family alleges that tainted wipes caused brain damage

When the family of newborn twins left the hospital three years ago after the boys’ birth, the parents were still in shock that one of the infants had suffered brain damage. Both boys had been developing normally before birth, and one twin had no brain damage and no developmental problems. How then could the other twin have suffered such a terrible injury?

For years the cause baffled the parents and their medical malpractice attorneys, who brought a lawsuit against the hospital and the medical personnel involved in the birth. However, the precise cause of the injury to the young twin remained a mystery that the family and their lawyers were having difficulty proving. It was then they discovered that tainted alcohol wipes containing bacteria were the likely cause of the brain injury.

The little newborn contracted a rare and unexplained Bacillus cereus infection shortly after birth. The infection was so serious that it damaged parts of the little boy’s brain. Now three years old, the boy is not able to walk nor to speak. He has limited control of the left side of his body. He is still fed through a stomach tube. The boy suffers from cerebral palsy and has serious delays in his mental development.

All the while, his brother, who had no infection after birth, has developed in  a more typical way, and is an active and talkative three-year-old.

Despite repeated tests by the hospital and by state officials, and despite advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how to detect the source of the infection, the cause was never found.

Pennsylvania birth injury lawyers have noted news reports, though, that the family recently amended their lawsuit. A growing number of cases have emerged indicating that alcohol wipes manufactured by a company called the Triad Group were contaminated. Other cases involving Triad wipes connected the contaminated wipes to injury and death, and Triad was forced to recall all of its alcohol wipes.

The family of the little twins will still have to prove their case against the defendants, which now include the manufacturers of the contaminated wipes, but at least the mystery of how such a tragedy could have taken place is becoming clearer. The little boy and his family may finally get some answers — and perhaps recover compensation in order to pay for the child’s life-long needs.

Source: NBC Today “Lawsuit ties tainted wipes to twin’s brain damage” 7/11/2011

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