Westland, Wayne and Garden City, MI Birth Injury Attorneys
Wayne County is home to world-renowned scientists who have contributed greatly to cerebral palsy research. A Detroit scientist from Wayne State University / Detroit Medical Center helped prove that when a baby’s brain is cooled shortly after an injury caused by a lack of oxygen at birth, the cooling can help prevent cerebral palsy and death. A different group of scientists from the same institutions found a way to improve movement disorders (such as those seen in cerebral palsy) in rabbits by delivering medicine to very specific parts of the brain using nanotechnology. This research is extremely promising for the development of medications to help prevent or decrease the severity of cerebral palsy.
With such a high level of talent in Wayne County, it’s hard to imagine that patients would ever receive substandard care. Unfortunately, however, even the best physicians in the world make mistakes and sometimes cause a baby to have birth injuries caused by a lack of oxygen, infection, trauma and failure to properly diagnose conditions after birth, such as high bilirubin levels (jaundice). As unfortunate as this may be, it’s heartbreaking when the patient is a newborn baby.
Nationally Recognized Westland, Wayne and Garden City, Michigan Birth Injury Attorneys
The award-winning lawyers at Reiter & Walsh ABC Law Centers focus solely on birth injury cases and have been helping children who have cerebral palsy, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), seizure disorders and other disabilities for decades. Often, birth injuries could have been prevented if the medical team had paid close attention to the baby’s heart rate on the fetal heart rate monitor and acted quickly by performing an emergency cesarean section (C-section) when distress was evident on the fetal monitor.
It’s estimated that some type of medical error or malpractice occurs in about 5 out of every 1,000 births. These births typically result in injury to the baby either before, during, or just after the birth. Typical injuries include:
- Physical impairments from brain damage such as cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy or other physical limitations;
- Mental disabilities ranging from mild learning and cognitive problems to more moderate and severe issues such as intellectual and developmental disabilities;
- Birth asphyxia or lack of oxygen to the infant (HIE).
Causes of Birth Injuries
Listed below are complications can cause birth injuries when not properly managed by the physician and medical team:
- Postmaturity syndrome
- Placenta previa
- Umbilical cord problems, such as a nuchal cord 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)
- Anesthesia mistakes, which can cause blood pressure problems in the mother, including a hypotensive crisis
- Premature rupture of the membranes (PROM) / premature birth
- Prolonged and arrested labor
- Ruptured uterus (womb)
- Placental abruption
- Fetal stroke
- Preeclampsia / eclampsia
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Improperly treated neonatal hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
- Improperly treated high bilirubin levels (jaundice) that cause a form of brain damage called kernicterus.
- 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.
Treatments & Therapies for Cerebral Palsy & other Birth Injuries
There are numerous treatments and therapies available for children who have permanent brain damage caused by a birth injury.
Treatments and therapies for cerebral palsy and similar conditions caused by brain damage include the following:
- Activities such as swimming and horseback riding (hippotherapy)
- Botox injections for tight muscles
- Surgery, such as selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR)
- Tendon release surgery
- Electrical stimulation
- Chiropractic Intervention
- Behavioral Therapy
- Sensory integration therapy
- Aquatic therapy
- Adapted yoga
- Physical therapy, which includes range of motion exercises, stretching, progressive resistance exercises, and postural and motor control exercises
- ULTRA Program (a task specific training program)
- Speech therapy
- Recreational therapy
- Eye surgery for conditions such as strabismus
- Baclofen pump implantation to provide the child with continuous muscle relaxants
- Medications, such as seizure medication and oral muscle relaxants
- Occupational therapy
- CHAMP Program (Comprehensive Hand & Arm Movement Program)
- Animal therapy
- ACE Lab (Adaptive Cognitive Testing)
- Special camps
- Sports programs, such as Miracle League Baseball for children with just about any disability
- Nutrition and diet plan counseling
Westland, Wayne and Garden City, Michigan Birth Injury Attorneys Helping Children for Almost 3 Decades
Like most people, you probably have not ever had to find and hire an attorney before. It may seem like an overwhelming task and you may be unsure of how choose a qualified attorney. To help you get started, ABC Law Centers has put together the following tips and guidelines to help you identify the most qualified attorney to handle your child’s case.
- Choose a dedicated birth injury attorney. There are many great attorneys in the Wayne/Westland/Garden City, Michigan area that offer a variety of legal services. However, due to the complex nature of birth injury law, it is best to choose a lawyer with a lot of experience in this type of law. These attorneys have a much deeper understanding of the medicine involved in birth injury cases and usually have highly qualified medical experts on their team. They work together to identify the most likely cause of the birth injury and help determine if negligence played a role.
- Obtain a referral, if possible. If you have a friend or family member that is an attorney and whose opinion you trust, they may be able to refer a good birth injury lawyer. If you do not know anyone in the legal field then you may want to Google “birth injury attorneys” or visit legal resource websites like Avvo to help find prospects.
- Interview the attorneys. When you have narrowed down your list of potential attorneys, ask for a short meeting with each to discuss your case. This will give you a chance to talk directly with the attorney that will be representing your child and to ask questions about how the case will be handled. Some important questions to ask prospective birth injury attorneys: What percentage of your cases are birth injury cases? Will my case be referred out to another firm? (Some firms that don’t routinely handle birth injury cases will refer your case to another firm in exchange for a portion of the settlement.) What is your record of verdicts and settlements? How will you communicate with me throughout the litigation process? How involved will I and my child be in this process? What is the statute of limitations for my case? Can I still file a claim?
Award-Winning Michigan Birth Injury Attorneys
Reiter & Walsh ABC Law Centers can make the process easier. Jesse Reiter, the firm’s co-founder, is currently recognized as one of the best medical malpractice attorneys in America by U.S. News and World Report 2015, which also recognized his firm as being one of the best in the country. In fact, U.S. News and World Report has given Jesse the honor of being one of the “Best Lawyers in America” every year since 2008. Jesse has also been named a top lawyer by Super Lawyers Magazine for the last 7 years, and the magazine recently listed him as one of the 10 best attorneys in Michigan, as well as one of the 5 best Michigan consumer lawyers. In 2006, Jesse was named “Lawyer of the Year” by Michigan Lawyers Weekly, and in 2012, the organization deemed him one of the “Leaders in the Law.”
If your child was diagnosed with a permanent disability such as cerebral palsy, HIE, intellectual and developmental disabilities, periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) or Erb’s palsy, Jesse and his award winning team can help. Jesse and his team have helped many families and children throughout the country obtain compensation for lifelong treatment, therapy and a secure future. The firm has numerous multimillion dollar verdicts and settlements that attest to its dedication and success. Email or call the Westland, Wayne and Garden City, Michigan birth injury attorneys at Reiter & Walsh: 888-419-2229. No fees are ever collected until we win your case.
Video: About Birth Asphyxia and Cerebral Palsy
In this video, the Westland, Wayne and Garden City, Michigan birth injury attorneys at Reiter & Walsh discuss birth asphyxia and HIE and how these conditions can cause lifelong problems such as cerebral palsy.