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Medications and Treatments for Children with Birth Injuries

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In the last two years, the infant mortality rate increased for maternal complications and infection, two of the top ten leading causes of infant fatalities. The causes of birth injuries vary, from premature birth to maternal conditions, such as infection or prolonged labor. Fortunately, ample medications and treatments exist to prevent, improve, or manage birth injuries and their symptoms.

What Medications and Treatments can be Used to Avoid Injuries Before Birth?

Prevention and preparation are crucial in pregnancies at risk of premature delivery. Whether due to the mother’s health or the fetus’s, a pregnancy at risk of premature birth injuries requires precautionary measures through medications such as progesterone, betamethasone, and magnesium sulfate. Premature babies typically suffer from underdeveloped organs and lungs.

Progesterone is a hormone a woman’s body naturally produces to maintain a pregnancy. When the hormone levels are too low, contractions may begin too early. Progesterone therapy stops contractions to prevent premature birth. Magnesium sulfate is another preventative measure for prolonging a pregnancy. This type of salt helps prevent prematurity and protects the fetus from injuries during labor and delivery by increasing blood flow in the brain and bolstering cerebral membranes against the effects of inflammation.

One of the graver risks of prematurity is the baby’s underdeveloped lungs. Since the lungs are the last to develop before birth, a medication that develops the lungs quickly helps avoid life-threatening respiratory problems, brain bleeds, intestinal infections, recurring seizures, and cerebral palsy. A physician anticipating possible prematurity alleviates some of the risk of birth injuries through these widely available drugs.

Another preventative treatment for prematurity includes cervical cerclage, a surgical procedure that prevents the cervix from opening, leading to premature birth. Women with short cervixes benefit from stitching the cervix closed to support the cervical muscles that keep the fetus from exiting. The procedure is standard when a treating physician routinely measures the cervix and discovers its insufficient length, potentially leading to early labor and delivery.

What Treatment Options Exist for Immediately after Birth?

Postnatal treatments include procedural and drug therapies to address specific injuries. For example, therapeutic hypothermia is a cooling treatment to lower a newborn’s temperature and slow brain damage resulting from oxygen deprivation. When oxygen to the fetus is disrupted during the birth process, Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) often results. HIE can leave a baby cognitively and physically disabled. It can also be fatal. However, therapeutic hypothermia can slow the effects of HIE if applied within six hours of injury.

What Medications are Available for Newborns?

Cerebral Palsy is a typical result of birth injuries due to oxygen deprivation. The disease can impair the brain and body, causing cognitive delays and muscle spasticity. A baby’s muscles may stiffen and jerk spastically. Two drugs to help with muscle spasticity and tightness are Botox and Baclofen. Both ease disease symptoms through continuous administration by injection or implanted pump.

Typical drug therapies for cerebral palsy include anticholinergics to disrupt certain neurological or chemical messengers between cells that are responsible for bodily functions and anticonvulsants or antispastics that prevent seizures and muscle spasms that can harm a newborn. Many anticholinergics exist under different names and treat various conditions, such as tremors, spasms, stiffness, and jerking movements.

What Surgeries can be Used to Treat Birth Injuries?

Other options for postnatal treatment of cerebral palsy include surgery. Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) surgically removes abnormal nerves causing muscle spasticity. Also, surgically lengthening leg tendons through hip muscle release surgery allows a child with cerebral palsy to live with less pain and better mobility, preventing hip dislocations. Pain medication and antidepressants or anti-anxiety drugs may help in recovery and coping with symptoms that persist. Additionally, skull fractures may require corrective or pressure-alleviation through surgery.

Ongoing Therapeutic Treatment Methods for Birth Injury

Aside from prevention and targeted interventions, ongoing therapies to address birth injury symptoms may be temporary or lifelong. Physical therapy often helps with pain alleviation and improved mobility and range of motion. Children with severe disabilities may need occupational therapy to navigate daily operations, such as hygienic practices and mobility through assistive devices. Assisting with adaptive therapy involves adaptive devices and machinery, such as wheelchairs, braces, and orthotics.

Cognitive deficiencies may improve with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) aimed at intellectual adaptation, while speech-language therapy addresses speech disorders and communication issues. Emotional, physical, and sensory enrichment therapies include recreational and animal-assisted interaction to improve social skills. Children may ride horses to improve motor function and coordination. Non-traditional therapies via gaming, yoga, body movement, acupressure, acupuncture, stem cell implantation, and hyperbaric oxygen chambers are also available.

Some Birth Injury Treatment May be Paid for Through Legal Action in NJ

Some birth injuries are temporary and resolve within a short time. However, many do not and require lifelong management and treatment. Although various treatments exist, medications have side effects and may cause additional treatment. The road can be long and painful for a child born with injuries. Facing a birth injury that a medical professional could have avoided adds emotional and psychological damage to you, witnessing your child’s pain and suffering, and them, experiencing it.

Obstetric medication and therapeutic protocols for at-risk pregnancies, pregnancy and delivery complications, and postnatal care are intended to anticipate and react to potential injuries to the infant at birth. When doctors fail to follow routine protocols, such as preventing premature labor or bolstering a fetus’s organs with medicine, they may be deemed negligent and held liable for medical malpractice.

Medical malpractice occurs when medical professionals deviate from safe and standard protocols that other medical professionals would ordinarily take under the same conditions. If your doctor deviated from the acceptable medical care, you may need the help of a seasoned birth injury attorney to prove it. Knowing how to prove negligence is a matter of legal education and experience, which our team of lawyers has in spades. In fact, we focus on birth injury and pediatric malpractice matters in New Jersey and start by providing free case analysis to determine if parents and caregivers are in a solid position to file a lawsuit. Determining if your physician, hospital, or perhaps multiple parties involved in your pregnancy, labor, delivery, or post-delivery care were negligent is incredibly significant. Our attorneys perform a comprehensive review of your case to do just that.

Find out Your Legal Options

If your child suffered a birth injury due to a medical professional’s negligence, or you suspect that this may have occurred, consult with a birth injury lawyer on our team who can educate you on these claims and what we will do to verify and potentially prove yours if possible. From certifying your claim with a medical expert to presenting your case to a jury, our accomplished birth injury attorneys can tackle the complex job of getting you the compensation you and your child deserve. You and your loved ones do not have to suffer the financial costs of raising a child with a birth injury alone. Call (866)-708-8617 or send us an email to set up your free consultation.

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  • How do I know if my child has a pediatric malpractice case?

    If your child suffered an injury, complications, or a medical condition resulting from medical negligence, you may have grounds for a pediatric malpractice or birth injury lawsuit. Learn more.

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    If a doctor, nurse, hospital, or other healthcare provider failed to provide adequate care for your child and they suffered harm, you can pursue compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more. Find out about damages.

  • How long do I have to file a pediatric malpractice claim?

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