Every year, an estimated 10,000 babies are diagnosed with various forms of cerebral palsy, a condition that can impair one’s motor skills, speech, hearing and cognitive development. Up to fifty percent of children with cerebral palsy suffer seizures as well as some measure of mental impairment, which leads to learning disabilities, language problems and often – the need for round-the-clock care.
If a new medical device developed by Mainer Kenn Carr is approved by the FDA, thousands of infants may be spared this debilitating disorder, which is generally caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain during birth. The non-invasive device measures the baby’s brain temperature, giving doctors vital information that may help prevent brain damage and cerebral palsy in infants.
“If you are going to measure the temperature of the body, it is the brain temperature you are trying to measure. You are trying to get the brain to be cooled,” said Carr, who is the founder of Meridian Medical Systems and Applied Thermologic.
New device may help avert brain damage and CP in infants
Unfortunately this promising invention, which is still in the development stages, was not available to little Ruth Merrill, who arrived from Uganda to get treatment for her CP back in 2004. Her adoptive mother Meadow Merrill remembers her daughter’s inner light and joyful smile, despite the fact that the 16-month old could barely lift her head, roll over or track objects with her eyes. Ruth died at the young age of seven from cerebral palsy-related complications, which may have been prevented had she received proper care at birth.
During Ruth’s short life she was surrounded by love and the best medical care possible. “She was astonishingly joyful and funny, and you think how can she be funny if she can’t speak, and yet she would communicate with her eyes,” recounts Merrill. “I think for any child to struggle the way Ruth did is a real tragedy and can many times be prevented,” added her mother.
Carr’s hope is that one day his invention can help infants not only in the United States, but across the globe. A simple antenna that is placed against the baby’s head to measure brain temperature, the device may come available in the next few years, if cleared by the FDA.
The disheartening reality is that Ruth would still be alive if her cerebral palsy had been prevented in the first place. Thousands of newborns who receive sub-standard or negligent care during delivery suffer the life-long consequences of brain damage.
We at Hardy, Wolf & Downing understand that many of these cases can be traced back to malpractice on the part of attending doctors, nurses and other health care professionals. When such negligence is suspected, a Maine birth injury lawyer can prove invaluable in establishing liability and recovering legal compensation for the victims.
Maine birth injury litigation
Our veteran medical malpractice lawyers have been advocating for birth injury victims since 1976, helping Mainers throughout Lewiston, Bangor, Auburn and Portland recover fair compensation from the medical professionals who failed their children.
Whether your child suffered a hypoxic brain injury, brachial plexus trauma or other physical harm that has caused permanent disability such as cerebral palsy, our legal team can advise you on the best course for protecting your legal rights. You may be able to obtain substantial monetary damages to account for past and future medical costs, lost income, loss of future earning capacity, in-home nursing care, pain and emotional anguish, as well as other compensation.
To discuss your options for filing a Maine cerebral palsy lawsuit, please 1-800-INJURED to arrange a confidential consultation at no charge.