April 25, 2015

A Close-Up on Birth Injury: Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy

This week, in our continuing surveys of various kinds of birth injuries, we are taking a closer look at hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), an injury that occurs when the infant's brain is deprived of oxygen. HIE can lead to developmental issues or death; according to Medscape, HIE causes 840,000 neonatal deaths annually--23% of all neonatal deaths worldwide.

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April 18, 2015

A Close-Up on Birth Injury: Shoulder Dystocia, Part II

Last week, we introduced the topic of shoulder dystocia, a form of birth injury in which the baby's head has emerged from the mother's introitus but her shoulders have not due to their becoming stuck behind the mother's pubic bone. Shoulder dystocia is one of the primary birth injuries that occur out of OB/GYN malpractice. While the last entry discussed the risk factors and preventability of shoulder dystocia, this post discusses the complications that arise from the condition as well as next steps.

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April 11, 2015

A Close-Up on Birth Injury: Shoulder Dystocia, Part I

Several weeks ago, we began to discuss birth injury, a category of injuries that can occur to an infant during childbirth that can affect the child for the rest of his or her life. One specific form of birth injury shoulder dystocia, a condition in which the baby's head has emerged from the mother's introitus but her shoulders have not, according to Medscape. While in normal births, the baby's head and body turn sideways after her head emerges, allowing the shoulders to pass easily through the pelvis, shoulder dystocia occurs when the baby's shoulder becomes stuck behind the mother's pubic bone. Shoulder dysotica can be a frightening experience for both the mother and the baby and is one of the primary birth injuries that occur out of OB/GYN malpractice. This post discusses the risk factors and preventability of shoulder dystocia.

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April 3, 2015

Breakthroughs in Traumatic Brain Injury Research: How the Smell Test Can Identify TBI in Soldiers

In previous posts about traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)--an injury to the brain that occurs when one sustains a violent impact to the head or body--we have identified a relationship between TBIs and the olfactory system. A recent study reaffirms this relationship in a groundbreaking way by establishing that "olfactory impairment [is] highly predictive of abnormal neuroimaging findings in blast-injured troops with TBI," according to a new article on Medscape. In other words, the study found a positive correlation between olfactory impairment and abnormalities in the brain that were found to be indicative of TBI.

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March 27, 2015

Head Injuries and Their Strange Symptoms: An Inexplicable Love for Cheese

We have discussed before that traumatic brain injuries, which occur when one sustains physical damage to his or her brain, can sometimes produce less-than-common and even bizarre results, such as olfactory hallucinations. Recently, VICE reported on their food-centric blog, Munchies, that "some highly unfortunate neurological wiring" can also cause a "rabid craving for cheese."

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March 20, 2015

Treatment for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type 1): Sympathetic Nerve Blocks, Part II

Last week, we explored the potential of sympathetic nerve blocks--injections of anesthesia into the nerves--as a treatment method for those suffering from reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD/CRPS), a disease that causes chronic and severe physical pain in certain regions of the body. Johns Hopkins Medicine reports that sympathetic nerve blocks are considered by many pain physicians to be effective in treating chronic pain, and the American Society for Surgery of the Hand has noted that the injections are particularly helpful when used in conjunction with physical therapy.

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March 13, 2015

Treatment for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type 1): Sympathetic Nerve Blocks, Part I

In this post, we revisit the matter of reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), a medical condition that causes severe, chronic physical pain in its victims through nerve damage. Because RSD is currently a rare and as-of-yet poorly understood disease, those afflicted with it can feel hopeless at the lack of a variety of treatments available for it. However, one very common method that pain physicians find useful in treating RSD to help manage the pain are injections of anesthesia into the nerves, called "sympathetic nerve blocks."

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March 6, 2015

The Various Forms of Birth Injury

Last week, we introduced the general topic of birth injury, a category of injuries that occur to an infant during childbirth that can affect the child for the rest of his or her life. While we discussed factors that might give way to a birth injury and two major kinds of birth injury, this week, we go in-depth and explain different forms of birth injury, some of them being minor and capable of clearing up on their own, and others being more serious in nature and effect.

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February 27, 2015

Birth Injury: A General Overview

In many of the weeks prior to this post, we have discussed cerebral palsy at length. Cerebral palsy, an injury that occurs to a child when his or her brain is damaged while in the womb or during birth, is a form of birth injury, defined by the Merck Manuals as "damage sustained during the birthing process, usually occurring during transit through the birth canal." Birthinjuryguide.org notes that many cases of birth injuries are "completely preventable."

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February 20, 2015

Treating Cerebral Party: A List of Resources, Part III

This week's post is the third in a series of resources for those with cerebral palsy (CP), a condition resulting from injuries to a child's brain while in the womb or at birth, and their loved ones. In the last two posts, we have discussed the kinds of people and medication available to help children with CP "enjoy near-normal adult lives," given that disabilities are "properly managed," according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). This week, we discuss surgical procedures that may help lessen some of the symptoms of CP.

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February 13, 2015

Treating Cerebral Palsy: A List of Resources, Part II

Last week, we discussed the various kinds of human resources available to help someone cope with or overcome difficulties associated with cerebral palsy (CP), a condition resulting from injuries to a child's brain while in the womb or at birth. As stated by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), "Many children go on to enjoy near-normal adult lives if their disabilities are properly managed." While last week's post described the kinds of people that one might want on the medical care team of someone with CP, this week, we discuss some of the drug treatments available for aid.

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February 6, 2015

Treating Cerebral Palsy: A List of Resources, Part I

Cerebral palsy, a condition resulting from injuries to a child's brain while in the womb or at birth, can lead to impaired movements, speech, and motor skills. While these symptoms can make every day life challenging, treatments are available to aid those with CP in alleviating some of these symptoms. As stated by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), "Many children go on to enjoy near-normal adult lives if their disabilities are properly managed." Below is a list of some of the options available to those with CP to make every day life more manageable, as well as a description of how. In this post, we discuss the various potential members of a medical care team.

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January 30, 2015

Cerebral Palsy in the News: Woman With CP Writes 60,000 Word Novel With Left Foot

When Hu Huiyuan was born, she was not expected to live more than a few days. She survived these odds, and ten months later, her parents were told that she had cerebral palsy, according an article recently posted by the Daily Mail. The 21-year-old Chinese woman's movements are so limited by CP that she is only able to control her head and her left foot properly. However, this condition has not stopped Hu, who taught herself to read and write and to type on a keyboard with her foot, ultimately leading her to create a 60,000-word novel.

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January 16, 2015

Cerebral Palsy and Its Different Forms, Part II

Last week, we discussed the various different kinds of cerebral palsy (CP), a condition resulting from injuries to a child's brain while in the womb or at birth. The four main types of CP, spastic cerebral palsy, dyskinetic cerebral palsy, ataxic cerebral palsy, and mixed cerebral palsy, vary in the different parts of the body they affect and also how they affect the body. While we explained spastic and dyskinetic cerebral palsy in depth last week, this week, we delve into the characteristics of ataxic and mixed cerebral palsy.

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January 8, 2015

Cerebral Palsy and Its Different Forms, Part I

Cerebral palsy (CP), a condition resulting from injuries to a child's brain while in the womb or at birth, is often referred to simply as "cerebral palsy." However, CP can be divided into various different types, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There are four main types of CP, which we have mentioned in a prior post and discuss in more detail here: spastic cerebral palsy, dyskinetic cerebral palsy, ataxic cerebral palsy, and mixed cerebral palsy. In this post, we will discuss the first two types: spastic cerebral palsy and dyskinetic cerebral palsy.


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