On the heels of a new life entering the world can come devastation if something goes wrong. Although some injuries at birth are mild and heal quickly, others can be disabling and life-altering and require birth injury treatment.
In addition to long-term or a lifetime of medical needs, there can be concerns about a child’s quality of life. One option to consider is clinical trials that may be testing new therapies or treatment methods. Always discuss participation with the child’s physician as well as those conducting the study.
How a Clinical Trial Works
Clinical trials involving groups of children generally test new birth injury treatments, therapies or medications or changes to existing treatments. Let’s say the clinical trial involves medication. One group (the control group) might consist of children who receive a placebo (pill that contains no medicine) or a medication that is already on the market and commonly used. Another group (the experimental group) will receive the experimental medication.
The effects and results will be measured and evaluated for each group. The results will then be compared to determine if there is any significant difference in outcome between the groups. This helps determine if the proposed new medication may be effective. These same principles dictate other trials involving treatments and therapies as well.
Risks and Benefits of a Clinical Trial
It can be very promising, the idea of finding a treatment or medication that will help improve a child’s quality of life or even extend it. But it’s important to understand that not all results will turn out as hoped.
One of the benefits is that children may be offered the opportunity to receive treatment or medication that provides desirable results, even before it is available to the public. These trials often involve some of the top experts and physicians in the particular field.
It’s also important to understand that parents can withdraw their children from a clinical trial at any time. No one is forced or required to stay in any trial. At the same time, parents might also consider how other children may benefit from their child’s participation.
One of the risks, especially with medication, is that side effects may not be known or fully understood. Or it could be that the birth injury treatment isn’t effective. And while not a risk, parents need to consider the time commitment of participating. There may be multiple appointments and even overnight visits that are required.
Questions to Ask When Considering a Clinical Trial
Parents should feel free to voice their concerns and ask lots of questions before deciding to enroll a child in a trial.
The following are questions that parents should ask when considering their child for a clinical trial:
- Is my child a good candidate and if so, why?
- What are the differences in the medication, therapy or treatment compared to what is currently being taken?
- How long is the trial expected to last?
- What are the benefits and potential risks?
- How will the procedure be conducted?
- Are there optional treatments if we choose to not participate?
Parents should also seek legal counsel if they suspect their child’s injuries are the result of poor decisions or mistakes made by medical professionals during labor and delivery. Contact The Becker Law Firm today.