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Lack of Oxygen to Brain May Cause Focal Dystonia Birth Injury

Our Chicago birth injury attorneys have learned over the years that there are certain trends in cases involved preventable injuries to newborns caused by medical malpractice. In perhaps more cases than not, the problems arise by medical professionals’ failure to take necessary steps in abnormal or emergency births. Of course, there is always risk in these situations that is completely out of the hands of caregivers. However, the risks of these situations does not mean that medical professionals’ failure to act reasonably is excusable when that failure leads to harm to the child or mother.

In these botched emergency births, the specific injury to the child is often a lack of oxygen to the brain. The brain requires a constant flow of blood and oxygen to thrive. When oxygen and blood are kept from the brain for a certain period of time (which happens in delayed fetal distress), then the child often develops permanent complications. One of the lesser known problems caused by lack of oxygen to the brain in childbirth is known as focal dystonia. As described in a new story in Empowher, focal dystonia is a condition that causes victims to have involuntary contractions of their muscles, often in the jaw, vocal cords, and neck.

Beyond the birth injury problem, focal dystonia can also arise in other situations. Other brains injuries can lead to the problem, such as those caused by stroke. In other situations a vitamin B12 deficiency has been known to cause it. Infections, carbon monoxide poisoning, and heavy metal poising have also been shown to cause the condition. Therefore, in many cases, focal dystonia is rooted in the negligence of others.

There are a few treatment options currently available to sufferers. Medication can be taken which affects neurotransmitters and help ease symptoms of sufferers. This includes drugs such as bromocriptine, trihexphenidyl, muscle relaxants, procyclidine HCl, carbidopa, and others. It is important to reiterate that these medications do not slow progression of focal dystonia, but instead they merely alleviate some symptoms. Of course, the medications also come with side effects of their own. Some of these drugs are known to cause sedation and memory problems. Besides medication, injections of botulinum toxin are another treatment option for the condition. These injections are often thought to be the best treatment method, because they are best at preventing muscle contractions. Usually patients need new injections every few months to ensure the contractions are kept at bay.

The Illinois birth injury lawyers at our firm encourage all those who may have developed this problem through the misconduct of another to contact legal professionals to learn about their rights. The consequences of these injuries are far reaching, and in many cases they can affect lives permanently. There is no reason why those responsible for the problems are not asked to pay for the consequences of their conduct. The civil law is designed toward that specific end, and victims need only contact proper help to use the system to protect their rights.

In Other News: Two of our companion blogs–The Illinois Medical Malpractice Blog and Illinois Injury Lawyer Blog–were nominated for inclusion as one of the Top 25 Tort Blogs of 2011. The award is part of the LexisNexis project which seeks to feature blogs that set the standard in certain practice areas and industries. The voting to narrow down the field is currently underway, and we would love to have your vote. All you have to do is add a comment at the end of the post about the Top 25 bogs.

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See Our Related Blog Posts:

Family of Injured Boy Seeks Approval of $30M Award in Birth Injury Lawsuit

Doctor’s Failure to Treat Jaundice Causes Baby to Suffer Cerebral Palsy Birth Injury