BECKWITH-WIEDEMANN SYNDROME

What is Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome?

Beckwith-Wiedemann Sydrome is an overgrowth condition that affects one in 12,000 newborns worldwide.  However, because the syndrome is sometimes undiagnosed, it may be more prevalent than reported.  One in five infants die as a result of the syndrome, but adults and older children are unlikely to have problems associated with the condition.

Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome affects many parts of the body.  Infants with the syndrome are larger than normal and grown and gain weight at an unusual rate.  A child’s growth usually slows around the age of eight, and adults with the syndrome usually are not excessively tall.  In some cases, children with the disorder have hemopyperplasia, a condition in which certain body parts grow larger than normal.  As a result, these children may have an uneven appearance.

Children with Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome are often born with an omphalocele, which is an opening in the abdomen which exposes abdominal organs through the navel.  They may also have an umbilical hernia.  In addition, infants with the syndrome may be born with large tongues, which may lead to difficulties in breathing, swallowing and speaking as they get older.  Children with the syndrome usually have large abdominal organs, low blood sugar, and have kidney problems.

Beckwith-Wiedemann children are at risk of developing both cancerous and noncancerous tumors.  Ten percent of children with the disorder develop tumors, which always occur in childhood.  In particular, children with the syndrome are susceptible to getting Wilms tumor, a rare form of kidney cancer.  They are also at risk of developing heptatoblastoma, a rare form of liver cancer.

What Causes Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome?

While the exact cause of Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome is unknown, most experts agree that it is a genetic disorder which usually occurs as a result of problems on chromosome 11.  In 85 percent of all people who have the syndrome, one other person in the family has already been diagnosed with the condition.  Moreover, parents who already have a child with the syndrome are at risk of having another child with the condition.

How Gallivan & Gallivan Can Help If Your Child Has Been Diagnosed with Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome

At Gallivan & Gallivan, we may be able to help if your child has been diagnosed with Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome.  We will attempt to uncover the cause of your child’s syndrome, including any environmental toxins that may have lead and contributed to your child’s condition.  If the injury could have been avoided, we will recover compensation from those responsible.

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