Law Firm Donates $100,000 to Hospital

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Funds used for sickle cell anemia diagnostic equipment

BRIDGEPORT, May 9, 2011 - A Bridgeport-based law firm today announced that it has donated $100,000 to a local children's hospital.

Attorney Chris Bernard of Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder said his firm has donated $100,000 to Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford. The funds have covered the cost of specialized medical equipment.

"We are thrilled to make this contribution to Connecticut Children's Medical Center, a world-class institution that treats over 288,000 children each year," Atty. Bernard said. "Our donation has enabled the hospital to purchase dedicated ultrasound equipment that will help in treating a painful and dangerous disease: sickle cell anemia."

Sickle cell disease is an inherited condition in which abnormal hemoglobin deforms red blood cells into sickle-shaped bodies that often become lodged as they pass through blood vessels. It is characterized by episodes of pain, lowered resistance to infection, vision problems, anemia, joint deterioration, and, in about ten percent of children between four and six years of age, stroke.

"Childhood stroke is a devastating complication of sickle cell disease. We know that a specialized ultrasound test called transcranial Doppler (TCD) is tremendously helpful in identifying children who may be at risk for stroke," said Nathan J. Hagstrom, MD, the Director and Division Head for Hematology and Oncology at Connecticut Children's. "Until now, our hospital has not offered TCD screening on-site. The generous donation of $100,000 from Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder has allowed us to obtain the equipment needed to begin screening kids here at Connecticut Children's, which will make it more convenient for families and assist us in making sure every child is screened."

Transcranial Doppler is a noninvasive tool that uses ultrasound waves to measure the speed of blood flow in large blood vessels of the brain. An abnormally high speed of blood flow signals an elevated risk of stroke.

"The test is reliable when read by specially-trained physicians and staff who are well-versed in pediatric sickle cell disease. The funds donated by our friends at Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder has covered not only the cost of the equipment but will also cover the expense of training the personnel who will operate it," Dr. Hagstrom added. "In addition, we will be using the funds to publish educational materials created with the help of our family advisory board to hand out to patients and families."

According to hospital officials, the generous contribution is being commemorated with a plaque in the Medical Center's lobby and will be noted in its annual report.

"With a dozen new cases of sickle cell disease being diagnosed each year at Connecticut Children's, everyone at Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder felt strongly that we should do all we can to keep these youngsters healthy and minimize their discomfort as much as possible," Atty. Bernard said.

Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder has offices in Bridgeport, Danbury and New Haven. The nationally known law firm has achieved record verdicts for people who suffer serious personal injuries or economic harm from medical malpractice, violation of their civil or constitutional rights, dangerous products, negligence, drunk drivers, corporate or governmental abuse and commercial misconduct.