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Mother Creates Adapted Skateboard for Son with Cerebral Palsy

A young boy living with cerebral palsy had always wanted to skateboard, but could not do so independently due to mobility restrictions. So, the boy’s mother built and attached a secure frame to a skateboard, which enabled her son to visit a skate park for the first time.

Are there Assistive Devices for Children with Cerebral Palsy?

Yes. Assistive devices and equipment for children with cerebral palsy can help to improve mobility, independence, and quality of life. Mobility devices for cerebral palsy include orthotic devices, crutches, canes, walkers, and wheelchairs. For individuals who struggle with communication, speech-generating devices help to connect them with family, friends, and their environment. High tech communication devices also allow individuals to translate skills they have, such as eye gaze, into language. These devices can be used to help children with cerebral palsy in school, in social situations, and in everyday life.

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy is caused by brain damage and is described as an impairment of the body’s ability to control movement and posture. It is one of the most serious birth injuries that may occur as a result of medical malpractice. The condition is often caused by a lack of oxygen and blood flow to a baby’s brain during labor and delivery, known as hypoxia-ischemia

How Do I Know if My Child Has Cerebral Palsy?

Spastic cerebral palsy is the most common form of the condition, characterized by exaggerated reflexes, increased muscle tone, stiffor jerky movements, muscle tightness, and joint stiffness. The most noticeable early symptoms of spastic cerebral palsy are developmental delays in movement, including difficulties rolling over, sitting up, crawling, standing, and walking. People with the condition also may have involuntary movements due to damage to the motor cortex of the brain. 

A birth injury lawyer can help you determine if you have a birth injury claim, so please call us at 877-262-9767 for a free consultation. You may be entitled to compensation, which may help to cover medical bills to get your child the treatment he or she needs.

 

G&E’s Director of Birth Injury Named to Illinois Super Lawyers 2020

G&E Birth Injury Attorney and Director, Lisa Weinstein, has been selected for inclusion to Super Lawyers’ list of 2020 Top Rated Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Chicago, IL. The list recognizes only 5% of attorneys in each state. Ms. Weinstein has been selected by Super Lawyers as a Rising Star for the past nine years.

Study: Imagining Grasping May Improve Hand Function in Children with Unilateral Cerebral Palsy

A new study suggests that children with unilateral spastic cerebral palsy (one side of the body affected by movement disorder) have the ability to imagine a motor action, such as grasping, without actually moving both hands. The mental simulation of a motor action without producing any overt movement is known as Motor Imagery (MI). These findings suggest that employing Motor Imagery training during rehabilitation therapy could improve upper limb and hand motor functions.

Researchers assessed a group of boys and girls, ages 9 to 14, with upper limb motor deficits, but no major cognitive impairments. The children were asked to hit a button to start timing their task. They then were told to grasp a small plastic sphere placed at one of three different distances with either hand and place it into a container, before hitting the button again to end the task. The children were then asked to imagine performing the task again using their non-preferred hand.

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) showed activation in the affected brain hemisphere during imagination of grasping movements, which substantiates the scientists’ view that Motor Imagery ability for grasping actions could be preserved in children with unilateral cerebral palsy.

Cerebral palsy is a permanent, non-progressive condition that is often caused by a lack of oxygen and blood flow to a baby’s brain during labor and delivery, also known as hypoxia-ischemia. Characteristics associated with cerebral palsy may include reduced muscle tone, developmental delays, dragging feet, and walking on tip-toes.

Individuals diagnosed with cerebral palsy often participate in various, extensive forms of therapies designed to help them achieve their fullest cognitive, emotional and physical potential.

Cerebral palsy is a serious birth injury that may occur as a result of medical malpractice. If your child is affected by cerebral palsy as a result of malpractice, call us at 877-262-9767 to discuss your situation.

September: Sepsis Awareness Month

Throughout the month of September, individuals, hospitals, healthcare professionals, and organizations raise awareness for sepsis, a life-threatening condition that causes nearly 270,000 deaths per year in the United States.

As part of the Get Ahead of Sepsis campaign, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  sponsored the creation of educational materials to underline the importance of early sepsis detection and preventative measures.

Children younger than one are at higher risk of developing sepsis. Symptoms include a high heart rate, fever, shivering, clammy skin, shortness of breath and extreme pain.

During delivery, a neonate may be exposed to an infection in the birth canal, known as Group B streptococcus (also called Group B strep or GBS). GBS can lead to neonatal sepsis, a critical condition whereby a baby develops an infection in their bloodstream, causing serious birth injuries such as brain damage, cerebral palsy, tissue damage, and/or organ failure. Failure to diagnose or to treat sepsis in a timely manner can result in the loss of life.

If you believe your baby suffered from sepsis during labor or delivery, please contact our expert birth injury lawyers for help. Call us at 877-262-9767 to discuss your situation.

Study: Mediterranean diet decreases risk of developing gestational diabetes by 35%

According to new research, pregnant women at high risk for developing gestational diabetes who adopt a Mediterranean diet decrease their risk of developing the condition by 35%. Furthermore, women following this diet also gained less weight. The study compared pregnant women following the Mediterranean diet to those who didn’t change their eating habits.

The Mediterranean diet calls for a high intake of nuts, extra virgin olive oil, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fish, and the elimination of sugary drinks, fast food, and food rich in animal fat. These foods have been shown to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular complications in non-pregnant population, but have not previously been studied in pregnant women on such a large scale.

“This is the largest study in pregnancy to show that Mediterranean diet minimizes the risk of gestational diabetes and weight gain,” said Shakila Thangaratinam, senior author of the study and a researcher at Queen Mary University of London.

Gestational diabetes is a version of diabetes that initially appears during pregnancy when a mother’s body is not able to effectively use insulin to move glucose from the blood into the cells, causing an excess of glucose in the blood. Risks that accompany the condition include cephalopelvic disproportion, very low blood glucose levels in the baby after birth, and fetal macrosomia. Fetal macrosomia, a medical term used to describe a large baby, can lead to further complications such as shoulder dystocia, instrumental delivery by forceps or vacuum, birth by caesarian section, and other issues. Babies that are too large to be born vaginally may experience complications if a trial of labor is attempted, including a loss of fetal oxygenation and subsequent hypoxic-ischemic injury.

If you developed gestational diabetes during your pregnancy and you or your baby were injured during the labor and delivery process, please contact our skilled and caring birth injury lawyers at 877-262-9767.

Study: Muscle Relaxant, Baclofen, Safe for Young Children with CP

According to a recent study in patients with spastic cerebral palsy, the muscle relaxant, baclofen, is equally safe for children under the age of six as it is for older children when administered directly into the spinal cord.

Cerebral palsy is one of the most serious birth injuries that may occur as a result of medical malpractice. It is often caused by a lack of oxygen and blood flow to a baby’s brain during labor and delivery, also known as hypoxia-ischemia. Cerebral palsy can affect both motor coordination and cognition due to brain damage, ranging from mild to severe.

Spastic cerebral palsy is the most common form of the condition, characterized by exaggerated reflexes, increased muscle tone, stiff, jerky movements, muscle tightness and joint stiffness. Medical professionals have used baclofen to reduce abnormal muscle stiffness in older pediatric patients, but until now, the efficacy and safety of intrathecal baclofen therapy in pediatric patients under the age of six had not been studied.

Researchers recorded data of seventeen children that were surgically implanted with a baclofen pump between 11 months and 5.8 years of age. They found that complications were comparable to those of older patients recorded in previously published literature. Thus, researchers concluded that intrathecal baclofen therapy in infants and small children seems safe and effective for use.

What Are Common Symptoms of Spastic Cerebral Palsy?

The most noticeable, early symptoms of spastic cerebral palsy are developmental delays in movement, including difficulties rolling over, sitting up, crawling, standing, and walking.  People with the condition also may have involuntary movements due to damage to the motor cortex of the brain, which can happen before, during, or after birth. Although cerebral palsy is a non-progressive condition, the injury may become more noticeable as a child grows older.

How Do I Know if My Child has Cerebral Palsy Because of a Birth Injury?

A birth injury lawyer can help you determine if you have a birth injury claim, so please call us at 877-262-9767 for a free consultation. You may be entitled to compensation, which may help to cover medical bills to get your child the treatment he or she needs.

Study: One in Twenty Medical Patients are Impacted by a Preventable Medical Mistake 

According to a new study published by the British Medical Journal, researchers from the UK found that more than one out of every 10 patients are harmed by a medical mistake, and that one in 20 patients are impacted by a preventable medical mistake. Researchers analyzed 70 different studies including over 300,000 patients whose records indicated an injury incurred in a healthcare setting that was unrelated to their prior medical conditions. Of the injuries reported, 12% were considered severe—i.e. the patient was permanently disabled or died as a result of treatment.

Each year, approximately 700 women die of pregnancy-related complications in the United States. In fact, a 2018 investigation undertaken by USA Today revealed that more women are dying due to childbirth complications in the United States than any other country in the developed world. This is particularly troubling, considering the leading causes of maternal death are preventable: postpartum hemorrhage (bleeding) and preeclampsia (a condition characterized by high blood pressure during pregnancy).

The investigation suggests that hypertension—dangerously high blood pressure that can lead to preeclampsia—is a leading cause of mothers dying and suffering strokes. As many as 60% of maternal deaths could have been prevented if the mother had been given proper care and treatment for high blood pressure.

Similarly, hemorrhage is a leading cause of mothers dying and suffering life-threatening injuries. Extreme blood loss, whether during delivery or bleeding internally, can be the result of a medical mistake. In fact, as many as 93% of maternal deaths caused by hemorrhaging could have been prevented, according to the investigation.

Preventable medical mistakes can significantly impact infants, as well, sometimes leading to permanent, life-altering injuries or even death. For example, failure to correctly interpret a fetal heart monitoring strip can cause a baby to suffer irreversible brain damage, potentially leading to conditions such as cerebral palsy. Improper use of vacuum or forceps during delivery may cause fetal skull fractures. Excessive manipulation during delivery causing an infant’s brachial plexus nerves to stretch or tear may lead to a brachial plexus injury or Erb’s Palsy. Tragically, an infant’s wrongful death may be caused by preventable medical mistakes, such as failure to diagnose and respond to fetal distress, failure to perform a caesarian section when necessary, failure to provide proper resuscitation after a traumatic birth, or failure to provide head or body cooling, to name a few.

If a loved one died or you or your child suffered an injury as a result of medical negligence during pregnancy, labor or delivery, or the postpartum period, please contact us at 877-262-9767 for a free consultation.

 

 

Data Suggests New Jersey Hospitals Perform Too Many C-Sections

According to data released by the New Jersey Department of Health, the state performs an excess number of surgical births (C-sections), among women considered at low risk for birth complications. New Jersey’s surgical birth rate is almost seven percent higher than the national target rate of 23.9 per 100 live births, with only eight out of 49 New Jersey hospitals meeting the benchmark.

A cesarean section, also known as a C-section, is a surgical procedure used to deliver a baby when the safety of the mother or baby is at risk. Incisions are made through the mother’s abdomen and uterus. In certain situations, these procedures can be lifesaving to both mother and child, but many performed in New Jersey have been deemed to be unnecessary and preventable.

“While these procedures can save lives, too many women in our state are experiencing preventable C-sections, which are putting them at unnecessary risk for injury or death,” said New Jersey Health Commissioner Shereef Elnahal. 

Like any surgery, surgical births pose risks, such as maternal bleeding, infections and blood clots, which can all lead to maternal death. In 2018, an investigation undertaken by USA Today suggested that more women are dying due to childbirth complications in the United States than the rest of the developed world. Hemorrhaging was a leading cause, with as many as 90% of maternal deaths due to extreme blood loss that could have been prevented. 

In light of this eye-opening data, leaders from New Jersey birthing hospitals have committed to achieving cesarean birth rates for low risk women of 23.9 percent or lower by December 31, 2021. Furthermore, this summer, 2019, the New Jersey Department of Health will publish additional data for the New Jersey Report Card of Hospital Maternity Care, which will include surgical birth rates, complication rates, and severe maternal morbidity (SMM) data.

Additionally, New Jersey’s First Lady, Tammy Murphy, has launched a statewide awareness campaign called “Nurture NJ” to reduce infant and maternal mortality and morbidity and ensure equitable care among women and children of all races and ethnicities. 

If you believe your loved one died due to medical negligence during her pregnancy, labor, childbirth or the postpartum period, please contact us at 877-262-9767.

Preeclampsia Drug Reaches Clinical Trial Phase

Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have published a study in the journal Scientific Reports that suggests a drug (alpha-1-microglobulin or A1M) has potential therapeutic effects in patients with preeclampsia. In tests, researchers found that A1M stopped the leakage of protein in the kidneys and improved organ function in the kidneys and the placenta.

Preeclampsia is characterized by the development of high blood pressure and high protein levels in urine at or after 20 weeks of pregnancy. It is a serious complication that can result in maternal and fetal injury or death. An investigation undertaken by USA Today suggests that high blood pressure is a leading cause of mothers dying and suffering strokes—and as many as 60% of maternal deaths due to hypertension could have been prevented.   

Patient trials were launched after researchers saw no indication of side effects, and the results confirmed previous studies by the research team. 

“This feels like a milestone in our research,” senior researcher Lena Erlandsson said of the clinical trials. 

A date has not yet been set for a potential drug to come to market, as the research and development of pharmaceuticals takes many years. However, the results of this study are promising and suggest there may be a treatment for the condition that annually affects around 9 million pregnant women worldwide. 

Pregnant women with preeclampsia are at risk for seizures and the development of eclampsia (coma), stroke, severe bleeding, heart attack, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, and placental abruption. If severe preeclampsia develops, the mother will require hospitalization.  However, mild preeclampsia may be managed with at-home care and close physician monitoring.  

Symptoms of preeclampsia may include headaches, blurred vision, upper abdominal pain, decreased urine output, low blood platelet level, and sudden weight gain, and should be discussed with a physician.

If you experienced preeclampsia during your pregnancy, and you or your child suffered injury as a result, please contact us at 877-262-9767.

 

New Research Could Help Prevent Neonatal Seizures

Researchers at Penn State University have identified a link between a small organic compound found in fruit and honey called gluconate, and neonatal seizures. The research team used gluconate to target CLC-3 chloride channels in the brain. These small openings (channels) facilitate a large ion current in an infant’s brain, but are not as active in an adult brain. Since gluconate is too large to pass through the channels in an infant’s brain, it acts as a channel blocker, which may inhibit seizure activity. The researchers also found that a ketogenic diet (low-carbohydrate, high-fat) may help the body produce a substance that can act as a channel inhibitor, similar to gluconate, to suppress neonatal seizure activity.

Currently, there is no drug specifically developed to target neonatal seizures, and unfortunately, researchers indicate, long-term use of some anti-epilepsy drugs may have side effects on brain development in newborns. Researchers are optimistic that this finding could lead to the development of a viable treatment option for neonatal epilepsy.

Neonatal seizures are a common indication of a birth injury, resulting from events such as fetal distress, maternal bleedingplacental abruption, or cord prolapse. The most common cause of neonatal seizures is hypoxic–ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), which may lead to poor neurological outcome. HIE causes oxygen deprivation to the brain, which may occur before, during, or after delivery. This condition is also a leading cause of cerebral palsy.

There are five main types of neonatal seizures: subtle seizures, tonic seizures, clonic seizures, myoclonic seizures and non-paroxysmal repetitive behaviors. Symptoms of seizures may include repetitive shuddering or shaking, jerking movements, and excessive eye blinking. These events often signify serious damage to the brain and demand urgent medical attention.

If you believe your child suffers from neonatal seizures as a result of medical malpractice, please contact us at 877-262-9767.

The following reviews from our clients do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of another legal matter. The cases mentioned in the reviews are illustrative of some of the matters previously handled by Grant & Eisenhofer involving various areas of birth injury law. These reviews are endorsements.

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The following reviews from our clients do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of another legal matter. The cases mentioned in the reviews are illustrative of some of the matters previously handled by Grant & Eisenhofer involving various areas of birth injury law. These reviews are endorsements.

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