Serious genetic conditions like Fragile X syndrome are almost always shocking as well as heart-breaking. In these days of advanced medical techniques,when prenatal diagnosis is not only possible but routine, having a child with a terrible disease, disorder, or deformity may also be an indication of medical malpractice. If your doctor never had you screened or tested for birth defects before or during pregnancy, or if the results of diagnostic tests were misinterpreted, you may be able to fill a lawsuit against your obstetrician and/or hospital to receive substantial damages and a semblance of justice. For this, of course, you will need a highly skilled wrongful birth attorney.
If you are going through the overwhelming distress of coping with a child with fragile X syndrome who will live with predictable suffering, you are facing hardships of many kinds. At Nagel Rice LLP, with offices in Manhattan and Roseland, NJ, our dedicated, compassionate medical malpractice attorneys are here to lift some of your burden. We have a remarkable record of successful settlements and verdicts, having won hundreds of millions of dollars for our deserving clients. You can count on us to fight with skill and determination to hold those responsible for your family’s anguish accountable. We will charge you no attorneys’ fees until we have won your case.
What is fragile X syndrome?
Fragile X syndrome, also known as Martin-Bell syndrome, is a genetic condition that results in many developmental difficulties, including learning disabilities and intellectual impairment. The disorder is twice as common in males (1 in 4,000 males and 1 in 8,000 females). In fact, it is the most common form of inherited cognitive disability in boys. While the majority of males with fragile X syndrome have mild to moderate intellectual disability, only about one-third of affected females are cognitively impaired. Other symptoms, too, are more apparent in male children.
Beyond Mental Challenges — Other Symptoms of Fragile X Syndrome
Children with fragile X syndrome, apart from being slow to learn, may have a number of other symptoms. In most males and approximately half the females with the syndrome, there are physical traits associated with the condition, including:
- Long, narrow face
- Large prominent ears
- Prominent jaw and forehead
- Poor muscle tone, possibly evident in crossed eyes, slack facial muscles, loose joints
- Flat feet
- Enlarged testicles in males after puberty
Other symptoms associated with this syndrome include:
- Delayed speech and language development
- Prone to ear infections
- Seizures (in 15 percent of males and 5 percent of females)
- Attention deficit disorder (ADD) or hyperactivity
- Autism spectrum disorder, affecting social interaction and communication
- Mood disorders
It is worth noting that fragile X syndrome occurs in all races and ethnic groups.
What causes fragile X syndrome?
The term “fragile X” comes from the origin of the disorder which is passed on by the X chromosome, one which both the mother and father carry. Fragile X syndrome is the result of a genetic mutation in which a DNA segment known as the CGG triplet repeat. This abnormality prevents the affected gene from producing a protein vital for the proper functioning of the nervous system, causing the symptoms of fragile X syndrome. Unfortunately, fragile X syndrome is inherited in a dominant pattern.
Although parents and/or doctors may observe outward signs, developmental delays, and behavioral oddities early on in a baby’s life, fragile X syndrome is most often diagnosed at age three. This means that a great many families have had another child by the time they hear the diagnosis.
Fragile X syndrome can only be definitively diagnosed through genetic testing, such as chorionic villus sampling (CVS) and amniocentesis. If you are a carrier of the mutated gene, you can be tested and diagnosed before conception, giving you the opportunity to make informed family planning decisions.
If your doctor did not recommend genetic counseling or prenatal testing that might have detected a genetic defect in you or your fetus, he or she may very well have been negligent. This is especially true if there is a history of idiopathic (of unknown origin) mental retardation or mood disorders in your family history. By not providing you with the option of preventing or terminating this pregnancy, your doctor may be guilty of wrongful birth, a type of medical malpractice.
If this is the case, our law offices may be able to file a successful lawsuit on your behalf. Nagel Rice’s talented medical malpractice attorneys have in-depth knowledge of all federal and state laws regarding wrongful birth and are well-prepared to do whatever it takes to get you the resources you will need to raise your child and keep your family secure.
Though there are medications to assist with anxiety, attention deficit disorder, and seizures, at present there are no treatments that will cure fragile X syndrome. Generally speaking, individuals with fragile X syndrome have a normal life expectancy and many of those affected are still able to live active lives. The cognitive impairment, as well as the tendency to seizures or infections, however, will always remain.
Contact Our NJ Fragile X Syndrome Attorney
At Nagel Rice, we know how quickly medical, psychiatric, therapeutic, pharmaceutical, and educational costs mount when you have a special needs child. We have the will and the legal strategies necessary to win you damages to take care of:
- Medical and drug expenses
- Lost income, present and future (while you tend to your child)
- Psychiatric services or psychological counseling
- Physical and occupational rehabilitation
- Well-trained childcare
- Special educational services
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
Contact Nagel Rice LLP to have your case evaluated by dedicated professionals. As soon as you come to us you will experience the relief of knowing that you no longer have to handle the situation alone. We have the legal clout you need and the empathy you deserve.