Birth injuries can result from a wide variety of factors, and the birth injury treatment your child receives will vary depending on their specific injury and its severity.
From pain management to seizure control to wheelchairs and medications, birth injury treatments can cover a wide range of options.
Treatment for birth injuries may include one or more of the following depending on your child’s specific needs:
- Occupational therapy
- Physical therapy
- Speech therapy
- Nutritional counseling
- Assistive devices
- Adaptive equipment
- Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
- Special communication systems
- Prescription medication
- Corrective surgery
- Nerve grafts
- Muscle transfers
- Pain control
- Special education
A birth injury can cause your child temporary discomfort, or it can leave them with a lifelong disability. The regimen of birth injury treatments your son or daughter will receive can only be accurately determined by their pediatrician and other physicians with medical specialties.
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Contacting a Birth Injury Lawyer
Your goal is to ensure your child has a promising future, so you want to be sure your son or daughter receives the appropriate medical care, the right birth injury treatment, and the best possible prognosis. An attorney can help you receive the financial compensation you need to ensure your child receives the care they deserve. Contact the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at 1-844-908-0346 to speak with a lawyer near you today.
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Birth Injury Diagnosis and Treatment News
New Study Casts Doubt On Long-Term Effectiveness Of Physical Therapy In Children With CP
A new study reveals that while intensive physical therapy does bring improvement in the therapy room, it does not mean that motor performance in daily life will be improved. Cerebral Palsy News Today reported on the study.
The researchers wanted to look at the differences between capacity, someone’s ability to do something, and performance, how they use that ability outside of the therapy room. You can compare it to the difference in lifting weights in a gym and moving furniture at home.
It is assumed that increased capacity will lead to an increase in performance. However, this assumption was put to the test and found wrong. They measured children with CP just after completing physical therapy using standard capacity measures, then measured their performance at 12 weeks and 24 weeks to see if the changes held over time.
While no changes were found at 12 weeks, there were significant differences at 24 weeks. Children with CP who were sedentary had lower performance. The researchers say that children with CP need to find opportunities to use their increased capacity to maintain the performance gains they achieved through intervention.
The full details of the study can be found in the link to the journal Child found in the link above.
Blue Light Phototherapy Keeps Boy Alive With Rare Disease
Blue light phototherapy is a common treatment for severe infant jaundice. The blue light helps break down bilirubin in the body. Excess bilirubin can cause a type of brain damage called kernicterus.
However, there is a rare disease where the body cannot break down bilirubin and light therapy has to be used for life. Stock Daily Dish reports on the rare disease.
It’s called Crigler-Najjar syndrome. Only about 100 people worldwide have this rare liver disease. The boy in the story has to spend 20 hours a day under blue lights to stay alive. That’s because his body cannot create an enzyme that breaks down bilirubin.
He’s had to spend that long under blue light every day since he was a week old. He is now four. A liver transplant may have fixed the problem, but the family has a history of adverse reactions to anesthesia. A transplant could kill the child. When the child is old enough, they will give him the option to decide if he wants a transplant or not.
Because of the requirements, the boy can only go to school for two hours a day. He also has to stay still under the light. Fortunately for the family, the UK is paying for treatments.
Pain In Children With CP Is A Common Complaint
A new study from Sweden reveals some factors that can increase the pain from cerebral palsy in children. Cerebral Palsy News Today reports.
The study looked at over 3500 children and adolescents with CP, and was published in BMC Neurology. They studied information from a large cerebral palsy follow-up program that tracks most of the children in the country with CP. They also interviewed the patients or a caregiver about pain levels and made tests of the child’s mobility and gross motor functions.
Two factors that stood out were being an older child and being female. Girls reported pain 1.28 times more than males. Older patients in both sexes reported pain almost twice the time and reported more intense pain. Stronger pain was also correlated with lower mobility scores.
The study also found that pain was a common complaint in children with CP, with 30 to 70 percent of people in the study reporting pain depending on the population. A third reported that the pain disturbed their sleep.
Pain management for children with CP is important for their quality of life. Pain can be reduced in a number of ways, not just through prescription medication. But parents should speak with doctors and their children about ways they can help lower the level of pain caused by CP.
Small Study Finds Resistance Exoskeleton Can Make Walking Easier In Children With CP
Robotic assistance devices are a major field of research right now. The use of robots to provide guidance and resistance to people with disabilities can help them retrain their muscles to, one day, walk without assistance. But much more research is needed.
Cerebral Palsy News Today wrote about a pilot study on a type of robotic exoskeleton that pushes back against the user to retrain walking. The hypothesis is that strength therapy alone may not be enough to fix gait problems with children in CP. They need to be strengthened through activities that naturally use them, like walking.
The researchers designed their device to test the theory. It tracks the gait of the wearer and provides resistance when stepping forward. This makes it harder to walk and, in theory, strengthens the muscles in the right way.
Six volunteers ages 12-17 tested the device in 20-minute sessions four to five times. The device showed that the contraction of the muscle on the back of the leg increased significantly. However, they also found a decrease of activity in the opposing muscle. This is significant because children with CP usually have both sides too contracted.
More research is needed into both functional exercises and in how adaptive resistance devices like these can be used to help children with CP.
Stem Cell Therapy Is Promising, But Needs Refinement
Stem cell therapies are a new frontier of medicine, but this means that the available treatments using them are risky. The Legal Examiner talks about some of the challenges of using these cells for treatment.
Stem cells are the first types of cells that are created when humans are grown in the body. They have the ability to become any other kind of cell, which makes them unique. The goal of the researchers is to figure out how to induce stem cells to multiply and change into tissue types that do not regenerate naturally and have them repair or replace damaged organs in the body.
Nerves are one instance where stem cell research is ongoing. Nerves once damaged do not repair themselves easily. If it is possible to regrow good nerves, diseases like paralysis could be cured. Doctors are also using stem cell banks to test new drugs in ways that do not require the use of human subjects.
Some treatments have been approved by the FDA, but because this is such a new form of treatment there are a lot of experimental treatments on the market that haven’t undergone rigorous testing. Thus, people seeking stem cell treatments should take care and know the risks for any particular treatment.
Taking Lots Of Fish Oil Supplements Doesn’t Reduce Premature Birth Rates
The road to medical advice is paved in studies. We have one from last year about a popular supplement used to promote health during pregnancy that shows that taking more of something doesn’t necessarily lead to better results. Medical Xpress reports.
5500 women in Australia were involved in a study to see if high doses of omega-3 fatty acid supplements reduced premature births. The women were randomly divided into two groups. One group got omega-3 supplements and the other got vegetable oil.
The researchers wanted to see if high doses of omega-3 oils would cut premature birth across the board, regardless of birth risks or existing omega-3 levels. Previous studies had suggested that omega-3 supplements could prevent premature birth.
The study showed that higher doses did not significantly reduce the chances of premature birth in the population. That has led the researchers to conclude that a better approach would be to find out which women have low omega-3 levels and target them for supplementation. Women who already have good levels do not seem to benefit from taking more.
We have to trust doctors to give us the best medical advice they can to prevent serious issues like premature birth. Knowing about studies like this can help patients talk with their doctors in an informed way so they can be a full participant in their health outcomes.
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Knitted Octopus Helping To Save Premature Babies
An interesting technique from Denmark is getting a lot of attention in American NICUs. NBC 30 reported on the use of knitted and crochet octopuses in ventilators.
Premature babies are often connected to ventilators to help them breathe. One of the dangers of using these is the baby grabbing onto the tubes and pulling. There is an instinct in newborns to grasp onto things. They will even do it in the womb to the umbilical cord.
People in Denmark decided to find a way to create a distraction to stop the babies from grabbing the ventilator tubes. They created a pattern that creates an octopus that a baby can grab onto instead. The pattern is large enough to prevent strangulation and choking hazards.
The toy is given to the mother first for a time, then given to the baby. The scent of mom is transferred to the toy this way and gives the baby additional comfort. It also helps them to recognize the safety of mom after they leave the NICU.
Sometimes simple solutions like these are the best ones to help prevent problems with a difficult birth. We hope that this technique catches on in other hospitals. It could save lives.
Magnesium Sulphate Use Not Shown To Be Harmful In New Study
Part of the prevention of many birth injuries starts with receiving good advice from doctors about nutrition and health for pregnant women. One good example is increasing folic acid intake to reduce the chances of a neural tube defect.
Magnesium sulphate has also been recommended by some to reduce the chances of preeclampsia, eclampsia, pre-term birth, and cerebral palsy. The benefits have been known for some time, but it wasn’t known if the increased magnesium would cause damage to the baby.
Cerebral Palsy News Today reported on a study that shows that increased magnesium intake is not associated with a higher probability of harm. The study was published in PLOS Medicine.
The study reviewed 200 previous studies covering nearly 20,000 pregnancies to see if there was an increased risk of danger near the time of birth associated with increased magnesium sulphate intake.
The researchers say that in nearly all cases, they could not find any statistically significant dangers. However, there are some rare instances where it could be a problem but more data is needed to confirm it. These instances include extreme premature birth or very low birth weight.
The researchers now recommend that studies be performed on narrower studies of specific outcomes and characteristics regarding the use of magnesium sulphate supplementation.
While this study shows promise for using it, we must stress that you should speak with your doctor before beginning any supplements.
Treatment For Spasticity Shows Promising Signs, But Needs More Study
Most children with cerebral palsy have spasticity. This is a continuous contraction of a muscle. Treatments for it are complex and can involve dangerous drugs. But there’s one treatment under consideration that has no side effects, but more research is needed. Cerebral Palsy News Today has the story.
The treatment is called extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT). It is similar to treatments used to break up kidney stones by using sound waves. A review was done on this treatment to see how well it helped children with CP. Five studies were found using the technique with 104 participants total.
While there were differences in how the tool was used between the studies, researchers found that scores on the Modified Ashworth Scale, a measure of spasticity, decreased by 0.62 relative to controls. There were also significant improvements in range of motion one month after treatment and more foot contact area during walking.
The researchers say that larger studies are needed to prove its effectiveness over time, but they also said that no serious side effects were observed in any patient after the therapy. Therefore, it may be an valid alternative for treating spasticity and range of motion when side effects are not wanted.
We hope that more research is done in this area so that children with CP can help control their symptoms better.
Walk Again Project’s Technology Allows Two Paraplegics To Walk With Minimal Assistance
Thanks to palsy or another birth injury, some babies are born with a form of paralysis. Research into how to get people with paralysis to move again is the aim of the Walk Again Project. They continue to meet with success, as Eureka Alert reports.
Earlier this year, the Walk Again Project published a report saying that their technology helped two patients with paraplegia walk again with minimal assistance using a non-invasive brain-machine interface. The patients have been able to walk 4500 steps using the technology.
The device reads an EEG of the patient’s brain and sends signals to a computer for interpretation. The computer then sends electrical signals patches on their legs. These patches stimulate the muscles in the same way our brains do. The latest version of the system helped the patients regain walking ability in around 25 sessions.
Researchers were also surprised that this training also improved motor skills through practice. The organization has also done studied assistance technologies like robotic assistance and invasive procedures for nerve and muscle stimulation, but their goal is to create non-invasive technologies.
They now intent to combine all of their current non-invasive tools into a unified program to help people with spinal cord injuries regain maximum neurological and functional recovery.
Watch Out For Perfectionism During Recovery From A Birth Injury
Coping with the aftermath of a brain injury is difficult, but it becomes even more difficult if you believe that recovery should go faster than you’d like, or if you believe that you can return to perfect function after the injury. Yahoo Lifestyle reported on why perfectionism can be a barrier to recovery.
After treatment, the initial stages of recovery can move quite quickly. For people with perfectionistic tendencies, their drive can help them. But once the initial gains have been made, progress can slow down.
This can lead to frustration in the patient as they learn to cope with their limitations. They could lose compassion for themselves and lock themselves into a rigid pattern.
The same can happen to parents watching their children recover after a birth injury. It’s natural for them to be invested in the progress of their children’s development, but if they start to project their views of how progress should move onto the child, it just causes more stress for everyone and can slow down the process.
Even if a family wins a large settlement due to a birth injury, steps still need to be taken to ensure the best recovery possible for their child. Money doesn’t solve every possible problem. Be kind to yourselves and your child.