Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Involving Cystic Fibrosis
Posted in Medical Malpractice on February 17, 2021
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder that causes severe damage to the lungs and digestive system. There is no cure for this condition, and children born with cystic fibrosis have a significantly shorter life expectancy than average. With advanced genetic testing options available, prospective parents can determine whether they carry the cystic fibrosis gene before they conceive. However, if your child is born with cystic fibrosis and you were not aware of the condition beforehand, you may be eligible for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
What Is Cystic Fibrosis?
Cystic fibrosis affects certain cells responsible for producing mucus, sweat, and digestive liquids. While these fluids are typically thin and slippery, people with cystic fibrosis have a defective gene that makes them thick and sticky. As a result, the fluids obstruct the body’s passageways, leading to serious complications such as difficulty breathing and poor nutrient absorption. According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, people with cystic fibrosis born between 2014 and 2018 have an estimated life expectancy of 44.
This condition occurs due to a defective gene passed from parents to children. If both parents carry the cystic fibrosis gene, their child has a one in four chance of being born with this condition. Their child also has a one in two chance of being a carrier of the cystic fibrosis gene.
Treatment for Cystic Fibrosis
Cystic fibrosis worsens over time, and people with this condition require daily care. Research advancements have improved the quality of life for cystic fibrosis patients—but specialized treatments can be very expensive and will likely increase in frequency and cost as your child grows older.
Common cystic fibrosis treatment options include the following.
- Inhaler-based medicines
- Specialized medication, such as mucus-thinning drugs
- Devices to clear mucus from the airways
- Pancreatic enzyme supplements
- Surgeries to remove intestinal blockage
- Targeted nutrition techniques for cystic fibrosis patients
Cystic Fibrosis Birth Injury Lawsuits
If your child is born with cystic fibrosis, you may be eligible to file a civil lawsuit. Through your claim, you can recover compensation to pay for your child’s medical expenses and disability accommodations, as well as other financial, physical, and emotional losses your family endured due to the diagnosis.
The at-fault party in your lawsuit will depend on the circumstances surrounding your child’s cystic fibrosis. There are several legal claims that can arise in this situation.
- Claims against genetic testing companies: If you and your partner took a genetic test that claimed neither of you carried the cystic fibrosis gene, the test may be defective. In these situations, you could file a claim against the company that manufactured the test.
- Claims against sperm and egg donor companies: If you received a donor sperm or egg with the cystic fibrosis gene and the company failed to inform you of the donor’s genetic profile, you could file a lawsuit against the company. You can also hold the physician who failed to test the donor for cystic fibrosis liable in your claim.
- Claims against negligent medical professionals: If you received genetic counseling from a medical professional and he or she failed to run the proper tests or diagnose your child’s risk for cystic fibrosis, you can file a lawsuit against the at-fault physician.
You deserve to make an informed decision about your pregnancy to ensure your child is healthy, and that you can provide the care he or she needs. If your child is born with cystic fibrosis and you believe you may qualify for a lawsuit, contact a Missouri birth injury lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney will explain your legal options and help you plan your next steps.