Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder that adversely affects breathing and digestion, and impacts approximately 300,000 people in the United States. The condition can afflict individuals of all ages, including infants, whose parents have received a diagnosis of the disorder and/or carry a gene for the disease.
While cystic fibrosis can be fatal, it is a disorder in which abnormal glands create mucus and sweat that is thicker and more abnormal. In some instances, the accumulation of mucus frequently inhabits the lungs, the digestive tracts and other parts of the body. When an infant suffers from cystic fibrosis, the mucus collects in the lungs, the pancreas and the liver, thereby impeding the ability of those organs to function, and causing the infant to be likely to become infected in those areas.
There are a number of ways in which cystic fibrosis qualifies as a birth injury:
- Doctors neglect to perform screenings of the infant for cystic fibrosis and thus, fail to medically treat the disease.
- A woman is the recipient of eggs, sperm or an embryo that was not screened for cystic fibrosis. This is referred to as a wrongful pregnancy.
- Incorrect performance of genetic testing before pregnancy.
Symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis
If your obstetrician has not given your baby a diagnosis of cystic fibrosis, there are some symptoms that the baby may show. Among these are:
- Stool that has an unpleasant scent, and is greasy
- Blockage of the intestines
- Recurring lung infections
- Extreme constipation
- Very little weight gain and growth
- Constant coughing that generates thick mucus
- Congested nasal passages
- Pain in the stomach and/or bloating
- Salty skin
Treatment of Cystic Fibrosis
Although cystic fibrosis cannot be cured, it can be treated so that the symptoms can be diminished, and the child can achieve some level of comfort. The forms of treatment include the following:
- Prevention and management of lung infections
- Removal of thick mucus
- Prevention and treatment of blockages in the digestive tract
- Giving adequate nutrition
- Prevention of dehydration to enable proper functioning of the digestive tract
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Provided that children are given the correct form of treatment and nutrition, the majority of babies who suffer from cystic fibrosis will eventually grow at a normal pace. However, there are some cases in which children with the disease will grow at a slower rate than other children in the same age group.
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In an effort to encourage healthy growth, children with cystic fibrosis are frequently given special medications in addition to meals that have a high caloric content, and are full of vitamins. Some children may develop a form of diabetes that is associated with cystic fibrosis, in which case they must be given insulin injections before consuming their meals.
If you think your physician was negligent in failing to perform screenings of cystic fibrosis in your baby, you may be able to file a Fort Lauderdale birth injury lawsuit and secure damages for your injuries. Call the birth injury attorneys at Chailk & Chalik Injury Lawyers.
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