Intussusception is a disorder that is somewhat rare, but quite serious in nature. When it occurs, part of the intestine, usually the colon or the small intestine slides into another portion of intestine. This sliding is referred to as “telescoping” and usually causes the intestine to become blocked, thus keeping fluids and food from being able to pass through. Intussusception can also cause the affected portion of the intestine to lose blood supply. This is the most common reason for infants who suffer with intestinal obstruction. Children who have intestinal issues tend to be harder to diagnose and often have no known cause.
When Intussusception is suspected, it is important that emergency medical assistance is sought promptly. If any of the following symptoms or signs are seen in your child, do not hesitate to consult with a doctor. Symptoms include: pain and discomfort of the abdomen that can seem to come and go, but can be severe in nature; an abdomen that is swollen or distended; vomiting; nausea; stool that is mixed with mucus and blood; diarrhea; lethargy; a lump in the abdomen; dehydration; and fever.
The cause of intussusceptions in children is not known for the most part. In some cases a growth in the intestine itself, such as with a tumor, polyp, or enlarged lymph node could be the cause; as well as a viral infection. It has been thought over the course of recent years that some cases of the condition have been attributed to a particular form of the vaccine for rotavirus. Rotavirus is an illness that is found in children that has been known to cause vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, and fever. The vaccine in question was pulled from the market in 1999 because of the seriousness of such claims. Even though the evidence to support the claims that this vaccine causes intussusception is lacking, the United States government issued a warning against the vaccine on February 13, 2007 that suggested the vaccine could cause the condition in infants.
It is very important that a proper and quick diagnosis is made when intussusceptions is suspected. Your child’s doctor should recommend many different tests such as those listed below:
Abdominal imaging tests including x-rays – Ultrasounds, x-rays, and CT (computerized tomography) scans can show any type of obstruction within the intestines that could be caused by intussusception. These types of imaging tests can also indicate if there is any type of perforation or tearing of the intestine.
Air or Barium enema – A barium enema is essentially a type of x-ray of the colon. When this procedure is done, the doctor inserts air, but most commonly liquid barium into the colon of the child by means of the rectum. This then allows for a clear x-ray picture to be captured. In some cases, the air or barium enema will repair the issue of intussusception without the need for any further type of treatment. That being said, if the intestine is perforated or torn, a barium enema cannot be used.
Parents place a great deal of faith and trust in the hands of their children’s medical care providers, and trust that the vaccines that are being administered are both safe and effective. It is natural to assume that the manufacturers of these vaccines have done their due diligence to provide a product that will not cause harm, and that will provide adequate protection as promised. When this is not the case and a vaccine causes more harm than good, a type of negligence has occurred that the drug manufacturer needs to be held accountable for the damages that have been sustained.
In today’s society, unfortunately, it is not uncommon for drug manufacturers to place profits ahead of people and push products out to market without providing the necessary training, testing, or completing thorough studies. When this happens, the public at large is placed in danger, and offer suffers horrible consequences that can change lives forever. This should never be the case, and should not be allowed to happen. Drug companies owe patients a particular duty of care, and when that duty is breached for any reason, action needs to be taken in the form of a lawsuit.
If you believe your infant has developed intussusception because of being vaccinated for the rotavirus, it is important to consult with a qualified personal injury attorney who specializes in the area of defective drugs as soon as possible. These legal professionals are quite skilled in this area of the law and know the ins and outs better than anyone else. They will be able to analyze the details of your case, will gather all of the necessary information to bring forth a claim in a court of law, and will interview all parties involved. He or she will also be able to arrange for expert testimony if it is deemed to be necessary.
Since these cases hinge on so many small details and are subject to varying statutes of limitations, it is quite important that you seek legal assistance and do not attempt to file on your own. A personal injury attorney will ensure all filing deadlines are met, will make sure no small detail is missed, and will ensure that you do not fall victim to the “wait and see” process. Missing just one small detail or one filing deadline can completely ruin your chances of having a successful outcome.
You should never risk becoming a victim twice, and you should never allow drug manufacturers to get away with harming innocent patients who trust their products do what they claim. Taking legal action is not only beneficial for you and your family now; it also helps to protect other innocent parties from falling victim to the same consequences down the road.
Awards for these types of legal claims often includes compensation for past, present, and future medical expenses, loss of quality of life, pain and suffering, and in some cases, for punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded as a means to punish those who are responsible in an effort to prevent future similar acts from occurring.