may go to professionals in the workforce, occupational therapy has a focus on facilitating and guiding us through everyday activities. In the case of children who suffer from cerebral palsy, this may encompass learning, and play, including essential skills like eating, bathing, and brushing one’s teeth. Occupational therapy also develops a child’s sense of independence, and muscle and joint coordination.

Subtypes of Cerebral Palsy

Like any child, no case of cerebral palsy is exactly the same. Some types may affect children differently as they develop. Specifically, occupational therapy alleviates symptoms of:

  1. With spastic movements and muscle stiffness, cerebral palsy victims may have more difficulty dressing and bathing themselves. Activities like eating, drinking, writer, and holding tools may also be hindered.
  1. Athetoid cerebral palsy affects the body’s ability to regulate muscle tone. A child will often struggle controlling their movements. Drooling, swallowing, and impediments in speech characterize this subtype.
  • Children with ataxic cerebral palsy struggle with balance and physical coordination. While making precise movements, they tend to experience tremors or shakes. Tasks like writing or eating become far more arduous.

Treating the Symptoms of the Condition

Children who receive occupational therapy will be evaluated by a certified therapist upon their first session. During evaluation, the therapist will monitor all of a child’s responses to touch and movement. An interview with the parent typically follows, addressing the child’s strengths and weaknesses.

Once a treatment plan has been formulated, the occupational therapist will guide the child through a series of exercises, focusing on specific skills. Ranging from drawing, puzzles, and in-hand manipulations, these exercises improve a child’s dexterity and stability. Techniques like sensory integration therapy, and pediatric constraint induced movement therapy could also be included as part of treatment.

Legal and Medical Consultation

At Gershon, Willoughby, Getz & Smith, LLC, we practice as attorneys because we care about the victims of birth defects like cerebral palsy. When we consult with families, we discuss all of their legal and medical options with patience and compassion. To learn more, please browse our site.

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.

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.