What Causes Birth Injuries? | Chicago Lawyer | Illinois

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Causes of Birth Injuries

Chicago attorney explains causes of birth injuries due to medical malpractice

Addressing Issues Leading to Injuries During Childbirth - Illinois Medical Malpractice Attorney

Thousands of children are born every day in the United States. Modern medical facilities are equipped with technology meant to reduce the risks involved in pregnancy and childbirth, and medical personnel are trained to provide the necessary treatment quickly and effectively. However, injuries do occur during labor and delivery, and they can have a serious impact on the health of both a child and a mother.

Reasons Birth Injuries Occur

A wide variety of complications can occur during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Serious birth injuries can be caused by a number of factors, including:

  • Labor induction - Labor may be induced artificially using a variety of methods, including rupturing the amniotic sac, administering hormones to ripen the cervix, or using medications to induce contractions. Induced labor can increase the chances of umbilical cord issues, infections, and shoulder dystocia.
  • Pitocin use - When this medication is used to induce labor, it can cause uterine hyperstimulation, leading to very strong contractions that can result in fetal distress, placental abruption, or uterine rupture.
  • Prolonged labor - If labor lasts longer than 20 hours, this can lead to fetal distress, trauma during delivery, infections, or post-partum hemorrhaging.
  • Breech birth - Children are typically delivered head-first. If vaginal delivery is attempted when a child is positioned feet-first, this may lead to umbilical cord problems, brain injuries, brachial plexus injuries, or fractured bones.
  • Cesarean delivery - While a Cesarean section may be performed to prevent injuries to the mother or child during a vaginal birth, it may also lead to a variety of complications. Children may experience lacerations, breathing problems, or physical trauma, and a mother may experience hemorrhaging or infections.
  • Forceps use - A doctor may use this tool, which resembles a pair of tongs, to assist in delivering a child who is lodged in the birth canal. Improper use of forceps can result in brain injuries, brachial plexus injuries, nerve damage, vaginal lacerations, or uterine rupture.
  • Vacuum extraction - This method of assisted delivery consists of a suction cup that is attached to the child's head. Improper use of a vacuum extractor can lead to brain injuries, skull fractures, brachial plexus injuries, or excessive bleeding. 
  • Asphyxia - Any disruption in the flow of oxygen to the child can result in brain injuries or fetal death. Asphyxia may occur because of problems with the placenta or umbilical cord, infections, or pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia.
  • Wrong medicine or dosage - Certain medications, when taken by a pregnant mother, can lead to birth defects or miscarriage. If drugs such as Pitocin or epidural anesthesia are administered at the improper dosage during labor and delivery, this may cause issues such as low blood pressure or uterine hyperstimulation, resulting in injuries to the mother or the child.

Due to the many potential causes of birth injuries, medical personnel should be aware of any risk factors that may be present, and they should ensure that both the mother and the child are properly monitored. If any complications occur during pregnancy, labor, or delivery, immediate steps should be taken to address these issues and minimize the risk of injury to the child and the mother.

If you or your child experienced an injury during pregnancy or birth, every area of your life may be affected, and you may be dealing with the physical, emotional, and financial ramifications for years to come. At the Birth Injury Law Alliance, we can help you understand your best options for receiving financial assistance that will ensure that you can meet your family's needs, including determining whether medical negligence was a factor in your injury. Contact us today at 312-462-4200 to arrange a free consultation and case evaluation.

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