Birth Injury Guide http://www.birthinjuryguide.org A comprehensive resource for families coping with birth trauma Mon, 15 Jan 2018 14:17:16 +0000 en hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.2 Appeals Court Ruling a Victory for Two Couples who Filed Wrongful Birth Claim http://www.birthinjuryguide.org/2018/01/appeals-court-ruling-victory-two-couples-filed-wrongful-birth-claims/ Mon, 15 Jan 2018 14:17:16 +0000 http://www.birthinjuryguide.org/?p=14308 A New York Appeals Court ruling is a victory for two couples who filed a wrongful birth claim after their children were born with “Fragile X” – a rare chromosomal abnormality that can cause significant injuries and intellectual disabilities.  Wrongful …

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A New York Appeals Court ruling is a victory for two couples who filed a wrongful birth claim after their children were born with “Fragile X” – a rare chromosomal abnormality that can cause significant injuries and intellectual disabilities.  Wrongful birth is a hotly debated area of the law, and reactions to the Appeals Court’s decision seem to be varied.

At Brown & Brothers, we help clients with cases of all shapes and sizes.  We are not afraid to tackle complicated legal matters, and have experience with wrongful birth law.  Read on to learn more about our wrongful birth lawsuit example, how Fragile X Syndrome affects children, and what you can do to protect your legal rights.

Wrongful Birth Lawsuit Information

Born in 2009, the Fragile X abnormality was not discovered until the two infants in this case were a few months old.  It was two years later when the parents sued their fertility doctor and the clinic he operated after the defect was traced back to the donated eggs.

The couples had been told that genetic testing was completed, but argue that the clinic failed to screen women donating eggs for Fragile X and other genetic abnormalities.  After the children were born, the donors of the eggs were tested, and were both found to be carriers of Fragile X.  The lawsuit seeks damages including the expenses of raising a child with disabilities, but an amount has not been established.

After filing the lawsuit, defendants claimed that the statute of limitations had begun at the time of in vitro fertilization.  Both couples argued that the legal clock should begin ticking at the time of birth, or when the Fragile X abnormality was discovered.  The case went to New York’s highest court, which ruled to allow the case to proceed.

In a 5-1 decision, the Appeals Court ruled that the statute of limitations for this case (and potentially other similar cases in the future) should begin from the date of birth, and not the date of in vitro fertilization.  The Chief Judge stated that the circumstances in this case “preclude the parents from bringing the lawsuit until the child is born and thus the statute of limitations must run from the date of birth”.  The court ruled that prior to the children being born alive, there was no grounds for a lawsuit, so the statute of limitations should not begin before that time.

Case Highlights Complicated Nature of Wrongful Birth Claims

Wrongful birth claims are extremely complicated.  The root of a wrongful birth claim is the theory that had parents been informed that their child would be born with a genetic abnormality like Fragile X, that they would have chosen to terminate the pregnancy.  When the pregnancy begins with in vitro fertilization, there are additional factors to consider, such as the actions of the doctor and his or her clinical staff during the process of screening egg donors, informing parents, etc.  In the past, some wrongful birth claims have been made after parents were given the wrong information or test results, which impacted their decision-making.

There are many tests that doctors can perform to determine if there are genetic mutations or abnormalities in an egg, infant, or the mother.  Healthcare providers must be diligent in performing these tests as appropriate and communicating results to parents.  Further, they must fully disclose their findings and any options to prevent problems, or promote the best outcome possible.

When doctors fail to screen eggs or perform appropriate or required tests, they may be considered negligent if their actions led to the harm of the mother and/or child, or if their actions (or lack thereof) affected the parents’ ability to make informed decisions.

Information about Fragile X Syndrome

Fragile X Syndrome is uncommon statistically, yet it is the most common cause of inherited intellectual disability, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  The CDC estimates that only one in every 4,000 to 5,000 males, and one in every 6,000 to 8,000 females are born with the abnormality.

Most often, parents are the first to notice signs of Fragile X, such as missed developmental milestones, behavioral problems, or attention problems.  Depending on the mutation and related disorders, the symptoms may be more pronounced, or may change as the child ages.  Conditions caused by Fragile X, or occurring concurrently, often include:

  • Anxiety
  • Developmental delays
  • Attention problems
  • Hyperactivity
  • Autism
  • Self-injury
  • Aggression
  • Depression
  • Seizures

Individuals born with Fragile X often experience a lifetime of difficulties with learning, attention, and socialization.  The CDC has noted that about half of all families managing care of someone with Fragile X report that the disorder caused a significant financial burden.  Parents often find themselves with a large financial burden related to healthcare, therapies, home modifications, requirement to reduce hours or cease working, in-home care, and other medical costs.

Find out More about Wrongful Birth and Your Rights

Because wrongful birth is such a complicated and heavily controversial area of the law, if you have questions about wrongful birth, lawsuits, or how to get help, contact Brown & Brothers to speak with one of our attorneys.  Our team of attorneys manage cases involving medical malpractice or negligence, medical errors, birth injuries, and wrongful birth.  To schedule a free review of your case, or to get answers to your questions, fill out our online form.

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Are Children with Cerebral Palsy at Risk for Oral Health Issues? http://www.birthinjuryguide.org/2018/01/children-cerebral-palsy-oral-health-issues/ Thu, 04 Jan 2018 22:35:17 +0000 http://www.birthinjuryguide.org/?p=14260 For children with cerebral palsy, oral health may seem secondary to more serious medical conditions.  The fact is, however, that children with cerebral palsy are at risk for oral health issues that could complicate their overall health and wellbeing.  For …

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For children with cerebral palsy, oral health may seem secondary to more serious medical conditions.  The fact is, however, that children with cerebral palsy are at risk for oral health issues that could complicate their overall health and wellbeing.  For parents and caregivers, it is important to understand the importance of oral health and helping the child with cerebral palsy maintain a healthy mouth, teeth, and gums.

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, children with cerebral palsy are less likely to get the professional oral care that they need.  One major study indicated that 40 percent of participants without cerebral palsy attended routine dental exams, while only 23.6 percent of participants with cerebral palsy had seen a dentist.

Why are Children with Cerebral Palsy at Risk for Oral Health Issues?

Cerebral palsy is not a direct cause for oral health issues, but the disorder can increase the risk of developing issues.  The primary reasons why children with cerebral palsy are at risk for oral health issues include:

  • Crowded or misaligned teeth
  • Teeth grinding (bruxism)
  • Difficulty swallowing or chewing
  • Inability to control facial muscles
  • Excessive gagging
  • Frequent seizures leading to mouth trauma
  • Mouth trauma increasing risk of bacterial infections
  • Difficulty or inability to actively take part in oral hygiene

As this list shows, there is a variety of risk factors that parents and caregivers can watch out for.  Depending on the type and severity of cerebral palsy and the associated symptoms, assistance or modifications to oral hygiene routines may be necessary.

Oral Treatment Options for Children with Cerebral Palsy

For parents, getting oral treatment for their child with cerebral palsy can be a challenging process.  There is often a great deal of fear and hesitation about dental care, especially if the child has difficulty swallowing, is bound to a wheelchair, or has seizures.  Fortunately, there are many dental professionals who specialize in treating children with special needs.

Parents may find dentists, orthodontists, cosmetic surgeons, and speech pathologists specially trained to work with children with cerebral palsy or other special needs.  These individuals are required to complete additional training to ensure they can meet the needs of their patients and families.

Dental professionals specializing in special needs are required to complete the following:

  • CPR training
  • Training to support children with involuntary bodily movements or “shakes”.
  • Training on how to clear breathing passages successfully.
  • Training on how to accommodate children who are wheelchair bound.
  • Training on how to properly monitor breathing and vital signs.

In addition to training, there are some helpful qualifications that make dental professionals truly remarkable in their work with special needs children.  These qualifications include:

  • Ability to establish a positive and trusting relationship with the child.
  • Ability to give instructions in an understandable, friendly way.
  • Ability to communicate non-verbally if needed.
  • Ability to offer solutions or modifications that meet the needs of the child.

The best way to ensure that your child has the proper oral care that he or she deserves is to partner with healthcare and dental professionals who you can trust and build an ongoing relationship with.  While proper oral care starts at home, these relationships will support your child’s overall wellbeing throughout his or her life.

Daily Oral Hygiene for Children with Cerebral Palsy

Developing good oral hygiene habits starts at home.  As a parent, you want to help your child learn how to successfully brush, floss, rinse, and otherwise take care of his or her mouth.  To help you and your child develop successful strategies, consider the following tips:

  • Consult a speech pathologist, dietician, and your dentist to develop proper oral hygiene habits at home that are safe and effective.
  • Purchase oral hygiene items that are easy to use, such as toothpick floss sticks or an electric toothbrush.
  • Purchase toothpaste that is designed for children or adults with sensitive teeth or gums.
  • Make oral hygiene habits and routines fun and use positive reinforcement during this time.
  • Make sure your child is in a positive, happy state of mind when completing oral care.
  • If your child refuses to use a toothbrush or floss, contact your dentist to discuss possible alternatives to traditional brushing, flossing, or rinsing.
  • Start scheduling routine dental exams as early as possible so the child becomes used to the process and routine.

Oral Care Just One Part of the Cerebral Palsy Puzzle

Managing the care of a child with cerebral palsy sometimes takes unique, individualized planning and customization.  Because cerebral palsy affects every child differently, the strategies that work for one family may not work for you.  The best way to determine what options are best for you and your child is to build relationships with a multidisciplinary team who can evaluate your situation and find solutions that will work.

Children with cerebral palsy often require care and assistance with other basic tasks of daily living, such as communication, mobility, dressing, meal preparation, and education.  Oral health and hygiene is just one part of a puzzle that makes up your child and his or her needs.  As you find strategies that work, the pieces of the puzzle will start to come together and your child’s overall health and care management will be simplified and successful.

Living with cerebral palsy can be challenging.  To learn more about the condition, lifestyle, treatment, and support options, review Brown & Brothers’ cerebral palsy topics.  To speak with one of our birth injury attorneys, fill out our online form to schedule a free case review.

 

Sources:

Cerebral Palsy and Oral Health Issues

http://www.cerebralpalsy.org/information/oral-health

https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/836976

 

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Worldwide Formula Recall Ensues after Salmonella Outbreak http://www.birthinjuryguide.org/2017/12/worldwide-formula-recall-ensues-salmonella-outbreak/ Tue, 26 Dec 2017 14:43:52 +0000 http://www.birthinjuryguide.org/?p=14195 A worldwide formula recall has been initiated after a Salmonella outbreak in France left twenty-six children severely ill.  The recall includes more than 7,000 tons of powdered milk products manufactured by Lactalis Group – one of the world’s largest dairy …

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A worldwide formula recall has been initiated after a Salmonella outbreak in France left twenty-six children severely ill.  The recall includes more than 7,000 tons of powdered milk products manufactured by Lactalis Group – one of the world’s largest dairy companies.

Lactalis manufactures and distributes dairy products across the world, including the United States.  U.S.  readers will recognize popular brands like Sorrento cheese and Stonyfield Farms as brands distributed by Lactalis.  Though currently the recall does not affect products distributed to the U.S., media sources continue to monitor the status of the recall.

Formula Recall Information

So far, Lactalis has recalled products distributed to Britain, Bangledesh, China, Greece, Pakistan, and Sudan.  The affected brands include Celia, Milumel, and Picot.  Consumers can find a full list of affected products with manufacture dates and product codes here.

French authorities have urged parents to stop using potentially contaminated products immediately.  Some sources have stated that boiling the formula and then cooling it prior to feeding could kill the bacteria, but it is unclear whether authorities are recommending boiling over discontinuation.  Parents should exercise caution and contact their healthcare provider and/or Lactalis customer service before using any potentially contaminated products.

According to media sources, all twenty-six children infected with Salmonella are expected to survive.  Lactalis has expressed compassion and concern for the families affected by the Salmonella outbreak and is cooperating with authorities.

At Brown & Brothers, we strive to keep our readers informed on matters that could affect their families.  With holiday travel at its peak, it is important that families understand potential risks if they are planning to travel outside the U.S.  In terms of Salmonella, here is helpful information you need to keep your family safe.  For more information about contaminated products and your legal rights, fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation.

What is Salmonella?

Salmonella is a bacteria known to cause severe illness.  There are several different types of Salmonella bacteria, with the two most common being serotype Typhimurium and serotype Enteritidis.  Salmonella bacterial infections are caused most commonly by eating food contaminated with the bacteria.

Animal products are the most common culprit of Salmonella contamination, particularly poultry, fish, eggs, beef, and dairy products.  Recently, there have been reports of contamination in fruit and vegetables, however.  A lesser source of contamination is contact with infected animals or pets, such as turtles, snakes, chicks, or reptiles.

What are the Symptoms of Salmonella?

Individuals infected with Salmonella will generally begin to experience symptoms in the 12 to 72 hours following exposure.  In most cases, the infection lasts between 4 and 7 days, and resolves without medical treatment.  The symptoms may consist of:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration

Is Salmonella Dangerous?

Salmonella can be dangerous, especially among certain demographics.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that Salmonella is particularly dangerous in infants and children, pregnant women, and the elderly.  Severe infections may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream, which often requires hospitalization and antibiotic treatment to resolve.

Without treatment, serious infections can lead to other more serious conditions, such as meningitis, or may even be deadly.  According to the CDC, Salmonella is responsible for 1.2 million illnesses and around 450 deaths every year in the U.S.

While the actual Salmonella infection generally resolves within a week, it can take several weeks or even months for the individual’s system to completely recover.  Dehydration is a serious health risk that should be carefully monitored.  Also, some people who develop Salmonella experience what is called “reactive arthritis”, or pain in the joints, which can be long-lasting.

In extremely rare cases, Salmonella can develop into Typhoid fever, an extremely dangerous bacterial illness.  Though rare in the U.S., it is a concern, especially among individuals who travel to parts of the world like Africa, India, or Latin America.  Typhoid can be spread through contact with infected individuals and is a serious health risk.

When to Get Medical Treatment

For most people, Salmonella resolves on its own without the need for medical treatment.  However, for infants and children, pregnant women, and the elderly, medical attention may be needed if the following symptoms arise:

  • High fever
  • Blood in stools or vomit
  • Signs of severe dehydration (lack of urination, no tears when crying, etc.)
  • Infections lasting more than two or three days

As a parent, you have a good idea of when your child is not feeling well.  Trust your instincts if you suspect Salmonella, and contact your pediatrician if you are concerned.

How is Salmonella Treated?

The most common Salmonella infections are not responsive to antibacterials.  The illness will run its course and resolve on its own in most cases.  Treatment in these cases includes lots of fluids – water, electrolytes from Pedialyte or sports drinks, soft foods, and plenty of rest.

If the infection has spread outside the gastrointestinal tract to the blood or brain, antibacterials and antibiotics may be given to keep the infection from spreading further.  In more severe cases, intravenous fluids may be used to treat dehydration, either in the hospital or outpatient setting.

Can Salmonella be Prevented?

The best way of preventing exposure to dangerous bacteria is using good hygiene and food safety practices.  All beef, eggs, and poultry should be cooked thoroughly, and cooking surfaces sanitized to avoid contamination.  Frequent hand-washing during food preparation is also a key to keeping bacteria out of cooked food.

Unfortunately, not all cases of Salmonella can be prevented, such as in the case of contaminated products bought on store shelves.  In such cases, consumers are left to manage the painful and stressful side effects of a manufacturers error.  If your child has become ill after exposure to a potentially contaminated product, contact Brown & Brothers to learn more about your legal rights.

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Study Shows Prematurity and Brain Injuries at Birth Cause Lasting Chemical Changes http://www.birthinjuryguide.org/2017/12/study-prematurity-brain-injuries-birth-lasting-chemical-changes/ Sun, 10 Dec 2017 22:49:01 +0000 http://www.birthinjuryguide.org/?p=14110 A new study published in eLife shows prematurity and brain injuries at birth may cause lasting chemical changes, most notably reduced levels of dopamine.  Low levels of dopamine can cause a range of mental health and other issues, which may …

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A new study published in eLife shows prematurity and brain injuries at birth may cause lasting chemical changes, most notably reduced levels of dopamine.  Low levels of dopamine can cause a range of mental health and other issues, which may be especially challenging during adulthood.

According to researchers from King’s Imperial College London and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, most individuals born prematurely continue to develop with normal levels of dopamine.  Individuals born prematurely, who also suffer brain injuries at birth, however, are more likely to experience lower levels of dopamine and the subsequent effects.

Prematurity and Brain Injuries

It is estimated that one in 10 babies are born prematurely, or before 37 weeks gestation.  Many are born with uncomplicated, non-traumatic birth experiences.  The earlier the baby is born, the higher the risk of complications and other problems, including birth injuries.  Medically, most babies are able to survive (viable) after 24 weeks gestation with proper treatment and care.  The fact is that the earlier the baby is born, the more vulnerable he or she is to illness, injury, and other complications.

Brain damage suffered during childbirth has numerous potential risks, including:

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Lung Problems
  • Hearing Loss
  • Vision Problems
  • Behavioral Problems
  • Emotional Problems
  • Cognitive Disabilities

In terms of prematurity and brain injuries, researchers found that among babies born before 32 weeks, 15-20 percent experience bleeding in the ventricles of the brain, which can lead to complications and long-term problems.  The combination of prematurity and brain damage seems to increase the risk of cognitive and developmental problems, which is a significant finding.

To learn more about the effects of brain damage and birth injuries, visit our website or fill out our online form to schedule a free case review.

Research Shows Lasting Chemical Changes

Researchers selected study participants out of a pool of adults born very prematurely, adults born prematurely who experienced brain injuries at birth, and adults who were born at term (control).  Using positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), researchers found that people who experienced an early brain injury had lower levels of dopamine.  Dopamine is a critical chemical that affects learning, motivation, and enjoyment of life.

For many years, researchers have explored the link between early brain damage and mental illness later in life.  Understanding the connection between early brain injuries and lower dopamine levels could help science and medicine better understand how to help patients.  One researcher, Dr.  Chiara Nosarti, stated that,

the discovery of a potential mechanism linking early life risk factors to adult mental illness could one day lead to more targeted and effective treatments of psychiatric problems in people who experienced complications at birth“.

Not only could these developments lead to better understanding of identification and treatment, but some experts believe that the developments could help lead to prevention techniques.

Life after a Brain Injury

The prognosis and treatment options after a brain injury depends largely on the nature and severity of the injury.  Even mild brain injuries can result in long-term complications including physical or cognitive delays or disabilities.  There is a common misconception that because a baby’s brain is soft and in a constant state of growth and development that it will be quick to heal itself.  The truth is that a baby’s brain is fragile and vulnerable, which puts them at a greater risk of long-term complications.

Fortunately, there are numerous options for treating a brain injury, such as therapy, medication, and sometimes surgical interventions if necessary.  Therapy is one of the most common and beneficial types of treatment for brain injuries, especially those resulting in cognitive, behavioral, or emotional disorders.  Therapy interventions to help these disorders may include:

  • Physical Therapy: Focuses on physical independence. Physical therapy uses exercises to improve flexibility, coordination and balance, strength, and joint mobilization.
  • Occupational Therapy: Focuses on daily tasks of living. Occupational therapy includes exercises and training to help patients with tasks like grooming, dressing, feeding, hygiene, and emotional development.
  • Behavioral Therapy: Focuses on behavior, socialization, and emotional support. Behavioral therapy encompasses a variety of activities and exercises, including cognitive behavioral play, aversion therapy, and applied behavior therapy.

What researchers discovered about chemical changes stemming from brain injuries could go a long way toward helping families identify needs and get the appropriate treatment for their loved ones.  Early intervention and treatment is one of the best ways to reduce long-term effects and promote a favorable outcome.  Research like that discussed in this article offers promise for the future.

Have Questions about Birth Injuries?

If your child suffered an injury at birth, premature or otherwise, you may have questions about whether his or her care during childbirth was adequate.  Sometimes complications of pregnancy and childbirth are unavoidable.  Sometimes, however, complications and birth injuries may occur as a result of negligent healthcare.  In these cases, it is important that you explore your legal rights and determine if your child’s injuries could have been prevented.

To learn more about birth injuries or medical malpractice, contact Brown & Brothers to speak with one of our skilled attorneys.  Fill out our online form to schedule a free case review and get answers to your questions.

 

 

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High Schooler with Erb’s Palsy Breaks Boundaries as Archer http://www.birthinjuryguide.org/2017/12/high-schooler-erbs-palsy-breaks-boundaries/ Fri, 01 Dec 2017 17:52:10 +0000 http://www.birthinjuryguide.org/?p=14060 A Kentucky high schooler with Erb’s Palsy is breaking boundaries as an archer, and has become one of the top student archers in the world.  high school junior Faith Oakley is breaking boundaries and offering hope to families affected by …

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A Kentucky high schooler with Erb’s Palsy is breaking boundaries as an archer, and has become one of the top student archers in the world.  high school junior Faith Oakley is breaking boundaries and offering hope to families affected by birth injuries.  Oakley has risen to become a top student archer by using unconventional methods of working around her birth injury – firing arrows with her teeth.

Just in time for the holidays, let’s take a look at what Oakley has accomplished and how her example can offer hope to children diagnosed with Erb’s palsy.

High Schooler Offers Message of Hope

From the outside, Faith Oakley looks like the average high school student.  But since her birth, she has been anything but average.  During childbirth, Oakley sustained birth injuries to her nerves in her right arm.  Diagnosed as Erb-Duchenne palsy, or Erb’s palsy for short, the injury resulted in the tearing away of the nerves from her spine.  The result is that Oakley cannot use her right arm.

As a student, Oakley has not let her diagnosis define her.  With an interest in archery, she quickly found ways of working around her injury, using her teeth to pull back the bowstring.  Now, she is one of only a handful of people who use a special rectangular nylon mouth tab to complete her shots.  Her determination has not gone unnoticed as she is now one of the top student archers in the world, and is the only one using her mouth to compensate for an injured arm.

In July 2017, she placed ninth at the National Archery in the Schools Program, a World Tournament held in Orlando, Florida.  In 2018, she plans to compete in the World Championships in Louisville, Kentucky.  Even further out, she plans to compete in the 2024 or 2028 Paralympics on the archery team.

Rather than feeling defeated by her physical limitations, Oakley has chosen to dedicate herself to achieving her passion and inspiring others.  In her own words, “I hope that watching me inspires people to feel comfortable to push their boundaries and do things they didn’t think they could do.  I am just like everyone else and I am proving you can do anything with determination.”

Information About Erb’s Palsy

Erb’s palsy is considered an obstetric injury caused by difficult labor and delivery.  Most often, Erb’s palsy is caused by too much stretching of the baby’s neck during delivery, causing the nerves to stretch and tear on one side.  The severity of Erb’s palsy can range from weakness or numbness to complete paralysis as in the case of Oakley.  The severity depends on the type of injury, which may include:

  • Avulsion, or complete severing from the spinal cord
  • Neurapraxia, or mild to moderate stretching
  • Neuroma, or development of scar tissue on the nerves
  • Ruptures, or complete tears in the nerves

Any of these nerve injuries (or a combination of them) can occur at the same time.  However, the symptoms may not be apparent immediately.  There are cases where it is obvious that an injury has occurred, and healthcare providers can take immediate action to diagnose and start treatment.  Unfortunately, however, sometimes Erb’s palsy is not diagnosed until the child reaches toddler age and it becomes noticeable that milestones are being missed.  In such cases, treatment is delayed, which can negatively impact how effective treatment is.

Starting treatment as soon as possible after the injury can go a long way toward overall success.  With treatment, some children see improvement, or even in rare cases complete recovery.  The prognosis and long-term effects of nerve injuries can only be estimated on a case-by-case basis.

Legal Questions about Erb’s Palsy

Birth injuries are a difficult situation for your entire family.  There are often many questions about why the injury occurred, if it could have been prevented, and if it was the fault of a particular healthcare provider.  The answers to these questions often lead to additional questions about whether a lawsuit can be filed, or financial costs recovered.

There are also the strains associated with a birth injury that can impact your family profoundly, including physical pain, emotional trauma, and financial worries.  As birth injury attorneys, Brown & Brothers strives to provide guidance and support for families affected by negligence or medical malpractice.  When those difficult questions arise, we are here to help your family find answers and solutions that work best for you.

We also want to provide our readers and clients with information that is useful and even inspiring.  A birth injury is a serious, difficult matter, but it does not have to define your family’s future.  To find out more about birth injuries, browse our website, or fill out our online form to request information or a free case evaluation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Just How Safe Are our Baby Food Products? http://www.birthinjuryguide.org/2017/11/just-safe-baby-food-products/ Fri, 17 Nov 2017 18:00:55 +0000 http://www.birthinjuryguide.org/?p=13970 “Just how safe are our baby food products?” That is the question many consumers and parents are asking on the heels of a startling study.  Manufactured to help your child grow and develop, you trust baby food products to offer …

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“Just how safe are our baby food products?” That is the question many consumers and parents are asking on the heels of a startling study.  Manufactured to help your child grow and develop, you trust baby food products to offer all the quality and nutrients advertised.  Unfortunately, a new study by the Clean Label Project suggests that a large percentage of baby food products in the United States are actually contaminated with dangerous toxins.

The baby food products tested are not one-off brands either, but brands that are trusted by millions of consumers, such as Gerber, Beech-Nut, Similac, Sprout, Enfamil, and Plum Organics.

Clean Label Project Study Shows Dangerous Toxins

In October 2017, reports of a Clean Label Project study hit mainstream media sources.  Headlines declared the results of the study showing that 65 percent of baby food products studied contained arsenic.  As the report unfolds, the results are even more startling.  Among the 60 brands and more than 500 formula and baby food products screened, a large percentage contained toxins ranging from heavy metals, pesticides, BPA, and chemicals linked to cancer.

The data showed contamination percentages as the following:

  • 65 percent of products contained arsenic
  • 58 percent of products contained cadmium
  • 36 percent of products contained lead
  • 10 percent of products contained acrylamides
  • 60 percent of products advertised as “BPA free” tested positive for BPA
  • Almost 80 percent of infant formula screened tested positive for arsenic
  • “Certified organic” baby food products tested positive for twice the amount of arsenic as compared to conventional baby foods.
  • Soy-based infant formula had seven times the amount of cadmium than other varieties.

Dangerous Toxins: What They Are, What They Do

Most readers will read words like “arsenic” or “lead” and immediately be put on the alert.  Unfortunately, many people are not aware of exactly what these toxins are, or how they could affect your health.  Consider the following:

  • Arsenic: Arsenic is a known carcinogen with both acute and long-term health risks. Acute symptoms of exposure to arsenic include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, numbness of extremities, muscle cramps, and even death.  Health risks associated with long-term exposure include skin lesions, skin cancer, diabetes,  and pulmonary disease.  Specific to infants and children, health risks include negative impacts on cognitive development, memory, and intelligence.
  • Cadmium: Cadmium is a toxic metal most commonly found in certain types of batteries. In general, there is “no safe margin of cadmium exposure”, and the metal is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  The effects of cadmium exposure on the human body are profound.  Cadmium affects blood pressure, bone health, renal and dopaminergic systems in children, and is a known carcinogen linked to pancreatic cancer.  Cadmium is also linked to neuron cell death, which can result in decreased memory, attention, and brain function.
  • Lead: Most parents are aware of the importance of avoiding lead exposure, and likely have had their child routinely tested. Lead is a naturally occurring metal, but is extremely toxic to humans, especially children.  Lead exposure can lead to poor development of the brain and nervous system, and can result in behavioral disorders or mental retardation.  Lead exposure also results in an increased risk of kidney damage, high blood pressure, anemia, and renal impairment.  Behavioral and neurological effects of lead exposure are believed to be irreversible.
  • Acrylamides: Acrylamide is a chemical most commonly used in industrial manufacturing of products like paper, dye, caulking, adhesives, and plastics. Acrylamides are considered a “probable human carcinogen” because studies have shown a link between exposure and cancer rates.  Additionally, exposure to acrylamides has been linked to neurological damage.
  • BPA: Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical most commonly found in plastics. Parents commonly see warnings touting the dangers of BPA, and labels promising to be “BPA free”.  While studies on the health risks of BPA exposure are limited, there is concern that BPA exposure could lead to negative impacts on the brain, behavior, and heart.  Children are more at risk as their bodies cannot adequately eliminate chemicals from their bodies.

Distinct Problems with Unsafe Baby Food Products

There are several factors worth considering as the Clean Label Project study continues to draw attention.  First, it is startling that so many trusted baby food products could be contaminated with dangerous toxins.  Second, there is the matter of who is responsible for ensuring these products are safe? Third, why aren’t consumers warned of the potential dangers, especially among products labeled as being “free” of certain chemicals, but then testing positive for them?

At Brown & Brothers, we know how important it is that your family gets only the best, high-quality products.  When you put your trust in manufacturers and your family is harmed as a result, the impact goes far beyond any physical ailment.  Manufacturers have a responsibility to provide products that are safe and effective.  You, the consumer, shouldn’t have to pay for their mistakes.

If you or someone in your family has been harmed as a result of exposure to toxic chemicals like lead, BPA, or arsenic, contact our office to find out more about your rights as a consumer.  Fill out our online form to get started, and schedule a free case review.

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Can Estimating My Baby’s Size Reduce the Risk of Birth Injuries? http://www.birthinjuryguide.org/2017/11/estimating-babys-size-reduce-risk-birth-injuries/ Fri, 10 Nov 2017 20:37:26 +0000 http://www.birthinjuryguide.org/?p=13925 At Brown & Brothers, we are often asked questions about the numerous factors that contribute to medical malpractice and birth injuries.  Recently, we have been pondering the question, “Can estimating my baby’s size reduce the risk of birth injuries?” In …

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At Brown & Brothers, we are often asked questions about the numerous factors that contribute to medical malpractice and birth injuries.  Recently, we have been pondering the question, “Can estimating my baby’s size reduce the risk of birth injuries?” In this post, we have decided to specifically address how the size of your infant can impact childbirth, and how asking questions about your baby’s size can help you prepare.

Can You Estimate the Size of an Unborn Baby?

There are often conflicting opinions about the accuracy of tools used to estimate the size of an unborn baby.  Variables like the gestational age can impact whether your baby is measured as being large, small, or on target for his or her gestational age.

Science, however, does offer some helpful tests that can help determine your baby’s size and weight.  These tests include:

  • Ultrasound: Ultrasounds are a routine part of monitoring pregnancy, and are one of the first tools used to measure the size of an unborn baby. During an ultrasound, the technician can take measurements of the baby’s body, head, femur, and spine.  These measurements can then be used to estimate weight as well.
  • Mathematical Equations: Researchers are increasingly using a mathematical equation to estimate the size and/or weight of an unborn baby. Using measurements like the stage of pregnancy, height and weight of the mother, weight gained during the third trimester, fetal sex, and number of siblings, researchers have been able to predict birth weight within 15 percent of the actual weight in 87 percent of births.

Signs your Baby May be too Large

It is often difficult to detect problems with your baby’s size or weight during pregnancy.  It is important that your healthcare provider performs all routine tests and examinations, and takes appropriate action if he or she believes that your child’s size could be a risk factor.  Some of the potential signs that your baby may be too large include:

  • Large Fundal Height: Your fundal height is the distance between your pubic bone and the top of your uterus. If this measurement is larger than expected for the gestational age, your baby may be larger than average.
  • Polyhydramnios: Excessive amniotic fluid can also be a sign that your baby is larger than average. Amniotic fluid is produced to protect your baby during pregnancy, and an excessive amount could be an indicator that your baby is larger than average.  The level of amniotic fluid can also be an indicator of your baby’s urine output.  A larger baby will produce larger amounts of urine.

Other signs that healthcare providers should consider when measuring the size and health of your baby include your overall health, genetics, conditions like obesity or diabetes, or fetal medical conditions.  Careful monitoring and taking the correct action when variables arise is the first line of defense against birth injuries.

Birth injuries often result in emotional and psychological trauma, extensive medical bills, and in some cases, a lifetime of continuing medical care.  The consequences may be furthered if your baby’s injuries were caused by the negligence of a healthcare provider in adequately recognizing and treating potentially dangerous medical situations.  If you are concerned about birth injuries and negligent healthcare, contact Brown & Brothers to learn more.

Why Size Matters During Childbirth

During childbirth, the size of your baby can be a tremendous factor in how the process unfolds.  Whether the baby is small or large for his or her gestational age, size matters a lot! One of the most concerning elements of size during childbirth is the fact that large babies (8.8 pounds or more) are more likely to struggle during labor and delivery, and the risk of complications to mother and child increases.  Babies that are 8 pounds, 13 ounces or more are considered to have “fetal macrosomia“.

Fetal macrosomia presents risks to both the mother and child, and those risks increase the larger the baby is.  According to the Mayo Clinic, possible complications of fetal macrosomia include:

  • Problems with Labor: Large babies may become wedged in the birth canal leading to birth injuries, maternal injuries, or may require assistive tools (vacuum, forceps), or a Cesarean section (c-section).
  • Uterine Rupture: Women who have had previous uterine surgery or c-sections are particularly at risk for this rare but serious complication. A uterine rupture occurs when the uterus tears open at the point of scars from previous surgeries.
  • Genital Tract Lacerations: Fetal macrosomia can cause damage to the birth canal, including tearing of tissue or muscles along the vaginal walls, or the perineum.
  • Bleeding: Fetal macrosomia increases the risk of improper uterine muscle contraction after delivery, which can result in potentially dangerous bleeding after delivery.
  • Newborn Health Risks: Complications of fetal macrosomia that may affect your newborn include an increased risk for him or her to develop abnormal blood sugar levels, childhood obesity, or metabolic syndrome.

These potential risks of fetal macrosomia are only a few examples of the possible dangers.  Every medical situation is different, and you should contact your healthcare provider with any questions you have about the health of you and your baby.

How to Stay Healthy During Pregnancy

The factors that contribute to a larger than average baby vary considerably.  To stay healthy during your pregnancy, keep track of your overall health, and consider the following:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight, and gaining a healthy amount of weight during your pregnancy can reduce your chances of having a larger than average baby.
  • Complete routine testing for gestational diabetes, and notify your doctor if you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes prior to becoming pregnant. If you have diabetes, controlling your blood sugar throughout pregnancy will be important.
  • Remember that accurately measuring fetal size and weight is difficult. If your doctor believes that your baby will be large, you may want to discuss interventions like induction or planned c-section before the labor and delivery process begins.

One of the best things you can do to stay healthy during your pregnancy is to trust your instincts.  If you feel like you aren’t getting answers to your questions, or your care is not to the level of quality you believe it should be – it might be time for a second opinion.

Have Questions about Birth Injuries?

If you have questions about birth injuries, their causes, symptoms, or treatment, explore the many resources that Brown & Brothers has to offer, or contact us by completing our online form.  We are dedicated to helping families get the information and answers they need.

 

Sources:

https://www.romper.com/p/how-big-will-my-baby-be-the-answer-will-help-you-prepare-for-childbirth-2774445

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/fetal-macrosomia/basics/causes/con-20035423

 

 

 

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What is the Role of Pediatricians for Children with Neurologic Injuries? http://www.birthinjuryguide.org/2017/10/pediatricians-neurologic-injuries/ Sun, 29 Oct 2017 20:52:41 +0000 http://www.birthinjuryguide.org/?p=13827 When it comes to children’s healthcare, pediatricians are often considered the frontline for recognizing, diagnosing, and treating problems.  With this in mind, the question must be asked – what is the role of pediatricians for children with neurologic injuries? Are …

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When it comes to children’s healthcare, pediatricians are often considered the frontline for recognizing, diagnosing, and treating problems.  With this in mind, the question must be asked – what is the role of pediatricians for children with neurologic injuries? Are they still the frontline, or are they just one cog in the wheel of healthcare?

What are Neurologic Injuries?

Neurologic injuries or disorders affect the nervous system, as well as the electrical or biochemical functions in the brain, spinal cord, or nerves.  Some of the more common neurologic injuries affecting infants include:

This list is not exhaustive.  There are many neurologic injuries and disorders that can affect infants and young children, especially those who experienced a difficult birth or were born prematurely.

To learn more about neurologic injuries caused by medical malpractice or birth injuries, contact Brown & Brothers by completing our online form.

The Role of the Pediatrician in Assessing or Diagnosing Neurologic Injuries

According to a recent session at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition, pediatricians absolutely should be a frontline for addressing neurologic injuries or disorders.  Pediatricians should incorporate routine screening for neurologic problems and ensure that referrals to a pediatric neurologist is timely.  Dr.  Susy S.  Jeng, MD, FAAP, recommends pediatricians consider the following screening options to identify neurologic injuries in infants and neonates:

  • Routine measurement of the baby’s head circumference.
  • Checking for asymmetric Moro reflex, with follow up on whether both hands are being used equally. Unequal use is one sign that a brachial plexus injury may have occurred.
  • Evaluating birthmarks for any signs of neurocutaneous disorders. Pigment and vascular skin lesions may not be present at birth, but may indicate a problem.
  • Children who appear “floppy” should be evaluated for peripheral and central nervous system problems.
  • Evaluating children with delays in two or more developmental domains may indicate a need for further evaluation.
  • Hypotonic infants may need assessment of deep tendon reflexes at their annual well-checks.

Pediatricians also have a role as educator and mentor for the families they serve.  They should be aware of the signs and symptoms, differential diagnosis, and support options to help families understand neurologic diagnosis and treatment options.

The Role of the Pediatrician in Treating Neurologic Injuries

Not only are pediatricians central to assessing and diagnosing your child, they are also a critical component to any treatment plan.  Your pediatrician will be right by your side as you determine what treatment options are most suitable, consult with other healthcare providers, and continue to monitor the health and progress of your child.

Of course, the type of treatment your child needs will often determine the level of direct involvement your pediatrician will have.  Among some of the most common neurological injuries or disorders, you may find treatment options such as:

  • Hemorrhage: The treatment of a hemorrhage depends on the nature and severity of the injury. In some cases, no treatment at all is necessary.  In others, the focus is on preventing other illness or injury that could make the hemorrhage (and effects) worse.  In more severe cases, surgery may be required to reduce swelling and stabilize the child.
  • PVL: Because PVL results in damage or death to white matter (tissue) in the brain, there is no known treatment. Your doctor(s) will create a management plan based on several factors, such as:
    • Gestational age
    • Overall health and medical history
    • Nature and extent of the condition
    • Your child’s tolerance to medications or therapies
    • Expectations for the course of your child’s condition
  • Brachial Plexus Injury: Treating a brachial plexus injury also depends on the severity of the injury and damage done. Minor injuries may resolve and heal on their own.  More severe injuries often require physical therapy, non-invasive procedures, and ongoing monitoring.  The most severe cases sometimes require surgery to repair damage and restore function.
  • Hypotonia: Hypotonia involves weakened or “loose” muscle tone, so one of the best treatment options is physical therapy. To most effectively treat hypotonia, physical therapy and related plans should set clear goals or milestones, such as walking, sitting upright, or participating in activities.  Therapy plans also often include support for developing fine motor and coordination skills.

As this list example shows, there are many ways that your pediatrician may be involved in the treatment of neurologic injuries or disorders.  He or she likely will work alongside a team of healthcare providers to ensure the proper treatment plan is created and followed through.  Your pediatrician will also continue to act as your child’s primary care doctor addressing and treating normal illnesses and concerns you may have.

One Cog in the Wheel of Healthcare

In many ways, your pediatrician is the frontline of care for your child.  When it comes to neurologic injuries, however, your pediatrician may be more easily recognized as one cog in the wheel of healthcare.  With most of the injuries or disorders discussed in this article, your best chance of maximizing your child’s health and quality of life is assembling a support team that will ensure your family is equipped for success.

Many families find it helpful to include a legal professional in their support team to help address any legal issues and ensure their legal rights are protected.  Because some neurologic injuries are caused by negligence of a healthcare provider, a legal professional can also provide options for legal support and recovery.

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Do Women Really Know the Risks of Vaginal Birth Injuries? http://www.birthinjuryguide.org/2017/10/women-know-risks-vaginal-birth-injuries/ Thu, 19 Oct 2017 14:23:06 +0000 http://www.birthinjuryguide.org/?p=13755 When most people hear the term birth injuries, they immediately think about injuries suffered by the child, but what about the injuries suffered by women? Do women really know the risks of vaginal birth injuries? Are doctors giving women enough …

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When most people hear the term birth injuries, they immediately think about injuries suffered by the child, but what about the injuries suffered by women? Do women really know the risks of vaginal birth injuries? Are doctors giving women enough information to make informed decisions about their childbirth experience and what to expect after?

A Senate inquiry is looking to address these, and other, questions related to complications of vaginal birth, as well as procedures done to correct them.  There is concern that doctors are failing to address the real risks of vaginal birth because they are worried that women will become too scared about the process.

Risks of Vaginal Birth Injuries

Childbirth is an extremely taxing process, and can quickly become complicated or result in birth injuries.  For the mother, common vaginal birth injuries include:

  • Vaginal Prolapse: Vaginal prolapse occurs when the internal structures (ligaments, muscles, tissue) supporting the uterus, bladder, rectum, and small bowel fall out of place. Weakened or failing structures can result in these body parts resting against the vagina, or in severe cases, even passing through the vaginal opening.  Vaginal prolapse can cause pain, incontinence, and compromised sexual function.
  • Chronic Pain: Many women suffer from chronic pain in the months or even years after childbirth. The reasons for chronic pain vary, ranging from nerve damage to scar tissue, fractured pelvic bones to severely damaged internal structures.  Chronic pain after childbirth should not be ignored, and may be a sign of a serious vaginal birth injury.
  • Scarring: During childbirth, if the baby appears to be stuck, or labor is delayed, the doctor may need to perform an episiotomy, which is a small cut along the vagina. An episiotomy can result in scarring that affects sexual function, or may also injure other nearby structures.
  • Tearing: Vaginal tears are, unfortunately, a common risk of vaginal birth. Most common among first-time mothers (95 percent chance of suffering a tear), vaginal tears are classified in four “degrees”, which are:
    • First-Degree: Small tears involving only the skin around the vagina or perinea. First-degree tears generally heal on their own.
    • Second-Degree: Tears involving the perineal muscles, located between the vagina and anus.
    • Third-Degree: Tears involving the perineal muscles and the muscles around the anus. These tears often require surgery to correct.
    • Fourth-Degree: The most severe, these tears involve the perineal muscles, the anal sphincter, and tissue surrounding the rectum. This degree of injury requires surgical intervention and can take months to completely resolve.
  • Fistula: Similar to a severe tear, a fistula is an injury occurring during lengthy or prolonged childbirth. A fistula occurs when the soft tissue between the mother’s pelvis and the baby’s head is compromised and dies, leaving a hole between the bladder and rectum.  The result is urine and feces leaking from the hole into other organs and the vagina.  Women suffering a fistula injury experience incontinence, foul odor, pain, and complications like kidney disease and other chronic illnesses.

The risk of these (or other) injuries is exacerbated when assistive tools are used for delivery, such as forceps or vacuums.

If you have questions about vaginal birth injuries or other birth injuries you or your child may have suffered, contact Brown & Brothers to get answers.

Managing Complications After Vaginal Birth

Managing complications after vaginal birth can be embarrassing and difficult to deal with.  Nonetheless, it is important that doctors open dialogue with women about the risks and how any complications will be managed.  Vaginal birth is considered, largely, to be the golden standard for childbirth.  It is not, however, always the safest or most suitable option.

Treatment options for vaginal birth injuries varies, with many doctors recommending vaginal mesh surgery to treat complications like prolapse of the vagina or pelvic organs, or incontinence.  Unfortunately, sometimes the treatment itself is not without its own risks.  For many years, vaginal mesh, or transvaginal mesh, has been the subject of much criticism and debate in the legal and healthcare communities.

In 2011, the U.S.  Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported common problems related to mesh implanted to treat pelvic organ prolapse (POP), which included:

  • Generalized pain; pain during intercourse
  • Infections surrounding mesh
  • Urinary tract problems
  • Erosion of soft tissues around mesh
  • Protrusion of the mesh through soft tissues
  • Damage to nearby organs

Since that time, a number of lawsuits have been filed and the FDA has worked diligently to enhance requirements and regulations for vaginal mesh products.  It is estimated that more than 100,000 individual lawsuits have been filed alleging injuries caused by vaginal mesh surgical implantation.

Sorting Through Complications and Confusion

Childbirth is an incredible experience, but unfortunately, it is also very unpredictable.  Vaginal birth injuries can certainly occur as a result of the natural birth process and may be unavoidable.  Unfortunately, there are also many cases where these injuries are caused by the negligence of a healthcare provider who fails to recognize or act on a complicated childbirth situation.

If you have questions about birth injuries, medical malpractice, or medical device lawsuits, contact Brown & Brothers.  Fill out our online form to speak with one of our skilled medical malpractice and birth injury attorneys.

 

 

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New Study Says Flint Water Crisis Increased Fetal Deaths, Lowered Fertility Rates http://www.birthinjuryguide.org/2017/10/study-claims-flint-water-crisis-increased-fetal-deaths-lowered-fertility-rates/ Tue, 10 Oct 2017 13:14:53 +0000 http://www.birthinjuryguide.org/?p=13683 The Flint water crisis has been a popular subject for the media in recent years, with a great deal of focus on just how the water crisis has impacted nearby residents.  Published in September 2017, a new study claims that …

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The Flint water crisis has been a popular subject for the media in recent years, with a great deal of focus on just how the water crisis has impacted nearby residents.  Published in September 2017, a new study claims that the Flint water crisis increased fetal deaths while lowering fertility rates among families living in affected areas.  Research on the long-term effects of the Flint water crisis are now casting even greater focus on the damage done, and how to preserve life and health in the future.

The Flint Water Crisis: Background and Review

The Flint water crisis officially began in 2014 when, in an effort to cut costs, the Flint River was used as a water source while a new pipeline was being constructed between Lake Huron and Flint.  Looking back, however, the events leading up to the catastrophic crisis we know as the “Flint water crisis” began much earlier.

The Flint River had not been used as a primary water source since 1967, partially due to the fact that the Flint River has historically been known to contain contaminants and bacteria that is potentially dangerous for human consumption.  In 2001, a massive cleanup effort was initiated with the hopes of removing contaminants across the Flint River watershed.  Over the next few years, a series of “boil water advisories” were issued as fecal coliform (E.  coli) and other disease-causing bacteria were found in various parts of the water supply.

The response to fecal coliforms was increased use of chlorine to treat and flush the water system.  Eventually, in 2014, General Motors, whose largest plan in the U.S.  is housed in Flint, stopped using the city’s water supply over concerns that high chlorine levels would corrode engine parts.  By 2015, the city had begun issuing warnings to residents about byproducts of disinfectants used to treat the water being ingested, including the potential for increased cancer risk.  The state had found Flint’s water supply to be far above the threshold set by the Safe Drinking Water Act in terms of disinfectant chemicals in the water.

While cleanup efforts seemed to initially help, it was noted that the Department of Environmental Quality had failed to treat the Flint River with anti-corrosive agents, which is a violation of federal law.  Failure to treat the water resulted in toxic levels of lead seeping into the pipes and service lines, which contaminated the city’s water supply.  Further, the city of Flint declined to reconnect the Lake Huron water supply, even though the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) offered to waive a $4 million reconnection fee.

When anyone – individual, employer, or organization – make decisions that threaten the health and wellbeing of innocent parties, there are always legal questions.  To find out more about how circumstances like the Flint water crisis could impact your legal rights, contact Brown & Brothers today.

Has the Flint Water Crisis Increased the Rate of Fetal Deaths?

The study mentioned earlier in this article was conducted by two economic professors at the University of Kansas.  In contrast to previous reports, this new research suggested that the rate of fetal deaths increased by 58 percent after the water crisis began.  Fertility rates were estimated to have dropped 12 percent among women living in Flint, Michigan.  Numerous reports already indicated a clear correlation between the contaminated water and increased illness among families living in the area, but the rate of fetal deaths had not been adequately identified.

To reach the conclusions in the new study, researchers analyzed birth and death certificates from before and after the water crisis began.  Further reinforcing the damage done by contamination, researchers also noted disparities in overall health of children living in Flint after the water crisis began, particularly in comparison to children in other parts of the state.

Flint Water Supply Contamination Caused Illness and Death

Prior research showed that the number of children with elevated or unhealthy lead levels at pediatrician visits had nearly tripled after the water supply was switched to the Flint River.  It has also been reported that an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease (attributed to the contaminated water supply) killed 12 people.

Many readers may remember the ACLU becoming involved after complaints were filed with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over sediment found in tap water and children suffering from rashes and other mysterious illnesses.  In 2015, it was discovered that the drinking water in some homes contained lead levels as much as seven times greater than the EPA limit (15 parts per billion, or ppb).  Also in 2015, scientists at Virginia Tech reported drinking water samples contained as much as 13,2000 ppb, which is staggering since the EPA considers 5,000 ppb as “hazardous waste”.

Fighting for Legal Rights and Justice for Those Harmed

Since the transition from Lake Huron to the Flint River, the series of illnesses, deaths, lead contamination, and ongoing research suggesting problems like an increase in fetal deaths have sparked numerous lawsuits.  Some lawsuits have been focused on individuals, while others have targeted the city of Flint and organizations related to the water crisis.  There have also been several class-action lawsuits.  What is consistent among the different types of lawsuits filed is the fact that negligence on the part of officials and agencies related to the transition, upkeep, cleaning, and maintenance of the water supply, is heralded as the cause for the catastrophe.

With research now suggesting even greater harm caused by the water crisis, more people than ever are turning their attention toward preservation of legal rights and the fight for justice for the families harmed by actions and decisions outside their control.

An increasing number of fetal deaths and childhood illnesses is terrifying, and you have the right to be informed about how best to keep you and your family safe.  If you have been harmed by the negligence of someone else and questions about your legal rights, or what your options are to pursue justice, contact Brown & Brothers today by completing our online form.

 

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