At Cooper Schall & Levy, in Philadelphia, our medical malpractice attorneys handle many cases involving pregnancy, birth, and neonatal injuries. One of the conditions we deal with is neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia, a genetic disorder commonly known as NAIT.
If you have gone through the trauma of having a baby who has been harmed or died because NAIT was improperly diagnosed or treated, our skilled NAIT injury lawyers are here to help. As soon as you contact us, we will evaluate your case and begin developing a strategy with our team of highly-credentialed medical experts. In your present situation, we do not want you to add any additional stress, so we will charge you no attorneys’ fees until we recover the damages you need and deserve.
What is Neonatal Alloimmune Thrombocytopenia (NAIT)?
Neonatal Alloimmune Thrombocytopenia (NAIT) is a rare genetic disorder that affects a small percentage of pregnant women and their babies. Maternal-fetal platelet incompatibility causes the mother’s immune system to identify the fetus’s platelets as a foreign body. When this happens, the mother’s immune system creates antibodies that attack and destroy the fetus’s platelets, causing the fetus to suffer significant thrombocytopenia (low platelet count) during the pregnancy. In many cases, this results in a complication known as fetal growth restriction, which is indicative of the fetus not developing properly while in utero. In some more severe cases, untreated NAIT can cause prenatal stroke, or bleeding in the brain, which can have life-threatening consequences to the baby.
Although sometimes the resulting bleeding in the baby is not serious, in some cases it can result in lifelong disability or death. Since NAIT occurs in as many as 1 in 1200 live births, obstetricians have to be alert to its potential to cause serious problems. If your obstetrician has not been vigilant in checking for signs of thrombocytopenia, or did not treat them with sufficient urgency, he or she should be held accountable.
What Cooper Schall & Levy Can Do to Protect Your Family
We have a strong track record of winning birth injury cases, either through agile negotiation or deft litigation. Our NAIT attorneys have strong investigatory and persuasive skills and are connected to a network of experts we can call upon to testify on your behalf. We will diligently examine all pertinent medical records, and, if we cannot negotiate a fair and reasonable settlement, will fight for your rights vigorously in the courtroom.
Symptoms of Neonatal Alloimmune Thrombocytopenia
The mother may be exposed to fetal blood during the pregnancy, but in most cases this exposure occurs during delivery. In many cases of NAIT, the symptoms are mild, including signs of bleeding like petechiae (small red or purple spots on the skin) and purpura (bruised areas where blood has pooled under the skin). These marks are temporary and not dangerous.
Nonetheless, bleeding episodes in a newborn with NAIT can be catastrophic, causing bleeding within the brain that can result in permanent brain damage. As a matter of fact, NAIT is the most common cause of intracranial hemorrhage, and a significant cause of mortality, in newborns. After birth, the greatest risk of bleeding is in the first 4 days of life.
Diagnosis of Neonatal Alloimmune Thrombocytopenia
There is no universal screening test for NAIT, but there is a high risk of recurrence of the disorder if an earlier birth has involved this complication. Even though the first case of NAIT in a family is often unexpected, the doctor should be prepared for emergencies by performing blood tests on the mother, father, and baby to determine which pregnancies present a possible risk.
If such tests indicate high risk, there should be a consultation with a maternal-fetal medicine specialist. In all cases, the obstetrician should do platelet counts on the mother and baby and be alert to the previously mentioned signs of a problem. If the primary tests for NAIT confirm thrombocytopenia, the doctor should follow up by taking a maternal serum test for platelet alloantibodies.
Obstetricians are expected to be fully prepared for a pregnancy and/or birth complicated by NAIT if the problem was present in an earlier pregnancy. Unfortunately, not only is the disorder likely to recur in subsequent pregnancies and births; it is likely to be more severe.
Treatment of Infants with NAIT
Newborns diagnosed with NAIT may be treated with:
- Platelet transfusions
- Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG)
Pregnant mothers at risk for NAIT may be treated with IVIG and steroids. When dealing with clients whose babies have suffered serious damage due to substandard obstetrical care relative to diagnosis or treatment, our lawyers are prepared to fight aggressively for just compensation.
Damages Our Neonatal Thrombocytopenia Attorneys Will Fight to Obtain
The law team at Cooper Schall & Levy is dedicated to providing you and your family with the maximum compensation you are entitled to. Depending on your particular circumstances, you may require resources to pay for:
- Uncovered medical and rehabilitation expenses
- Extended nursing care
- Lost income for the time you have spent caring for your child
and for restitution for:
- Your child’s pain and suffering
- Your child’s permanent disability
- Your child’s loss of enjoyment of life
If you and your family have been through the anguish of losing the baby, our attorneys know that nothing we can do will alleviate your grief. Nevertheless, we will do everything in our power to bring you funds to reimburse your final medical costs, funeral expenses, and give you a measure of justice for the excruciating loss of your child’s companionship and affection.
Contact Our Experienced NAIT Attorneys for Superior Legal Representation
If your baby has suffered permanent damage or wrongful death as a result of a poorly managed case of neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia, you need and deserve the legal strength and deep compassion our law team can provide. We are well-prepared to do the heavy lifting a medical malpractice case requires so that you and your family can begin to recuperate. Contact our skilled Philadelphia medical malpractice attorney today for a free initial consultation.
Cooper Schall & Levy medical malpractice lawyers serve Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as well as neighboring counties such as Montgomery County and Delaware County and cover neighborhoods such as Norristown and Drexel Hill.