Award-Winning Clinton Township Cerebral Palsy Lawyers Helping Children Affected by Cerebral Palsy & Other Birth Injuries | “Highest Verdicts & Settlements in Michigan” for Over 15 Years – Michigan Lawyers Weekly
A Clinton Township, Michigan woman with cerebral palsy was just named Entrepreneur of the Year for developing a fast-growing Avon business. Amie Kupovits is a familiar face at the Clinton Township and Auburn Hills offices of Macomb-Oakland Regional Service, a Michigan organization that helps people with developmental disabilities obtain support and jobs.
Seven days a week, Amie’s caregiver, Tracie, takes her to the different offices where she sits with Amie and helps her sell Avon products. Amie has many regular customers and has even recruited 41 representatives to work for Avon. The talented entrepreneur says she goes wherever her customers want her, so when someone calls and wants a visit from Amie, Tracie is more than happy to drive Amie to the customer’s home so a sale can be made.
The director of the Michigan Association of Rehabilitation Organizations, Dave Price, says that Amie has built a reputation in the community of being efficient, hard-working and punctual, and taking every opportunity to promote her business. This dedication and work ethic is one reason the organization named Amie Entrepreneur of the Year. In fact, Amie is now a top selling team leader for Avon.
Amie had tears in her eyes when she won the award. Her parents had been caring for her since she was first diagnosed with cerebral palsy shortly after birth. Amie’s father passed away in 1985, and when her mother passed away in 2007, Amie had to live in a group home for the disabled at age 48. Thanks to the recent help of caregiver Tracie, Amie has been able to move away from the group home and live in her own home with 24 hour care from a few different caregivers, including Tracie.
CLINTON TOWNSHIP CEREBRAL PALSY LAWYERS HELPING CHILDREN FOR ALMOST 3 DECADES
The award-winning cerebral palsy lawyers at Reiter & Walsh ABC Law Centers have helped hundreds of children affected by hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) and cerebral palsy. Attorney Jesse Reiter, president of ABC Law Centers, has been focusing solely on birth injury cases for over 28 years, and most of his cases involve hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) and cerebral palsy. Partners Jesse Reiter and Rebecca Walsh are currently recognized as two of the best medical malpractice lawyers in America by U.S. News and World Report 2015, which also recognized ABC Law Centers as one of the best medical malpractice law firms in the nation. The attorneys at ABC Law Centers have won numerous awards for their advocacy of children and are members of the Birth Trauma Litigation Group (BTLG) and the Michigan Association for Justice (MAJ). In fact, Jesse is one of only 2 attorneys in Michigan to have been elected Chair of the BTLG.
If your child experienced a birth injury such as HIE, seizures, cerebral palsy or any other long-term condition, contact Reiter & Walsh today at 888-419-2229. Our award-winning Clinton Township cerebral palsy lawyers are available 24/7 to speak with you.
WHAT IS CEREBRAL PALSY?
Cerebral palsy is a disorder that causes problems with movement and balance due to a brain injury that occurs around the time of labor and delivery. Sometimes cerebral palsy is noticed soon after birth, but in other children, the disorder won’t be noticed until a few years later. Babies with cerebral palsy are often slow to roll over, sit, crawl or walk, and may look weak and have poor head position. Cerebral palsy noticed a few years later in life is characterized by abnormal muscle tone, poor reflexes, poor motor coordination, permanently fixed / tight muscles (spasticity), spasms, other involuntary movements, unsteady walking, and scissor or toe walking.
Spastic Cerebral Palsy
Spastic cerebral palsy is the most common type of CP, occurring in approximately 70 – 90% of all cases. Normally, muscles coordinate in pairs; when one group of muscles contract (tighten), the other group relaxes. This allows free movement. In spastic cerebral palsy, complications in brain-to-nerve-to-muscle communication occur, which causes imbalanced muscle tension. Muscles affected by spastic cerebral palsy become active at the same time, which prevents coordinated movement. Thus, the muscles in children with spastic cerebral palsy are constantly stiff, or spastic; they have stiff, jerky movements stemming from an abnormally high muscle tone, called hypertonia.
The main difference between spastic cerebral palsy and a normal pattern of movement is the scissor gait.
Scissor gait is characterized by the following:
- Knees and thighs may cross or touch while walking
- Hips and pelvis are often locked, as if crouching while walking
- Ankles may be turned inwards while walking
- “Tip toe” walking
- Arms and hands may go outwards from the body to provide balance
WHAT IS THE TREATMENT FOR SPASTIC CEREBRAL PALSY?
Selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) is a fairly new surgical procedure to help treat children with spastic cerebral palsy. The goal of SDR is to selectively destroy malfunctioning nerve roots in the spinal cord. During SDR, the lower vertebrae are opened to reveal the spinal cord where bundles of nerve fibers channel messages between the brain and different areas of the body. Electrical stimulation is used to identify and sub-divide sensory and motor nerves. This procedure continues until the specific nerves and nerve roots affecting the spastic muscles are identified and cut. Due to the size of the nerves and rootlets, this is a very precise procedure and surgery can last several hours. The goal of the surgery is to cut all or almost all of the dysfunctional nerves and nerve roots.
Many months of physical therapy (PT) are needed after the surgery to train and retrain the legs. In fact, PT is necessary in order to maximize benefits of the surgery.
Research shows that SDR coupled with PT provides significant benefit over PT alone. SDR greatly reduces spasticity and there is improvement in function as measured by the Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM). The GMFM system is a classification system that describes the gross motor function of children with cerebral palsy on the basis of their self-initiated movement, with particular emphasis on sitting, walking, and wheeled mobility. Spasticity, range of motion, and functional muscle strength typically improve through five years or more after surgery. SDR patients usually show sustained improvement in alignment and postural stability, as well as an increased ability to perform difficult transitional movements. There also are long-term improvements of movement abnormalities.
CLINTON TOWNSHIP CEREBRAL PALSY LAWYERS DISCUSS THE CAUSES OF CEREBRAL PALSY
Anything that causes oxygen deprivation or trauma to the brain while it is still developing can cause cerebral palsy. Labor and delivery is a common time for complications to occur that cause trauma, a lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain and infection. Listed below are some of the most common causes of birth injuries that lead to cerebral palsy.
Causes of birth injuries and cerebral palsy include:
- Postmaturity syndrome
- Ruptured uterus (womb)
- Preeclampsia / eclampsia
- Placenta previa
- Umbilical cord problems, such as a nuchal cord (cord wrapped around the baby’s neck) or umbilical cord prolapse
- Failure to quickly deliver a baby when fetal distress is evident on the fetal heart rate monitor (delayed emergency C-section)
- Oligohydramnios (low amniotic fluid)
- Premature rupture of the membranes (PROM) / premature birth
- Prolonged and arrested labor
- Intracranial hemorrhages (brain bleeds), which can be caused by a traumatic delivery. Forceps and vacuum extractors can cause brain bleeds. Sometimes intense contractions (hyperstimulation) caused by labor induction drugs (Pitocin and Cytotec) can cause head trauma. Mismanagement of cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD), abnormal presentations (face or breech presentation), and shoulder dystocia also put a child at risk of having a brain bleed.
- Hyperstimulation caused by Pitocin and Cytotec can also cause oxygen deprivation that gets progressively worse.
- Fetal stroke
- Placental abruption
- Improper management of anemia (low red blood cell count), which can cause the baby to lack the capacity to carry oxygen to the cells and tissues in the body, including brain cells.
- Improper management of the baby’s respiratory status after birth. This includes failure to properly manage apnea (periods of breathing cessation), failure to properly manage a baby on a breathing machine (which can cause overventilation injuries, such as hypocarbia and a hole or holes in the lungs), and failure to give proper amounts of surfactant, which helps with lung maturity and lung compliance in premature lungs.
- Brain infection such as meningitis, which can be caused by infections in the mother that travel to the baby at birth. These maternal infections include the following: Group B Strep (GBS), herpes simplex virus (HSV), urinary tract infection (UTI), bacterial vaginosis (BV) and chorioamnionitis.
- Untreated or improperly treated neonatal hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
- Untreated or improperly treated high bilirubin levels (jaundice) that cause a form of brain damage called kernicterus.
- Anesthesia mistakes during delivery, which can cause blood pressure problems in the mother, including a hypotensive crisis.
CLINTON TOWNSHIP CEREBRAL PALSY LAWYERS HELPING CHILDREN FOR ALMOST 3 DECADES
Most of the labor and delivery complications discussed above injure the baby because they cause a lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain. Brain injury can be prevented if physicians quickly recognize the complications – which almost always manifest as a non-reassuring heart tracings on the fetal monitor – and then deliver the baby right away so she can breathe on her own and be helped by the medical team. Physicians are also supposed to diagnose infections in the mother and take actions to prevent the transmission of them to the baby. In addition, dangerous delivery devices, such as forceps and vacuum extractors, should only be used in limited circumstances, and only by skilled physicians who have obtained informed consent from the mother. Permanent injury often occurs when physicians fail to closely monitoring the baby’s heart rate and fail to appreciate signs and symptoms in the mother indicative of birth complications.
The award-winning cerebral palsy lawyers at Reiter & Walsh ABC Law Centers focus solely on birth injury cases and have been helping children throughout the country for almost 3 decades. The attorneys believe that any person whose negligence causes a child to be afflicted with cerebral palsy should be held responsible. Reiter & Walsh are very passionate about helping children obtain the compensation they need for lifelong treatment, therapy and a secure future.
There are many lawyers in Michigan who call themselves “cerebral palsy lawyers” or “birth injury attorneys.” Jesse Reiter, president of ABC Law Centers, is the only attorney in Michigan who has spent his entire 28+ year career focusing on birth injury cases, and most of his cases involve helping children affected by cerebral palsy. Jesse helps children in Michigan and throughout the nation, and he spends a great deal of time getting to know the child and family he is helping so he can completely understand the child’s needs. Jesse has won numerous awards for his advocacy of children and is currently recognized as one of the best medical malpractice attorneys in America by U.S. News and World Report 2015, as well as one of the 10 Best Attorneys in Michigan by Super Lawyers magazine.
Cerebral palsy is a difficult area of law to pursue due to the complex nature of the disorder and the medical records that support it. The cerebral palsy lawyers at Reiter & Walsh ABC Law Centers have decades of experience with cerebral palsy cases. To find out if you have a case, contact our nationally recognized firm to speak with one of our attorneys. Our attorneys handle cases in Michigan, Ohio, Washington, D.C. and throughout the nation. We have numerous multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements that attest to our success and no fees are ever paid to our firm until we win your case. Email or call us at 888-419-2229. Our firm’s award-winning Clinton Township cerebral palsy lawyers are available to speak with you 24 / 7.