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Birth Injuries to Infants

Illinois birth injury attorney medical malpractice

Assistance With Baby Injuries During Pregnancy and Childbirth - Chicago Medical Negligence Attorney

A mother will want to do everything possible to protect her child from harm. Unfortunately, injuries can occur during pregnancy or birth, and they can have a long-lasting or permanent impact on a child's health, their growth and development, and their quality of life. If a child is injured, parents will want to understand why this happened and what steps they will need to take to provide the care their child needs.

Types of Birth Injuries

Infant injuries during childbirth come in a wide variety of forms, including:

  • Cerebral Palsy - This developmental disorder may result in stiff, rigid muscles or involuntary muscle movement, and it may inhibit a child's ability to walk, eat, or speak. In many cases, extensive or life-long treatment will be needed. 
  • Brain injuries - Damage to a child's brain is often permanent and irreversible, and it can lead to cerebral palsy, other developmental disorders, epilepsy, or physical and mental disabilities.
  • Infection/sepsis - An infectious disease contracted by a mother may be transmitted to the child during pregnancy or delivery, or an infant may be exposed to a viral or bacterial infection after birth. These infections can be very serious, especially if they spread through the child's bloodstream, resulting in sepsis, or if the membranes in the nervous system become infected, resulting in meningitis.
  • Meconium aspiration - If fetal distress occurs during labor and delivery, a child may pass fecal matter known as meconium, which can be breathed into the lungs, resulting in a dangerous condition known as meconium aspiration syndrome (MAS).
  • Neurological damage - In addition to the brain, a child may suffer injuries to other parts of the nervous system. Spinal injuries can result in partial or complete paralysis of parts of the body, and cranial nerve injuries can affect vision, hearing, breathing, speech, and facial muscles.
  • Placental abruption - If the placenta detaches from the uterus, this can result in asphyxia for the child, and it may lead to hemorrhaging of blood that can threaten injury to the mother.
  • Premature birth - If a child is born before a pregnancy reaches full term, this can result in a number of dangerous issues, including problems with the lung or heart, brain injuries, immune system problems, or low blood sugar.
  • Shoulder dystocia - One or both of a child's shoulders may become lodged in the birth canal during delivery, and this can lead to brachial plexus injuries and conditions such as Erb's Palsy.
  • Spina bifida - This type of birth defect can occur if there is an opening in the spinal column, leaving the spinal cord exposed. This can lead to paralysis, intellectual disabilities, abnormal growth of bones and joints, gastrointestinal issues, and a variety of other health issues.
  • Fetal death - A stillbirth, in which a child dies after the 20th week of pregnancy, may occur because of physical trauma to the mother, problems with the placenta or umbilical cord, infections, conditions that occur during pregnancy, or complications during labor and delivery.

In many cases, birth injuries are preventable, and they occur because of negligence on the part of doctors, nurses, or other medical personnel. If your child experienced an injury during pregnancy, labor, or delivery, you will want to be sure to understand why it occurred, what types of care will be necessary, and whether you can receive financial assistance to help you meet your child's needs.

Following a serious birth injury, you may be facing years of costly medical treatment, as well as significant expenses related to caring for a child with a disability or developmental disorder. The Birth Injury Law Alliance can help you understand your options for addressing these concerns, and we will work with you to determine whether your child's injury was the result of medical negligence. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation, contact our office at 312-945-1300.

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