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Family Raises Awareness About Rare Birth Injury—Congenital diaphragmatic hernia

Our Illinois birth injury lawyers are familiar with a wide range of injuries that can affect new children because of our work helping families working through these situations. However, for the majority of the public their first serious encounter with these injuries arises when they themselves, a friend, or family member has a child who suffers from one of these Illinois birth defects. This is why it is important for all those who have a child who was injured or passed away because of problems at birth to share their story and raise awareness of their particular struggle.

This week Whig News recently shared the story of a woman who is doing just that to raise awareness of the rare birth defect from which her daughter suffers. The mother explained that her young child is lucky to be alive after being born with congenital diaphragmatic hernia. Little is known about the problem, though it is more common than more publicized injuries like spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, and cystic fibrosis. One out of every two thousands children are born with the hernia each year.

Congenital diaphragmatic hernia arises where there is an absence or hole in the child’s diaphragm. It most commonly occurs on the left side of the body and causes the contents of the abdomen-like the stomach, intestines, and liver-to go through the opening and into the victim’s chest. This intrusion prevents proper lung development, resulting in breathing problems upon the child’s birth. There are two type of the hernia. The first, Bochdalek hernia, arises when there is an opening on the back side of the diaphragm causing the stomach intestines, liver, or spleen to move into the chest cavity. The second form is known as Morgagni hernia. It is the rarer of the two and involves a frontal diaphragm opening through which the liver or intestines enters the cavity.

The woman profiled in the story is hoping to raise money to help treat those suffering from this condition. The advocate explained that some families find out about the problem before birth, usually through an ultrasound revealing breathing problems with the child. This mother explained that when her daughter was finally born, emergency action had to be taken nearly at once to save her life. She was airlifted to a bigger hospital during which times her lungs collapsed on at least four occasions. It wasn’t until two weeks later that she showed signs of improvement. The girl in this case was able to go home about two and a half months after her birth. However, many children born with the hernia are forced to live in the hospital for the first year of their lives.

Our Illinois birth defect attorneys applaud the advocacy efforts of these families. It is never easy to turn these tragedies into something positive, but stories of courage like this set a strong example for others working through the situation. We encourage all families whose young child was born with this or other defects to seek out the many resources available for support, encouragement, and aid. There is no need to deal with these situations alone.

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