Cerebral Palsy Boy Recovers With Stem Cell Treatment


Posted on 24th May 2013 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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Here is some hopeful news about the treatment of cerebral palsy: Medics have succeeded in treating cerebral palsy with autologous cord blood, which had stem cells.

The case involved a 2½-year-old boy who suffered traumatic brain injury following a cardiac arrest and was in persistent vegetative state, according to a press release issued this week by Catholic Hospital Bochum. The toddler was given a minimal chance of survival.


But just two months after treatment with the cord blood containing stem cells, the child’s symptoms improved significantly. Over the following months, the child learned to speak simple sentences and to move, according to the press release.

“Our findings, along with those from a Korean study, dispel the long-held doubts about the effectiveness of the new therapy,” Dr. Arne Jensen of the Campus Clinic Gynecology said in a statement.

He and his colleague, Dr. Eckard Hamelmann of the Department of Pediatrics at Bochum, reported their findings in the journal.

The boy suffered from his cardiac arrest in November 2008, and was paralyzed. There had been no treatment for the cause of what is known as infantile cerebral palsy.

“In their desperate situation, the parents searched the literature for alternative therapies,” Arne Jensen explains. “They contacted us and asked about the possibilities of using their son’s cord blood, frozen at his birth.”

Nine weeks after the brain damage, Jan. 27, 2009, the doctors administered the prepared blood intravenously.

They studied the progress of recovery at 2, 5, 12, 24, 30, and 40 months after the injury, according to the press release.

Usually, the chances of survival after such a severe brain damage and more than 25 minutes duration of resuscitation are 6 per cent, the release said, adding that months after the TBI, surviving children usually only exhibit minimal signs of consciousness.

“The prognosis for the little patient was threatening if not hopeless,” the Bochum medics said.

But after the cord-blood therapy the boy recovered relatively quickly. Within two months, the spasticity decreased significantly. He was able to see, sit, smile, and to speak simple words again, according to the release.

Forty months after treatment, the child was able to eat independently, walk with assistance, and form four-word sentences.

Of course, on the basis of these results, we cannot clearly say what the cause of the recovery is,” Jensen said. “It is, however, very difficult to explain these remarkable effects by purely symptomatic treatment during active rehabilitation.”

In animal studies, scientists have been researching the therapeutic potential of cord blood for some time. In a previous study with rats, Bochum researchers found that cord blood cells migrate to the damaged area of the brain in large numbers within 24 hours of administration.

In March, in a controlled study of 100 children, Korean doctors reported for the first time that they had successfully treated cerebral palsy with allogeneic cord blood.

St. Louis Neurosurgeon Sued 50 Times For Malpractice


Posted on 11th May 2013 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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Is Dr. Faisal Albanna a negligent neurosurgeon, or a target for medical malpractice lawsuits, because of the high-risk operations he performed?

That’s the question that the St. Louis Post-Dispatch took on in its profile of Albanna, an Iranian-born doctor who has been named as a defendant in roughly 50 lawsuits since 1987, including four wrongful death cases.


Right now Albanna, 60, says he is “disabled” and has stopped practicing medicine, the newspaper said. Earlier this year he filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection.

In the article, Albanna is credited with being a multimillion-dollar rainmaker for several St. Louis hospitals, in part by taking on difficult brain surgeries that other physicians wouldn’t touch.

The brain surgeon made news in 1998 when he saved a Jefferson County sheriff’s deputy who was in a coma after being shot in the forehead with a shotgun, the Post-Dispatch reported. Albanna carefully removed metal fragments from the deputy’s brain and repaired a “leak” in it caused by the metal.

The Post-Dispatch credited Albanna with an apt quote, saying the surgeon once compared fixing a brain aneurysm to “defusing a mine.”

But attorneys who have represented clients in medical malpractice cases against Albanna have a different story, the newspaper reported. They alleged that after surgery by Albanna their clients sustained nerve damage and had chronic pain. In one instance, Albanna performed surgery on a patient who needed a shunt, a tube, removed from his brain that was causing trouble.

That patient died just one day after Albanna did the surgery on him. Several neurosurgeons had refused to perform that surgery on the patient, claiming it was too risky. And a half dozen doctors, according to the Post-Dispatch, signed affidavits alleging that Albanna’s conduct “fell below the standard of care.”

Over the years in Missouri, the state medical board reprimanded Albanna a number of times for his unprofessional conduct. He was placed on probation in not only Missouri but Illinois and Pennsylvania. Yet hospitals continued to renew Albanna’s privileges, the Post-Dispatch reported.

Albanna’s defenders claim that as a surgeon in a high-risk specialty, cases that other doctors refused to take, it makes sense that he has been sued so many times.

But I have to agree with question posed by one attorney quoted in the story: “Why do hospitals let a guy like this on staff?” Indeed.




Medical Malpractice Charged Over Brain-Damaged Teen


Posted on 4th May 2013 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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A family has filed a medical malpractice suit after their teenaged daughter sustained traumatic brain injury after going to a hospital for a routine procedure, according to WABC-TV in New York.


The lawsuit alleges that Raina Ferraro, now 19, suffered brain damage and is now blind and almost deaf after being treated at Phelps Memorial Hospital in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.

Raina went to the hospital in January to get a stomach ailment she had checked out, WABC said. Physicians did an endoscopy, putting a camera down her throat, to try to see what was wrong. But during the procedure Raina’s blood pressure and heart rate suddenly dropped, and her brain was deprived of oxygen, according to the suit.

The medical malpractice lawsuit charges that because doctors didn’t act quickly, Raina became brain-damaged and will need millions of dollars of special care for the rest of her life, WABC reported.

Phelps Memorial Hospital declined to comment.