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Man Free After 37 Years – Detectives Offered Sex & Drugs for False Testimony


Willie Stokes was finally freed from prison on Tuesday January 4th, 2022 after spending 37 years behind bars for a murder he didn’t commit.

Allegedly, Philadelphia Police detectives offered witness Franklin Lee sex and drugs in exchange for his false testimony which would ultimately land Stokes behind bars.

The detectives have both since passed away, but the extreme miscarriage of justice cannot be ignored or forgotten by history.

The prison in Delaware County where Willie Stokes was held unjustly for 37 years.

Stokes was 37 years into his life sentence for the 1984 murder conviction, and Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner’s office investigated the case and found that Stokes did not receive his due process during the original trial.

The murder victim was a woman, whose murder Stoke’s denied throughout the entire trial.  This took place in 1984, which was during Philadelphia’s so-called “Tough on Crime” time period, which occurred during the 1980’s and 90’s.

There’s An Urgency To Seek Justice Over Finality

Over the nearly four decades of Stoke’s false imprisonment, he filed numerous appeals and petitions of relief only to be rejected by procedure at every turn.

In late November the U.S. District Court of Pennsylvania finally agreed to hold a hearing and ultimately concluded that for 37 years prosecutors knowingly withheld information from his defense lawyers that witness Franklin Lee had not only lied, but was convicted of perjury for it – long before Stokes was released.

The court ordered that Stokes be released within 120 days of the findings, and it took everyone by surprise.

“He’s only known for a half hour he was going to be released, this isn’t something that we expected,” said Stoke’s attorney Michael Diamondstein via CBSLocal.com soon after they left the corrections building.

This Isn’t The Only Falsely Imprisoned Victim in Philadelphia

Thousands of men and women were incarcerated during the “tough-on-crime” era of the 1980’s and 90’s in Philadelphia and if the behavior of these detectives is indicative of a long history of prior bribes and corruption in order to put innocent victims behind bars.

If you or a loved one knows a person you suspect might be falsely imprisoned don’t hesitate to contact our civil rights attorneys.  Our attorneys have worked for years to help deliver justice to victims of police corruption or brutality – don’t hesitate to call us immediately at (800) 590-4116 or live chat directly with our legal team below to set up a consultation.

At Least 13 Dead as Fire Rages Through Fairmount Philadelphia Housing Authority Apartments


The 800 block of North 23rd Street faced a deadly fire in the early hours of January 5th, 2022.  At least 13 residents of the Philadelphia Housing Authority building have already been found dead, and early reports state that at least 7 of those are children.

This is one of the worst fires in decades to hit this Fairmount neighborhood and firefighters are still dealing with the aftermath.

Philadelphia Deputy Fire Commissioner Craig Murphy was quoted through CBSLocal.com as saying, “It was terrible, I’ve been around for 35 years now and this is probably one of the worst [fires] I’ve ever been to. We plan on making sure that this tremendous loss of life did not happen in vain.”

Crews were finally able to get the fire under control around 7:30 am, and multiple victims were transported to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, as well as Temple University Hospital.

The location of the fire was near the 800 block of North 23rd Street in Fairmount.

Still, the number of fatalities remains dynamic, according to Craig Murphy, as there is still recovery efforts being made throughout the building.

He had also commented that at least four smoke detectors were not working during the fire.  As far as the actual cause of the fire – investigations are still underway.

Does The Philadelphia Housing Authority Have A History of Fires in Their Buildings?

The Philadelphia Housing Authority (or PHA) was founded back in 1937, and is the nation’s fourth largest public housing authority.  In total, they administer over 12,800 public housing units throughout Philadelphia.

Certainly as with any housing unit fires are an unfortunate reality that are often out of the control or any housing authority.  Still, there have been multiple fire-related incidents in PHA housing – including a fire at a vacant PHA building in Center City in 2020, as well as reports of fires in one of the PHA’s last surviving towers.

Only after a thorough investigation by the Fire Department will more details emerge on the cause of this deadly Fairmount fire.

Were You or a Loved One Hurt or Fatally Injured By This Fairmount Fire?

If you or a loved one suffered due to this fire it’s important you retain an attorney and make sure you are following sound legal advice from the beginning of your incident.

The attorneys at McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt have helped thousands of burn victims and wrongful death victims earn the compensation they deserve for their injuries.

Our philosophy is to fight every day to help you and your families get the peace and compensation you deserve.

If you or a loved one wants to speak to an attorney specializing in your case, don’t hesitate to call us at (800) 590-4116 or speak directly with us through our live chat.


What Birth Injuries Cause Cerebral Palsy?


If you’re preparing to have a child or are already pregnant with a child, you might have started to do some research to help make sure that your child is healthy!

One of the things that you might have come across during your research is the term “birth injury.” In case you’re still not sure what a birth injury is, it is a type of medical malpractice that you – or your baby can suffer – that can end up causing severe and permanent harm to your baby.

A common issue that can crop up as a result of a birth injury is cerebral palsy. Indeed, one of the most common consequences of a severe enough birth injury will cause cerebral palsy in your child.

However, as you may have realized from the wording, there are a few other birth injury possibilities that might also cause cerebral palsy. If, when it comes time to have your baby, you think that you or your baby might be a victim of anything listed in this article, contact another doctor and also contact a cerebral palsy birth injury lawyer. 

You might be eligible to make a settlement claim and gain some money to try and increase your child’s standard of living. 


Cerebral Palsy

According to the CDC, “Cerebral palsy is a disorder that affects a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture. [It] is caused by abnormal development of or damage to the brain.” 

Some people with cerebral palsy will also suffer from other conditions such as intellectual disabilities, seizures, vision, hearing, or speaking problems, spinal deformities, or joint issues.

It’s bad news all around, and to know that it could be caused by medical malpractice is heartbreaking.

Parts of the brain that lead to the different types of cerebral palsy – photo by Ceimile95, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons


Causes of Cerebral Palsy

Most cases of cerebral palsy are due to genetics. Unfortunately, if a bad hand of the genetic lottery is the cause of cerebral palsy, there isn’t much that can be done to prevent it. 

However, birth injuries are to blame for about 20% of cerebral palsy cases in children. The main cause of cerebral palsy is a severe lack of oxygen to the child’s brain during development, called neonatal anoxic brain injury, or, even worse, significant trauma to the baby’s head during labor or delivery.



Sometimes, if a baby is stuck or if the baby is in an odd position that might make for a difficult birth, the doctor might attempt to get the baby from the mother’s womb using forceps or a specialized medical vacuum.

However, both of these carry risks of inducing trauma onto the child, which, if severe enough, can result in varying levels of cerebral palsy severity for the baby.

If a doctor is even the slightest bit too forceful using forceps or in a vacuum delivery, your baby can have permanent and irreversible health issues. A vacuum-assisted delivery  injury lawyer may be what you need if this medical malpractice happens to you and your baby.

BruceBlaus, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons


Birth Complications

Other complications that might occur during birth can also cause cerebral palsy. Complications such as a placenta detaching, the uterus rupturing, or issues with umbilical cord prolapse . . . all of these can negatively affect a baby and make it hard for them to get the oxygen they need. 

A lack of oxygen in the brain is the cause of most cases of cerebral palsy. It is the on-site medical professional’s job to make sure that, in the event of fetal distress in your baby, they act swiftly – but with care – to get oxygen to the baby as quickly and safely as possible.

Anything less might lead to them being sued under the umbrella of medical malpractice. 


Other Causes of Cerebral Palsy

Realize that, if you’re thinking you’ve been a victim of medical malpractice, you will only have a leg to stand on if your baby’s cerebral palsy was caused by a doctor’s negligence.

However, a majority of cerebral palsy cases are – unfortunately – caused by genetic deficiencies. If this is the case, there might not be anything you can do, and there also isn’t anything you can do to prevent it.

But in all other situations, there are things that the mother can do to try and lessen the chance – assuming that the doctors hold up their end of the bargain and don’t cause a birth injury – of cerebral palsy in their child.

Some of these things are:

  • Be as healthy as possible before pregnancy
  • Get vaccinated for certain diseases (such as chickenpox and rubella) before becoming pregnant
  • Try to prevent twins, triplets, quadruplets, etc.
  • Get frequent prenatal care
  • Wash your hands often to try and prevent infections that might put the baby at risk
  • Contact a medical professional if you get sick so they can help you manage the sickness in a way that won’t harm the baby
  • Get the flu shot
  • Compare your blood type with that of the baby and work early to prevent problems that might crop up if the baby is a different blood type than the mother 
  • Try to mitigate risks of potential preterm birth
  • React quickly and in the most efficient way possible if your baby shows severe signs of jaundice
  • Vaccinate your child against certain diseases as soon as doing so won’t harm them 


Medical Malpractice

If you’ve done all these things and you don’t have a genetic history of cerebral palsy, but your child still ends up with cerebral palsy, you might be a victim of medical malpractice.

If this is the case, and you believe that you or your baby are victims of medical malpractice, contact a lawyer or other knowledgeable professional who will work with you to get justice for the crime committed against you. A Cerebral Palsy Birth Injury Lawyer will be well versed in the complexities of birth injury malpractice cases and can guide you through this difficult time in order to get the compensation you deserve. Call the experienced team of lawyers at Mceldrew Young Purtell Merritt at (866) 721-8431 or fill out or form here for a free consultation on your case today.

What Is Shoulder Dystocia?


When it comes to giving birth, several risks may occur, even with all the medical advancements of the last one hundred years. The potential for these risks can make childbirth – which is already a nerve-racking experience – seem even scarier.

When you consider that some risks that come with childbirth can come because of medical malpractice (which is when a doctor or medical professional makes a mistake during your treatment that results in injury or worse to whoever they’re treating), the whole experience might seem even scarier.

One of these things might even be shoulder dystocia, which is something that can happen during childbirth to your child – and it can even have consequences on the mother as well.


What Is Shoulder Dystocia?

Shoulder dystocia is when the baby’s head has breached the cervix but one of the shoulders becomes stuck behind the mother’s pubic bone. When this happens, it can delay the birth. In this specific case, doctors will likely need to enlist additional help to release the baby’s shoulder.

However, if they do it wrong, they could permanently injure the baby. If this happened to your baby, you might be a victim of medical malpractice and you may require the aid of an experienced infant broken or fractured bone lawyer.


What Are The Causes of Shoulder Dystocia?

It might seem scary, but shoulder dystocia can happen to any pregnant woman. Although some factors, called “risk factors,” might make it more likely, shoulder dystocia might end up as a happenstance situation that can’t be prepared for.

Unfortunately, even with the list of risk factors, it can be challenging for providers to predict or prevent shoulder dystocia in your baby.

When it comes to shoulder dystocia, some risk factors include:

  • Having a heavy baby (one that weighs more than 8 pounds, 13 ounces (the more your baby weighs, the more likely it is that you’ll need to have a c-section, which can prevent shoulder dystocia).
  • Having preexisting diabetes or gestational diabetes. Diabetes is a risk factor because women who have gestational diabetes tend to have babies that weigh more (see the first point).
  • Having had a baby suffer from shoulder dystocia in a previous pregnancy.
  • Having multiple babies at one time (twins, triplets, quadruplets, etc.)
  • Being overweight before pregnancy or becoming overweight during pregnancy.

Additionally, some factors might occur during labor that might also increase the chance of shoulder dystocia:

  • Using oxytocin to induce labor.
  • Using a pain aid to help make labor easier, such as an epidural.
  • Having a very short or very long second stage of labor (the part of labor where you push and eventually give birth to your baby).
  • Having an operative vaginal birth/assisted vaginal birth, which is when the doctor will use tools (e.g., forceps or a delivery-vacuum) to help the baby make it through the birth canal.


Consequences of Shoulder Dystocia

Luckily, most mothers and babies will recover just fine from instances of shoulder dystocia. There are, of course, some rare cases that count as outliers. However, although they might recover, they might still have to deal with the following issues.

For babies:

  • Fractures may happen in the collarbone or the arm.
  • Damaged brachial plexus nerves (these are the nerves that go from the spinal cord in the neck to the arm, and they’re the ones that provide feeling and movement in the arms, shoulder, and hands.)
  • Although this one is quite rare, neonatal asphyxia can cause brain damage or even death to the baby.

For the mother: 

  • Postpartum hemorrhaging, which is when the mother experiences extremely heavy – potentially deadly – amounts of bleeding after they give birth.
  • Tearing of the perineum – severe enough that they might need surgery.
  • Uterine rupturing, which is when the uterus tears during labor. Although this happening is rare, it is still very possible.


Medical Malpractice

Shoulder dystocia is one of the potential consequences of an atypical birth. If you suffered this, you might be eligible for a medical malpractice claim. Seek out birth injury lawyers in PA that specifically work within this sphere, so that you know you’ll get quality service from the lawyer.

If you have a settlement claim and you succeed with it, you might end up with the funds necessary to give your child the life you want for them. Additionally, funds that end up being used for special needs situations – such as what your child might be experiencing especially those suffering from a brachial plexus birth injury – don’t count as taxable income and they also accrue interest. This can help your child be financially secure throughout their life. 

Whatever your specific needs, if you or your child ends up experiencing shoulder dystocia, make sure to do whatever you need to do for you and yours to receive the justice you deserve. Call the team at Mceldrew Young Purtell Merritt for a free consultation at (866) 721-8431, or fill out our contact for here.

Pros and Cons of Settling your Personal Injury Claim out of Court


Around 95% of personal injury claims are settled before a court hearing, which shows that it is indeed the preferred option. The truth is that out of court settlements are quicker and simpler to navigate. Trials on the other hand are time consuming, tiring, costly, and unpredictable. Both the plaintiff and defendant save time and money by settling the matter without the court’s interference. However, some convoluted cases are destined to be prosecuted in court, and the plaintiff is able to reap greater benefits. Whether you should settle your case out of court or go to trial, depends on your unique circumstances. 

It is necessary to discuss your case with a professional personal injury attorney before you accept a settlement or opt for litigation. You can start by acknowledging the basic pros and cons of reaching a settlement out of court:


Pro: You know exactly what you are getting

When you sign an agreement with the defendant, compensation is guaranteed, regardless of the settled amount. The defendant cannot refuse to pay the agreed sum in the aftermath. When a personal injury case goes to trial, there is no surety of winning for both sides. The jury could sway either way, which makes it a risky affair. If the defendant succeeds at trial, you don’t get anything. 

Con: You might not recover as much as you deserve

Most of the time, the jury sides with the plaintiff and strives to maximize their compensation rewards. You might receive twice as much or more money through court than whatever the insurance adjuster is paying you. Out of court settlements are unlikely to address punitive damages, so you would be missing out on a hefty sum. The amount you attain in the settlement might only grant partial coverage for your damages. 

Pro: Less stress, expenditure, waiting time

Court trials can take years to commence and the proceedings may go on for several months. Moreover, the outcome of a trial is unpredictable, which makes the ordeal even more stressful. The attorney fees for litigation are much higher and the legal costs keep adding up by the extended duration of the case. Personal injury settlements normally wrap up before a court date, which means lower expenses and waiting time. You may receive the payment within a month of signing the settlement agreement, so you can take care of the pending bills. 

Con: You give up the right to sue

Once you accept a settlement offer from the defendant, you lose the right to challenge them in court and demand further compensation. If the defendant’s actions were unethical or malicious, you cannot hold them accountable after taking the settlement. It is likely that they make you sign a confidentiality agreement that prohibits you from exposing sensitive information that concerns their reputation or public image. 

Pro: No room for appeal

Let us suppose that you win the case in court, but the defendant files an appeal. If this happens, the case will linger on and the defendant may eventually succeed in getting out of paying you any compensation. Therefore, all the time and money you spent on your claim will be for nothing. The best thing about out of court settlements is that they are binding and conclusive. 

Pro & Con: The details of the case remain private

When a case enters court, the details of it become public record. Out of court settlements allow both parties to keep the information private. This is certainly a good thing, unless you aim to publicize the defendant’s action or wish to expose their wrongdoings. 


The Most Dangerous Roads for PA for Trucking Accidents


Driving is a hard thing that requires focus to succeed at driving and to make sure you’re driving safely. Certain roads in various parts of the world have different feelings, and the people who drive on those roads will often have quirks or elements of their driving that are specific to the location.

Pennsylvania is not exempt from this phenomenon. For this article, we’ll be focusing on Pennsylvania and, specifically, on dangerous roads in Pennsylvania. Every year these roads have the highest incidence of accidents and require higher vigilance from drivers.

If you’re someone who drives in Pennsylvania, and you want to avoid getting into an accident – as you should! – you should read this article about the most dangerous roads in Pennsylvania.


Pennsylvanian Roads

Pennsylvania is a state that has hundreds of roads and highways that are used to ensure that commuters, residents, and other people who use transportation can access their businesses and homes.

Over 120,000 miles of roads cover the whole of Pennsylvania, and hundreds of thousands of people use them each day . . . as such, it should come as no surprise that Pennsylvania auto accidents occur on a very frequent basis.

As you may be able to glean from the article title and how much traffic the Pennsylvanian roads see, there are specific roads that see more accidents than others. So, especially if you’re a truck driver, or you frequently drive on truck-heavy roads, you might want to know of certain roads to avoid to try and lower your risk of ending up in an accident. 


Roosevelt Boulevard

Although you may think that the biggest factor of accidents is traffic congestion – aid it is, in fact, a large cause of accidents – that isn’t the case for Roosevelt Boulevard. Roosevelt Boulevard isn’t even on a major highway in Pennsylvania.

Having said that, many people still use this road daily, and a lot of people who use it end up speeding a lot, which is, of course, dangerous. Roosevelt Boulevard is a stretch of road that is made up of six 12-foot-wide lanes that run in opposing directions.

Because of how many people use this road daily and how many of them end up speeding, severe accidents can occur on this road. 

Even if you are making sure that you’re going the speed limit and watching all traffic signs, you may still find yourself in an accident caused by one of the many other people on the road. 



Interstate 83, Near Harrisburg

This particular Interstate (Interstate 83) is the road that runs between Baltimore and Harrisburg. It also is a prevalent road that people use to travel between the two areas. However, because it’s so popular, thousands of people use the road daily. It’s one of the most heavily-trafficked roads in the entirety of Pennsylvania. 

If you are a truck driver and you have any way of avoiding this road, do so. However, if you have to use it, make sure you’re being as cautious as possible to avoid getting into an accident. 


Interstate 95 and Interstate 76

This road is known as both Interstate 95 and the Delaware Expressway. No matter what you call it, this road is notorious for having a large number of accidents happen on it. It has a very well-trafficked interchange with Interstate 76 . . . and this specific interchange was once listed within the top 100 most dangerous roads in the United States.

Even though it’s no longer listed quite so high on the danger scale, it is still extremely busy and dangerous. It once had so many accidents that the math worked out to one fatality per mile.

This is a wild statistic if you think about it. 


Interstate 81

No list of dangerous roads in Pennsylvania would be complete without adding Interstate 81 to the list. This is the road that connects through Chambersburg and Carlisle, and it is used by nearly 100,000 drivers each day.

Back in 2014, a 50-car pileup famously happened on this road, and it resulted in two fatalities. And then, in 2016 – although it luckily didn’t result in any deaths – there was a crash that resulted in the interstate being shut down for several hours. 


What To Do If You End Up In An Accident

Especially if you’re a truck driver, you might find yourself on the wrong end of an insurance claim. Considering that, no matter who is at fault, the driver of a smaller vehicle is much more likely to end up with an injury, you might find yourself having to avoid being sued if you end up in an accident.

If this is something that is happening to you, you might want to look into getting a traffic accident lawyer to help you avoid the claim. The PA Truck Accident Lawyers at McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt have over 30 years of truck accident experience, having won millions of dollars in truck accident cases. Call the team today at (866) 721-8431 or fill out our form for a free consultation.

Improper Fetal Heart Monitoring Complications That Might Count As Medical Malpractice


When it comes to childbirth, doctors are meant to be there to make sure that everything is going as smoothly as possible. They are meant to use technological advancements, science, and eagle-eyed monitoring to ensure that the baby is never in distress and that everything goes well.

There is, of course, the possibility that things outside of their scope occur, but all the same, most events are meant to go as smoothly as possible when it comes to childbirth.

One of the ways that they might continue to watch and make sure that things go well during childbirth is to monitor the heart of the fetus as it’s emerging from the birth canal.

Childbirth is hard on the mother and on the baby. For this reason, doctors are meant to take consistent stock of the mother’s status and the baby’s status by monitoring their heart rates and other factors.

If a doctor didn’t do proper monitoring, there might be complications during childbirth, and you might be eligible for a settlement claim for birth injury medical malpractice.


Medical Malpractice

Fetal distress is when a baby’s heart rate is either much higher or much lower than expected. This typically means that the baby is struggling to get enough oxygen. This is why it is vital for doctors to monitor the heart rates and ensure everything is going all right. A lack of oxygen in the newborn can lead to complications such as infant asphyxia which can lead to problems as serious as seizures or cerebral palsy caused by birth complication.

If you think you’ve been a victim of medical malpractice, and if you think you or your baby are suffering from it, please contact a lawyer to discuss if you have any grounds for a settlement claim.


Preventing Fetal Distress

Fetal distress is when a baby’s heart rate is either much higher or much lower than expected. This typically means that the baby is struggling to get enough oxygen. This is why it is important for doctors to monitor the heart rates and make sure everything is going all right.

If doctors discover that there is something improper going on with the baby’s heartbeat, there are a few things they can do to try and help the baby.

The end goal is to make sure that the baby is getting enough oxygen, and this can be helped by:

  • Doing an amnioinfusion, which is a process that refers to the installation of fluid into the amniotic cavity to fix an extremely low amount of amniotic fluid in the amniotic cavity.
  • Administering extra oxygen to the mother
  • Providing the mother with additional IV fluids
  • Changing the mother’s position
  • Stimulating the fetal scalp which might help accelerate the baby’s heart rate
  • Decreasing or stopping contraction-enhancing medications such as Pitocin or Cytotec
  • Doing a C-Section

When it comes to making sure that a baby is in distress for the shortest amount of time possible, the best way to manage this is to perform an emergency c-section on the mother. When it comes to helping a baby, there are truly very few things a doctor can do to try and get the baby out of the distressing situation, which means it might be best to default to a C-section. Sometimes if the doctors delay a c-section too long, the damage to the baby cannot be reversed, and this is considered a delayed c-section medical malpractice case.

Once they get the baby from the uterus, the possibilities open up for what the doctors can do to help the baby. Once the baby is out of the mother, doctors can initiate resuscitation or other procedures to help the baby no longer be distressed.


Are You In Need of Legal Help?

If you think that you or your baby are victims of improper fetal heart monitoring, then you should reach out to a legal team to see if you’re eligible for additional support or a settlement claim. 

If you or your baby is suffering from the consequences of fetal monitoring errors, hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE), or other birth-related injuries, seek help. The reason you might have a claim is because fetal monitoring is meant to help the medical staff on the scene take immediate and beneficial actions.

However, if a medical professional misinterprets or ignores these signs, you might be eligible for a medical malpractice claim. The sole purpose of the fetal cardiac monitor is to alert any on-site medical staff of any signs of fetal distress. If the baby ends up in any distress, the medical professionals are meant to use swift and appropriate actions to get the baby out of distress. If a healthcare provider ignores or misinterprets however they’re monitoring the signs of fetal distress, it might result in oxygen deprivation and newborn brain damage.

This is called medical malpractice and falls under the umbrella of a birth injury.

Because of how important and detrimental these types of cases can be, birth injury cases will typically require extensive and highly specialized knowledge to have a claim filed. If you want to see the best results for your claim, you must make sure that your lawyer is well-versed in both medical practices and in law practices.

Make sure that you work with a lawyer or with a firm that has a proven track record of success when it comes to cases involving birth injuries and other similar complications. The PA Birth Injury lawyers at Mceldrew Young Purtell Merritt have handled hundreds of birth injury cases, and have extensive knowledge on how to make sure you get the damages you deserve to make your life easier after such a traumatic experience. Call 1-866-721-8431 or fill out our form for a free consultation – we want to get you the representation that you deserve!

Can Stevens-Johnson Syndrome be Mild?


Stevens-Johnson Syndrome is a condition that can suddenly develop in an individual, usually as a reaction to a medication or in individuals with a weakened immune system.

This article will unpack what Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) is, how someone can get SJS, and answer the question, can Stevens-Johnson Syndrome be mild?

What Is Stevens-Johnson Syndrome?

Stevens-Johnson Syndrome is a severe condition that affects the skin and mucus membranes all over and within the body. A person experiencing this syndrome will develop a rash all over their body and their skin may begin blistering. The skin may start flaking off as this condition becomes more severe, as it attempts to heal over the painful blisters.

What Are the Symptoms of Stevens-Johnson Syndrome?

When SJS first begins to appear, you may experience flu-like symptoms. These symptoms can include:

  • General fatigue
  • Tiredness
  • Soreness
  • Sore throat or mouth
  • Burning eyes

However usual these initial symptoms may be, SJS will quickly develop into something much more severe. It may be difficult to tell if the condition you’re experiencing at first is a flu or something else, but as it develops you will notice more unique and severe symptoms. Once these appear, seek medical attention as soon as possible to help start treatments and prevent permanent injury or death.

These symptoms include:

  • Painful red or purple skin
  • Skin that peels or looks heavily blistered
  • Clusters of blisters around your mouth, nose, eyes, and genitals
  • Red, swollen, painful, watery eyes

It may take a few days for these symptoms to appear but act promptly once they do. While you see blistering on the outside, there is also blistering accruing within the body of a person suffering from SJS. This can make it difficult to swallow, go to the bathroom, and digest. Getting treatment quickly can prevent permanent damage from occurring to your internal organs and help alleviate symptoms faster.

What Are Treatments for SJS?

Treatment can be complicated and may take weeks or months. The first step is removing the medication from a person’s system if the medicine is responsible for the onset of the syndrome. Then the individual must have their blisters and skin abrasions treated. A major part of treatment is alleviating the pain while the skin heals and regrows from the outbreak.

Overall, treatment can take a while to make sure the skin heals and grows back well without complications. This process can take weeks or months, depending upon the severity of the initial syndrome.

How Do You Get, or Know That You Could Develop, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome?

Stevens-Johnson Syndrome can happen for several reasons. The first is drugs or medicines, and the second is because of previously compromised health. Some of these medications include:

  • Common gout medications
  • Seizure medications
  • Mental illness medications
  • Some antibiotics
  • Pain relievers, particularly in children

If you discover that a drug is responsible for your Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, you can no longer imbibe that medication and should avoid other medications from the same family of medicine.

A person may be more susceptible to SJS for health reasons, some of these reasons may be:

  • Compromised immune systems, like those associated with HIV
  • Very young and very old people are more susceptible
  • Cancer, and cancer treatments
  • A personal history with SJS
  • A family or genetic history with SJS

Can This Condition Be Mild?

The simple answer to this question is no.

Any case of SJS is a medical emergency. While some cases of this syndrome may show less severe symptoms than in another case, any breaking out of Sevens-Johnson Syndrome should be treated seriously and addressed quickly. If these symptoms suddenly develop and increase in severity, then you should quickly call emergency services or get someone to take you to the ER.

Treat these symptoms extremely seriously and stop taking all medications until you can work with a doctor to identify which medications activated the Stevens-Johnson Syndrome.

Consult with an Attorney

If you, or your loved one, has suffered a severe injury or wrongful death at the hands of a medical professional or institution, consult with an attorney to see if your case has validity. Failure to diagnose this condition can mean that you or your loved one was forced to have increasingly worse symptoms that could have led–or did lead to—death. If you believe the onset and worsening of this condition was because of medical negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering caused by this syndrome.

Contact McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt to find an experienced lawyer to handle your case. You can find a lawyer that knows how to deal with medical cases that center around Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. If you need help getting the compensation you deserve, visit the McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt website, or fill out a contact sheet.

What Is Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy In Babies?


Few things are scarier in this world than bringing a new life into it. As a new parent, you definitely want your child to be perfect from their fingers to their toes, but the fact of the matter is that this doesn’t happen all the time.

Although sometimes babies suffering or missing basic necessities and ending up with diseases might be an issue with them having bad luck with the genetic lottery, other things might have gone wrong.

One of them is medical malpractice. It’s possible that if something happens to your baby, that it wasn’t genetics fault – it was the fault of the doctors who helped deliver the baby.

When it comes to babies and potential medical malpractice, one of the most common issues a baby might suffer from is called HIE, or hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.


Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy

HIE is a severe type of oxygen deprivation that can occur in newborns. It happens when the body no longer regulates the air to the brain, meaning that this type of asphyxiation can result in brain damage, disabilities, Cerebral Palsy, and death. These are called anoxic brain injuries.

This is likely not the type of situation you’d like your child to have to live with. Doctors have crafted three different stages that are used to discuss hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.

Stage I

This is considered to be mild HIE. Mild HIE can show up in floppy muscles, fussiness, difficulty feeding, and sleeping, frequent crying, etc. Luckily, most of these symptoms should end up disappearing within 24 hours of birth. Still, it is essential to treat and monitor these symptoms very closely.

Stage II

This is considered to be moderate or severe HIE. If this is occurring in your child it can show up as lethargy, hypotonia (muscle weakness), fewer reactions to reflex stimuli, weak grip strength, trouble breathing, seizures, etc.

As you may be able to guess from the increased severity of the symptoms, it is of paramount importance that these symptoms are monitored and treated as effectively and efficiently as possible. The first few weeks are the most crucial for treating Stage II HIE in babies.

Stage III

This is the most critical of the three stages, and it’s the stage that carries the most danger. If your baby has Stage III HIE, they might show symptoms of falling into a coma-like stupor, no response to external stimuli, difficulty breathing, no muscle tension, vision problems, seizures, an irregular newborn heartbeat, etc. 

The only way to treat a child with Stage III HIE is to keep them properly monitored and treated. However, even with treatment and monitoring, extremely severe cases of HIE may cause permanent injury or even wrongful death.

Parts of the brain where anoxic injuries can lead to the different types of cerebral palsy – photo by Ceimile95, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons


HIE and Medical Malpractice

HIE may occur naturally in your child. At this point, all you can do is monitor and treat them and hope for the best.

However, it is also possible that a child’s HIE was caused by an accident a doctor made – such as the umbilical cord being wrapped around the child’s neck (preventing it from breathing) and the doctor not recommending a C-section fast enough – in which case, you’ll have a case for medical malpractice.

If you have a child who has a birth injury, getting the legal help that can lead to potential financial aid can make a large difference in how the child recovers during the rest of their life. Because of how touchy these injuries can be, it’s important to act quickly if you think something might be wrong with the child.

Many attorneys specifically work in these cases where a child’s birth injury was caused by a preventable medical mistake. If this sounds like something you’re dealing with, reach out to an anoxic brain injury attorney at (866) 721-8431 and see what your options are.


Do You Need An Attorney for Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy?

Birth injury – which HIE falls under – is a specific type of medical malpractice. If you file a claim for a birth injury situation, the verdict (if it goes in your favor) can truly help the child going forward.

When it comes to this particular medical malpractice, whatever birth injury attorneys you choose will do most of the work for you. Experienced Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy Lawyers will do the work of consulting with medical experts, gathering information, and building the case for you, so that you have less to worry about.

Although winning a birth injury settlement case is unlikely to help your child be cured – if they can be cured – the settlement will typically be put into a specific sort of special needs trust that is meant to help the child receive lifelong care. The money will also often be able to gain interest, so you should hopefully end up with more money to help care for your child. Additionally, this money doesn’t count as taxable income for the child, which means that the child’s benefits will be preserved over the years.

Working with a medical malpractice attorney like those McEldrew  Your Purtell Merritt will help you find a way to not have to worry about how you’ll afford your child’s specialized care. Secondarily, it will also add to the system of accountability for medal practitioners to ensure that they are held responsible for any and all mistakes they make. Fill out our form today to get a free consultation on your case as soon as possible.

What Are The Leading Causes of Hospitalizations for Non-Fatal Traumatic Brain Injuries?


When it comes to health and safety, there is very little that is scarier than injuries that happen involving the brain. The brain is one of those parts of the body that scientists are still scratching their heads over.

Why do brains react to certain stimuli in the way they do? Why do they sometimes fail or become prone to illness when the rest of the human body is otherwise healthy?

Not knowing the answer to these questions is only part of where the terror comes from. But there are even scarier things out there, especially if you’re somewhat in the know about the topic.

The rest of this article will discuss traumatic brain injuries, their causes, and more.


What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

A traumatic brain injury is an injury that can – and usually does – disrupt normal brain function. These injuries to the brain typically end up in hospitalization for the patient.

As may seem obvious from their name, traumatic brain injuries are nothing to joke about. They’re terrifying, especially if they happen to you or a loved one. What are the warning signs of a brain injury? 



Across the board, these acquired brain injuries tend to happen mostly to men and persons older than 75 years. In these situations, traumatic brain injuries can happen when there are severe slip and falls and when people get into car accidents. 

Traumatic brain injuries are the most common injuries that might result in hospitalization. This specific type of traumatic brain injury is typically non-fatal.


How To Prevent Traumatic Brain Injuries?

Even if traumatic brain injuries are non-fatal, they can still be very scary. As such, it’s best to try and prevent them if at all possible.

When you’re driving, try to make sure that you’re wearing your seatbelt. If you have young passengers in the car with you, make sure they’re securely fastened to their car seats and booster seats. 

When cars and other vehicles aren’t involved, configuring houses and other abodes in ways that make it hard to fall or that don’t provide too much of a fall risk can go a long way towards preventing nonfatal traumatic brain injuries.

If you’re careful and take care of yourself, you can make sure to prevent a traumatic brain injury.


Traumatic Brain Injury Study

A study was recently performed focusing on the topic of traumatic brain injuries. The CDC analyzed the data they received and come up with the following statistics:

  • Hospital rates among persons aged ≥75 years were approximately three times higher than those among persons aged 65–74 years when it came to traumatic brain injury incidents
  • Males tended to end up in the ER with brain injuries twice as much as females ended up in the ER
  • Unintentional falls were the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries 
  • Traumatic brain injuries can happen to anyone of any age, even though they’re more prevalent in older individuals. 
  • Traumatic brain injuries in older individuals can lead to complications based on other underlying medical conditions 

Outside of falls and the like, the second most common reason people end up with traumatic brain injuries is car accidents and other vehicle crashes.

Once again, male individuals who participated in the survey were found to have ended up with traumatic brain injuries twice as often as female participants, which is the same as the statistic for falling. 

The reason for this is very simple – men tend to be involved in more car accidents than females. This might be because men tend to speed and lose control of vehicles more than females do. 

The higher the loss of control at high speeds, the more that a driver might likely end up in an accident that causes a traumatic brain injury.

photo by Yan Berthemy


What Can We Do?

Traumatic brain injuries may not be fatal, but they’re certainly terrifying and cause additional health issues on the body that no one is even aware of. As such, trying to protect yourself and prevent traumatic brain injuries from occurring in your life should be important. You should take preventative measures to keep you and your loved ones safe. 

For example, make sure to consistently – and correctly – wear a seatbelt properly when you’re driving. Make sure that you’re fully cognizant of your surroundings and that you’re not driving under any external influences, such as drugs or alcohol.

That last point may seem obvious and yet drunk driving or driving under the influence continues to be one of the largest causes of car accident-born traumatic brain injuries. 

When it comes to young adults and children, make sure to use the same safety measures and the like for them, as well. When dealing with new drivers in their teens, make sure that they’re being careful and observant drivers.

Most vehicle-related traumatic brain injuries that are caused by adolescents can be prevented by practice and confidence when it comes to lane merging, passing, maintaining a safe distance while driving, etc.) and limiting how much they’re driving under high-risk conditions such as during floods or storms. 

If you’ve been involved in a crash that resulted in a TBI, and are struggling to return to normal, contact the traumatic brain injury lawyers at Mceldrew Young Purtell Merritt to make sure that you get the compensation you deserve, and help get your life back on track. Call us today at 866-521-0865 or fill out our contact form here for a free consultation.

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