Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf is a New York Plaintiff's personal injury law firm specializing in automobile accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, products liability, police misconduct and all types of New York personal injury litigation.

Articles Posted in Cerebral Palsy & Brain Damage

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microcephalyCases of babies born with microcephaly, a dangerous birth defect that causes babies to be born with a significantly smaller head than other children and can result in brain injury have been dramatically increasing in Latin America and some Caribbean islands. These cases are linked to the Zika Virus which is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes bites. The virus was discovered in Brazil in May. There were more than 4000 cases of microcepahly recorded in Brazil since last October. In New York three cases were recorded recently, all from people who had just traveled abroad.

Read more in the NY Daily News 

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newbornHypoglycemia (low blood glucose level) at birth can lead to brain injury and intellectual development disabilities.   Therefore when a child  is born with a low level of sugar in his blood, he or her is immediately treated to maintain the blood sugar level above a certain threshold. Treatment usually consists of additional feeding and or oral intravenous glucose. A new study involving more than 404 newborns  shows that not only maintaining a level of sugar above a certain threshold but also keeping it from swinging too high too fast is essential to prevent neurosensory impairments.

During the first 48 hours of their life, all 404 infants were fitted with a device that would read the blood sugar level every 5 minutes. 53% of the infants participating in the study had blood sugar levels below 47 milligrams per deciliters and needed treatment. The rest of them didn’t require treatment.

The blood sugar monitoring device showed that during the first 48 hours of life many infants including those who didn’t need treatment, experience low blood sugar episodes.

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size_550x415_homeless9n-2-webJohileny Meran Almonte, a New York teen who has cerebral palsy and needs to use a wheelchair lost her mother to cancer in 2010. Since then she has been living in a homeless shelter while she was attending high school.

Last Friday, she graduated from Juan Morel Campos Secondary School with a 95 average. The valedictorian of a class of 86 students, she obtained a full scholarship from New York University where she wants to study to become a doctor to treat children with cancer.

Her counselor, Mariela Regalado helped her to apply to multiple colleges and Almonte landed a dozen acceptances and chose NYU. The student will move from the homeless shelter to the NYU campus but she still will have to pay for clothes, school supplies, rent and medical expenses.

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220px-Kelsey_01.jpgDr Frances Kelsey, a pharmacologist, doctor and FDA officer prevented the introduction of the drug Thalidomide in the American market, preventing birth defects and saving the lives of thousands of babies.

In the late 1950’s Thalidomide was a very popular drug used in Europe especially in West Germany and many other countries by pregnant mothers for morning sickness. At that time Dr. Frances Kelsey had just started to work at the FDA as a medical officer. She was assigned the review of the new drug application for approval of distribution of thalidomide in the US.

Despite intense pressure from the German manufacturer she refused to authorize the distribution of Thalidomide in the US in 1960.

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A temporary brain injury that is linked to later problems with memory and thinking may affect patients that have been recently released from an intensive care unit. According to a recent article by Laura Landro in the Wall Street Journal, 80% of ICU survivors have some form of cognitive or brain dysfunction and some never recover. Among the most at risk are the patients who have Sepsis. In her article, Laura Landor looks at the most recent research in this field and how hospitals are starting to change standard ICU practices such as giving patients breaks from constant ventilation, avoiding over-sedation, monitoring them closely for signs of delirium and getting them out of bed to walk as soon as feasible.

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Lead poisoning is the primary environmental health threat to young children because they are more likely to put lead contaminated toys in their mouth than older children or adults. Lead poisoning does not cause immediate symptoms but it can permanently damage children’s brains and cause serious developmental problems.

The recent statistics from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on port surveillance show that during the fourth quarter of the 2012 fiscal year, toys containing lead represented 62% of the children products that have been refused at port entries because they were violating US safety rules or were found hazardous. A significant amount of children products with small parts representing a choking hazard and child care articles with excessive phthalate level were also kept away from young american customers. Children’s product represented 87% of all stopped products in the fourth quarter of the 2012 fiscal year.

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Children exposed to anti-seizure medication in the womb have a higher risk of suffering from early developmental issues according to a study led by Dr. Gyri Veiby from Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen, Norway.

The study covered a 9 year time frame and looked at the risk of adverse outcomes in children according to epilepsy in the mother or father, and with or without antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) exposure in the womb. At 18 months, the children exposed to AEDs in utero had increased risk of abnormal gross motor skills and autistic traits and at 36 months an increased risk of abnormal gross motor skills, sentence skills, and autistic traits compared to unexposed children.Further analysis determined that AED-exposed children had increased risk of birth defects compared to children not exposed to the drugs in utero.

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Our partner Stephen Mackauf and John E. Hall Jr. from Hall Booth Smith, P.C. will co chair the 12th Annual Advanced Forum of the American Conference Institute on Obstetric Malpractice Claims on June 26th-27 2013 in Philadelphia. For more iinformation see our prior post here.

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In New York, as a result of traumatic brain injuries 385 people per day visit emergency rooms or are hospitalized as inpatients. 140,000 New Yorkers are injured every year, that’s 3 times the capacity of Yankees Stadium!

The main cause of traumatic brain injuries are falls and motor vehicle accidents, mostly car accidents but motorcycle accidents as well as bus and truck accidents are also a common cause of traumatic brain injuries. Assault is the third cause of TBI in New York. Other leading causes of brain injuries include bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents or people struck by or against type of accidents.

Here are some findings based on the most recent statistics from the New York State Department of Health Department

– New Yorkers above 65 year old are the most at risk to fall and be hospitalized for a traumatic brain injury.

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Stephen-Mackauf-thumbOur partner Stephen Mackauf and John E. Hall Jr. from Hall Booth Smith, P.C. will co chair the 12th Annual Advanced Forum of the American Conference Institute on Obstetric Malpractice Claims on June 26th-27 2013 in Philadelphia.

This two day forum is the nation’s foremost gathering of medical experts, insurance professionals, risk managers, leading plaintiff’s and defense lawyers in the field of Obstetric Malpractice. Participants will be able to attend highly specialized workshops and presentations covering the following subjects:

  • The state of obstetric malpractice