The Law Offices of Charles Dunn
Lubbock County Medical Malpractice Attorney
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Treatments available for patients with urea cycle disorders

When Texas patients are facing genetic conditions, there are often multiple different types of treatment available. For patients suffering from urea cycle disorders, for example, the treatment options range from supplements that help their body remove ammonia to liver transplants if the milder treatments do not work.

Urea cycle disorders occur when a person is missing certain enzymes that help to remove ammonia from the blood. In children with this condition, symptoms include failure to thrive, hyperactive behavior and inconsolable crying. In adults, the symptoms can include slurred speech, extreme combativeness and disorientation. Using dietary supplements that include special amino acid formulas developed for patients with this disorder and vitamins can reduce some of the symptoms. Combining this with the drug phenylbutyrate can lower the amount of ammonia in the patient's bloodstream.

Some children with urea cycle disorders can have trouble eating due to a lack of appetite. In these cases, there may be some benefits in using a gastrostomy tube or nasogastric tube to administer medication and formulas. In worst case scenarios, a liver transplant can drastically reduce the symptoms. However, this is considered to be a last resort treatment due to the serious risks and the potential for new medical concerts to arise.

If a person with a urea cycle disorder remains untreated for the condition, he or she can experience serious neurological impacts that can often be mistaken for alcohol or drug intoxication. As such, the failure to diagnose this condition can cause significant harm to a patient. An attorney could review the patient's situation and obtain the opinions of one or more medical experts in order to determine whether such failure rose to the level of medical malpractice.

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