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The Prevalence of Infants Suffering From Gastroschisis Has Increased

Posted on in Birth Injury

Illinois birth injury attorney Gastroschisis

Despite the remarkable medical advances that have taken place in recent decades, birth injuries continue to be an unfortunate reality in the United States. While some birth injuries are easily remedied and do not result in lasting damage to the infant, others result in lifelong complications or even infant death. Gastroschisis is a congenital birth defect in which an infant’s intestines protrude through his or her abdominal wall. Surgery is necessary to correct the abnormality, but unfortunately, surgery is not always enough to prevent the infant from suffering major health complications or even death.

The Causes of Gastroschisis Still Largely Unknown

Gastroschisis occurs when the abdominal wall of a growing fetus does not develop properly and a 1- to 2-inch opening in the abdominal wall forms. This allows the fetus’s intestines to extend outside of its body. The intestines are then exposed to the amniotic fluid and may become inflamed, twisted, or shortened. In complex cases, other internal organs may also protrude through the abdominal opening. Since the 1980s, more and more babies have been born with gastroschisis. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that the incidence of gastroschisis nearly doubled between 1995 and 2005. Younger mothers and mothers who drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes during pregnancy are more likely to have babies with gastroschisis; however, the exact cause of the defect is still unknown.

Gastroschisis Can Result in Serious Injury and Death

Babies suffering from gastroschisis may experience difficulties with nutrition, digestion, and eating for the rest of their lives. The sooner gastroschisis is diagnosed, the sooner doctors can begin taking steps to mitigate the negative consequences of this birth defect. Most often, gastroschisis is diagnosed during an ultrasound, but additional tests such as a fetal echocardiogram or MRI may also be needed to evaluate the severity of the condition. Babies born with gastroschisis will need surgery immediately after birth, so it is important to carefully plan how and when the baby will be born. Failure to diagnose and properly address gastroschisis may result in avoidable medical complications and even the infant’s death. If a doctor, ultrasound technician, or any medical professional’s negligence exacerbates the effects of gastroschisis, the infant’s parents may have a valid medical malpractice claim.

Contact an Illinois Birth Injury Lawyer

Birth injuries to the baby and the mother can occur for various reasons, even after a seemingly healthy pregnancy. At Birth Injury Law Alliance, LLC, we help parents determine if medical negligence caused their baby’s injury. Our diligent Cook County medical malpractice attorneys are committed to helping you and your family get the answers you need and protecting your right to recover compensation. Call us today at 312-945-1300 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your concerns.

 

Sources:
https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/features/gastroschisis-key-findings.html
https://www.cnn.com/2016/01/22/health/birth-defect-gastroschisis-increase/index.html

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