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Failure to Diagnose Muscular Dystrophy

Muscular dystrophy is a group of more than 30 genetic conditions that affect muscle function and cause progressive weakness and muscle mass loss. These conditions are a type of myopathy or skeletal muscle disorder.  In muscular dystrophy, abnormal genes disrupt the production of proteins required for the formation of healthy muscle. In the United States, the total number of cases ranges from 16 to 25 per 100,000 people. The symptoms of the most common type of muscular dystrophy appear in childhood, mostly in boys. Other types do not emerge until adulthood. There is no cure, but medications and therapy can help manage symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.  Muscular dystrophy, depending on the type, can impair your ability to move, walk, and perform daily activities. It can also have an impact on the muscles that help your heart and lungs function.

Certain genetic disorders, among other things, can cause a temporary illness, permanent defects, or the need for lifelong treatment. Muscular dystrophy is one such genetic disorder that leaves the sufferer with a condition that worsens over time and typically reduces the victim’s lifespan. Depending on the type of muscular dystrophy, a person diagnosed may be able to receive treatment that alleviates symptoms and even extends life. However, early detection of the disease increases the chances of more effective treatment and a longer, higher-quality life. Genetic screening for the condition that occurs during pregnancy can help parents prepare for and treat their children’s disease. The discovery that your child has muscular dystrophy is undoubtedly devastating. You might not consider suing for wrongful birth or pediatric malpractice during such stressful times, but you should be aware of your options. Knowing that you can afford your child’s lifetime needs and improve their quality of life as much as possible can be a huge relief. DeFrancisco & Falgiatano’s exceptional legal team may be able to help you obtain financial support from those who have inflicted unnecessary suffering. Knowing what you can do to recover your damages is critical to your peace of mind; we encourage you to learn more by speaking with an experienced wrongful birth and malpractice lawyer.  We serve clients throughout Upstate New York and have offices in several convenient locations. Our extensive experience in the field of medical malpractice is reflected in the results we have obtained for our clients.

Some types of muscular dystrophy are present at birth or develop later in life. Other forms emerge in adulthood.  There are over 30 different types of muscular dystrophy. Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD) are two of the more common types.

Muscular dystrophy symptoms can vary greatly. However, muscle weakness and other muscle-related issues are the most common symptoms. Each type can have a different effect on different muscles and parts of your body.

Symptoms associated with muscles and movement include:

  • Muscle atrophy.
  • Difficulty walking, climbing stairs, or running.
  • Irregular walking gait (like waddling or toe walking).
  • Stiff or loose joints.
  • Permanent tightening of your muscles, tendons, and skin.
  • Muscle pain.
  • Trouble swallowing (dysphagia).
  • Heart problems, such as arrhythmia and heart failure (cardiomyopathy).
  • Curved spine (scoliosis).
  • Breathing issues.
  • Intellectual disabilities.
  • Learning disorder.

Some types of muscular dystrophy have mild symptoms that progress slowly over time. Other types cause muscle weakness and physical disability more quickly. Depending on the type, you can inherit muscular dystrophy in one of three ways:

  • Recessive inheritance means you inherited the condition’s genetic mutation from both of your biological parents.
  • Dominant inheritance: To develop the condition, you only need to inherit the mutated gene from one of your biological parents.
  • Sex-linked (X-linked) inheritance occurs when a genetically male individual has one X and one Y chromosome and a genetically female individual has two X chromosomes.

Aside from the devastating physical, psychological, financial, and personal consequences for the child and their family, physicians and other medical professionals have a duty of care to provide their patients with information, guidance, testing, accurate diagnosis, and education about treatment options, as well as referrals to appropriate specialists as needed. When these healthcare professionals fail to inform pregnant women about genetic screening options for birth defects and congenital conditions that may affect their future decisions and the life they intend to bring into the world, they may be liable in a wrongful birth lawsuit. Failure to diagnose muscular dystrophy after a child is born may also delay treatment to combat symptoms, alleviate some of the child’s suffering, and allow them to spend more time with the loved ones they are forced to leave all too soon. Such failures cannot and should not go unnoticed, as victims and their families have the right to file a claim for compensation for past financial and non-economic losses, as well as the costs of the child’s medical and other needs.

Our team of experienced lawyers fights for victims of wrongful birth, pediatric malpractice, and birth injuries throughout Upstate New York. Our dedication and meticulousness when analyzing all of the facts and circumstances of a case serve as a major advantage when preparing and proving our clients’ medical negligence claims. The experienced personal injury attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano have won cases for our clients across the Upstate New York area, including Syracuse, Rochester, Albany, Elmira, Binghamton, Auburn, Ithaca, Oswego, Norwich, Herkimer, Delhi, Cooperstown, Cortland, Lowville, Oneida, Watertown, Utica, Canandaigua, Wampsville, Lyons, and surrounding areas.  Please call us at 833-200-2000 or contact us via our online form to discuss your case.

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