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Cook County birth injury attorney cerebral palsy

If your child suffers from cerebral palsy, you will want to understand how you can provide the best care for your son or daughter. One issue that parents may be concerned about is whether their child will need assistance with feeding and nutrition. Studies have found that within their first year of life, 57 percent of children with cerebral palsy have problems with sucking, and 38 percent have problems with swallowing. In addition, over 90 percent of children with CP have significant oral motor dysfunction. Because of these issues, children may require intervention to ensure they receive the proper nutrition, and in some cases, a feeding tube may be necessary.

G-Tube Placement

Feeding tubes that deliver food and liquids directly to a child’s stomach are known as gastronomy tubes or G-tubes. A surgical procedure will be performed to create an opening known as a stoma in the abdomen and the wall of the stomach, and the tube will be inserted through this opening. A child will usually be placed under general anesthesia during this type of surgery. Depending on the child’s needs and whether other surgical procedures need to be performed at the same time, laparoscopic techniques may be used to insert the tube through small incisions, or open surgery involving larger incisions may be necessary. 

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Cook County birth injury attorney cerebral palsy

Parents of a child with cerebral palsy (CP) will want to do everything they can to help their child grow and develop successfully. While there is no cure for CP, there are a variety of treatments that can address a child’s symptoms, alleviate their discomfort, and allow them to move and function as well as possible. One potential treatment that may benefit children is taking CBD oil derived from marijuana or hemp.

CBD Versus Medical Marijuana

Many states allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes. However, patients will usually need to receive authorization from a doctor, and they must purchase medical marijuana from a licensed dispensary. CBD oil, on the other hand, is often available over the counter from a variety of sources, depending on state laws and regulations.

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Chicago birth injury attorney cerebral palsy

Parents of children with cerebral palsy often face an overwhelming amount of information. Fully understanding how this condition has affected their child’s growth and development can be daunting, and making choices about the types of treatment a child should receive is often difficult. When surgical intervention is recommended to lengthen the muscles or tendons in the legs, parents should thoroughly discuss this option with medical providers to determine whether it will be an effective treatment for their child and whether it will cause any complications in the future. 

Orthopedic Surgery Options and Considerations

In some cases, leg lengthening surgery may be used to correct a difference in length between a child’s legs, or it may help address spasticity or severe muscle contracture, improving a child’s gait and allowing them to walk independently. Surgery may also be recommended after a patient has undergone a selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR).

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Cook County medical malpractice attorney cerebral palsy

Children with cerebral palsy (CP) may require a wide variety of treatments and assistive devices. Leg braces are often used to improve mobility and correct deformities, but while these devices can provide a number of benefits, they also present challenges for parents and children alike. As the winter months approach, parents may be wondering about their options for winter boots that will provide children with protection from the elements while fitting over braces and allowing for easy, comfortable movement.

Footwear and Orthotics

Braces worn on the feet and legs are known as orthotics, and these devices can help address the issues experienced by those with CP, such as rigid muscles, spasticity, or low muscle tone. Orthotics can provide support and stability and improve a child’s ability to sit, stand, and walk. They can also be used to correct or prevent deformities in the muscles and bones, and they can help improve muscle strength and reduce missteps, hyperextensions, and accidents.

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Cook County birth injury attorney cerebral palsy

Complications during labor and delivery can lead to different birth injuries, such as cerebral palsy (CP). Children with cerebral palsy may experience a variety of symptoms that affect their movement, cognitive function, and many other areas of their lives. Epilepsy is a common condition that is related to cerebral palsy, and between one-third and one-half of people diagnosed with CP experience some form of seizures. While different medications are available to treat epilepsy, parents will want to make sure these drugs are safe for their children to use.

Treating Seizures With Anticonvulsant Medications 

Children with cerebral palsy can experience multiple different types of seizures. These include tonic-clonic seizures that cause a child to suffer a complete loss of motor functions and experience convulsions in the muscles, as well as confusion that can last up to a few weeks after a seizure. Partial complex seizures can also occur, and while these do not involve convulsions, they may lead to a partial loss of consciousness and temporary impairment to walking or other motor functions.

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Chicago medical negligence attorney birth injury

Cerebral palsy (CP) refers to a neurological condition or disorder that affects an individual’s muscles and movement. This can manifest in several different ways, from spastic movements to hearing loss to the inability to walk without assistance. In many cases, it inhibits a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture. CP is generally caused by abnormal brain development or damage to a developing brain in utero. This type of injury can be caused by a lack of oxygen during prolonged labor and other complications during childbirth. One of the many issues that CP sufferers face is trouble sleeping, and this is especially evident in children who have CP. 

Tips for Bedtime

Parenting can be exhausting no matter what, but for parents who have a special needs child, it can take an even bigger toll. Daily routines are important for creating and maintaining healthy habits, including sleeping at naptime or bedtime. Seizures, muscle spasms, pain, breathing difficulties, or gastrointestinal issues can all inhibit sleeping patterns in younger people with CP. 

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Chicago birth injury attorneysChildbirth can be a beautiful experience, but in some cases, a mother and child may suffer complications. Cerebral palsy (CP) refers to a group of developmental disorders caused by abnormal brain development or damage to a developing brain. This can occur if the baby does not get enough oxygen during delivery. Considered a chronic disability, CP impacts a person’s ability to control his or her muscles. In addition, depending on the severity, CP may affect vision, hearing, speech, and intellectual ability. 

Affecting approximately 1 in 323 children in the United States, CP is the most common motor disability in childhood. For many children with CP, wearing specially fitted braces on their feet and legs can enhance their quality of life by allowing them to stand and walk. However, it can be difficult to adjust to wearing these devices on a daily basis.    

Orthotic Devices Increase Mobility

For individuals with CP, the strength and stability of their body is of primary concern. The more stable a body is, the better someone can move about and complete everyday tasks. Orthotic devices can help build stability while increasing strength, balance, and independence. The purpose of orthotics is to use devices that can help a child maintain a certain level of mobility, or correct physical issues that are preventing the child from being fully mobile.

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Cook County birth injury attorney developmental disabilities

All parents are concerned about issues that may affect their children’s health, and one recent study highlights some troubling trends regarding developmental disabilities. Scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) found that the rates of these types of disabilities among children increased between 2009 and 2017. Parents will not only want to be aware of the prevalence of these types of health concerns, but they should understand whether birth injuries may have led to disabilities that impact their children’s well-being.

Birth Injuries and Developmental Disabilities

During this study, researchers looked at parent-reported data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) to determine the percentage of children between the ages of 3 and 17 diagnosed with developmental disabilities. During the period of 2009-2011, this percentage was 16.2 percent, but the percentage increased to 17.8 percent in the period of 2015-2017. Additionally, the study found that boys were more likely than girls to be diagnosed with a developmental disability, and disabilities were more likely to affect children in rural areas and those with public health insurance than children in urban areas and those with private insurance.

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Cook County birth injury attorney shoulder dystocia

Despite tireless and dedicated efforts by medical professionals to prevent them, injuries can and do occur during childbirth. Unfortunately, it is often the newborn child who suffers the most serious injuries. One of the leading causes of birth injuries is shoulder dystocia. While the term “dystocia” sounds like it could be an injury itself, it actually refers to a slow or complicated delivery in which the baby is at risk for serious physical injury.

What Is Shoulder Dystocia?

During a vaginal delivery, the baby must pass through the mother’s pelvis on its way through the birth canal. In some cases, one or both of the baby’s shoulders gets stuck against the mother’s pelvis, preventing the baby from being able to move. This condition is known as “shoulder dystocia.” Shoulder dystocia can create a dangerous situation, but in most cases, the situation can be resolved safely for both the mother and the baby.

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Illinois medical malpractice attorney birth injury

Giving birth should be one of the most cherished moments of a person’s entire life. Sadly, many mothers throughout the United States have unexpected complications during pregnancy or birth that result in death or injury to the baby or the mother herself. While some of these incidents are unavoidable, others are caused by negligence on the part of the medical staff interacting with the patient. Medical malpractice occurs when a patient is injured or otherwise harmed by a medical professional who fails to perform his or her medical duties proficiently.

When Is a Medical Professional Guilty of Malpractice?

In order to prove that medical malpractice occurred, several conditions must be met. First, an established “doctor-patient” relationship must exist between the individuals in question. For example, a person cannot sue a nurse for medical advice that he or she gave casually outside of work just because that person is a nurse.
Next, the medical professional must have been negligent. Put another way, in order for an action to be considered malpractice, the doctor must have caused harm in a way that any other capable doctor would not have. A medical professional’s care is required to be consistent with “the same degree of knowledge, skill, and ability as an ordinarily careful professional would exercise under similar circumstances” and compliant with the prevailing standard of care. If it can be shown that a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional was not exhibiting this obligatory level of care, he or she may be considered negligent.
Finally, in order for a medical malpractice claim to be valid, the medical professional’s negligence had to cause some type of injury that led to damages. Damages can include medical expenses, physical pain, mental anguish, future medical expenses, decreased earning capacity, and lost wages.

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Cook County medical malpractice attorney birth injury

Even though doctors and medical facilities in the United States provide high-quality healthcare for many patients, birth injuries still occur, and the rate of maternal injuries in this country is higher than in any other developed country. Unfortunately, even though mothers and children of all backgrounds are affected by these types of injuries, those who are in minority groups are even more likely to experience serious or fatal complications during pregnancy, labor, and delivery.

Why Are African Americans More Likely to Experience Birth Injuries?

There are approximately 700 cases of maternal death each year, and two-thirds of these deaths are generally considered to be preventable. In addition, 50,000 women experience severe maternal morbidity (SMM), which involves life-threatening complications during pregnancy or birth. While these issues affect women from every background, they are much more likely to affect women of color. While an average of 17.2 maternal deaths occur out of every 100,000 births, this rate increases to 43.5 out of 100,000 for non-Hispanic Black women, while it decreases to 12.7 out of every 100,000 for non-Hispanic white women. Black women are also twice as likely to experience SMM as non-Hispanic White women.

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Cook County birth injury attorney hearing loss

Even when everything goes smoothly, childbirth can be a traumatic process for both mothers and infants. Unfortunately, medical issues during pregnancy or complications during labor and delivery can lead to birth injuries, and in some cases, these injuries can have a long-term or permanent impact on a child’s health and well-being. One concern that parents may have is the possibility that their child will suffer hearing loss due to a birth injury. Understanding the potential causes of hearing loss can help parents determine the best way to respond and ensure that their child receives the proper care and treatment.

Causes of Infant Hearing Loss

In the majority of cases, children experience hearing loss because of genetic causes, either due to a mutation of the child’s genes or as part of a syndrome in which the child experiences other symptoms. If either parent has one or more family members who are deaf or who have suffered genetic hearing loss, doctors should closely monitor the child during pregnancy and ensure that parents are prepared to provide the child with the proper care.

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Cook County birth injury attorney medication error

Many people throughout the United States take medications to treat mood disorders and mental health conditions. When used properly under the care of a psychiatrist, these drugs are generally safe, although they can have side effects. Unfortunately, some of these side effects include issues that affect a mother and her child during pregnancy. Women who take antidepressants should be sure to consult with their physician to address the risks of medication use and determine the best ways to receive the treatment they need while minimizing the possibility of birth defects.

What Types of Antidepressants Can Cause Birth Injuries?

While the overall risk of birth defects when using antidepressants is low, certain drugs have been linked to birth defects and other complications during pregnancy and birth. These include:

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Cook County medical malpractice attorney birth injury

The coronavirus pandemic has affected everyone in the United States, and people have had to make different types of adjustments to their lives to avoid the health risks that can result from contracting COVID-19. Pregnant women are likely to be especially concerned, since giving birth in a hospital may increase the risks of infection. It is important for mothers to understand whether their child may suffer birth injuries related to COVID-19 or whether they will be at an increased risk of maternal injuries or other complications.

Studies Show Higher Rates of Complications for Mothers With Coronavirus Infections

Expectant mothers may be concerned about how their child will be affected if they contract COVID-19 while pregnant. Fortunately, while some maternal infections have been known to cause harm to a child, preliminary research indicates that it is rare for a coronavirus infection to be passed from a mother to a child, and children are unlikely to experience birth defects.

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Cook County maternal injury childbirth

As one of the richest countries in the world, the United States should be able to provide quality healthcare to mothers and children during the process of pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Unfortunately, even though medical facilities have made a serious effort to reduce birth injuries to children, the same level of care is often not provided to mothers. In fact, the U.S. has the highest rate of maternal death among developed countries, with hundreds of women dying during childbirth each year. Perhaps even more concerning, however, is the increasing rate of serious maternal injuries, known as severe maternal morbidity. These types of injuries affect mothers in more than 1 percent of all births, adding up to over 50,000 cases each year.

What Is Maternal Morbidity?

Unexpected complications during pregnancy and childbirth can result in many different types of short-term and long-term issues that affect a mother’s health. Some forms of severe maternal morbidity include:

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Cook County birth injury attorney skull fracture

The process of labor and delivery can sometimes put strain on the body of a child. During a vaginal delivery, a child’s head must pass through the birth canal, which can put significant pressure on the skull and brain. While the bones of a newborn’s skull have not yet fused together, allowing for some flexibility during birth, delivery can still cause compression to the child’s head, and in some cases, an infant may experience a skull fracture.

A fractured skull can be very dangerous for a newborn, and it can cause permanent brain damage and lead to a variety of other complications. If a fracture results in the bones of the skull pressing into the child’s brain tissue, this can result in conditions such as cystic encephalomalacia. Bleeding around the brain can cut off blood flow, leading to neonatal stroke or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). Damage to the brain can cause permanent conditions such as cerebral palsy (CP).

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Cook County medical malpractice attorney birth injury

Every expectant mother hopes that her delivery will go as smoothly as possible. However, complications during the birthing process sometimes necessitate the use of special procedures and equipment that may present a risk to the baby. Vacuum extraction or vacuum-assisted delivery is a procedure used during a vaginal delivery when a baby needs help traveling through the birth canal. A device called a vacuum extractor creates suction on the baby’s head and allows the doctor to gently pull the infant out while the mother pushes. Although vacuum extraction is a common procedure, it is also associated with an increased risk of serious, sometimes life-threatening birth injuries.

Why Is a Vacuum Extractor Used During Labor and Delivery?

If labor is not progressing normally, a vacuum extractor may be used to encourage the baby through the birth canal. Vacuum extraction is often used when a mother experiences ruptured membranes or trouble pushing the baby out. Atypical heart rate indicating infant distress may also prompt an obstetrician to use vacuum extraction. This procedure is typically not recommended if a woman is less than 34 weeks pregnant, the infant suffers from certain health conditions such as hemophilia or osteogenesis imperfecta, the baby is in a breech position, or if the baby’s head is too big to fit through the mother’s pelvis.

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Illinois birth injury attorney Gastroschisis

Despite the remarkable medical advances that have taken place in recent decades, birth injuries continue to be an unfortunate reality in the United States. While some birth injuries are easily remedied and do not result in lasting damage to the infant, others result in lifelong complications or even infant death. Gastroschisis is a congenital birth defect in which an infant’s intestines protrude through his or her abdominal wall. Surgery is necessary to correct the abnormality, but unfortunately, surgery is not always enough to prevent the infant from suffering major health complications or even death.

The Causes of Gastroschisis Still Largely Unknown

Gastroschisis occurs when the abdominal wall of a growing fetus does not develop properly and a 1- to 2-inch opening in the abdominal wall forms. This allows the fetus’s intestines to extend outside of its body. The intestines are then exposed to the amniotic fluid and may become inflamed, twisted, or shortened. In complex cases, other internal organs may also protrude through the abdominal opening. Since the 1980s, more and more babies have been born with gastroschisis. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that the incidence of gastroschisis nearly doubled between 1995 and 2005. Younger mothers and mothers who drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes during pregnancy are more likely to have babies with gastroschisis; however, the exact cause of the defect is still unknown.

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Chicago birth injury lawyerA baby’s transition from the womb into the outside world is a critical moment. If complications arise during the birthing process, the baby can suffer injuries that affect him or her for the rest of his or her life. One common complication that can lead to serious medical conditions is a breech birth. Babies should be born head first. However, in 3-4 percent of births, the baby is not positioned in the correct way. Breech presentation increases the risk of serious birth injuries and even infant death in some cases.

Causes of Breech Presentation During Birth

A baby is in a breech presentation if he or she is positioned in such a way that his or her buttocks or feet will enter the birth canal first. Breech presentations are more common when certain risk factors are present. These factors include but are not limited to:

  • Giving birth to multiples, such as twins or triplets

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Chicago birth injury lawyerAnticipating the birth of a new child is often one of the most exciting times in a mother’s life. Unfortunately, many mothers have seen their joy turn to fear after experiencing an unexpected complication during pregnancy, labor, or delivery. One complication that can be especially dangerous to the health of the baby and the mother is a maternal infection. If a pregnant woman develops an infection and it is not treated properly, the pathogens may be passed on to the developing baby. Newborns can also develop an infection from bacteria, viruses, or other pathogens that are present in the hospital delivery room.

Some Maternal Infections Can Cause Life-Threatening Injuries

Although minor maternal infections, such as a common cold, may not pose a major risk to the baby, other infections can be life-threatening. Infections that can be especially dangerous to an infant include:

  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTI): Most people experience a urinary tract infection at least once in their life. Typically, these infections are easily treated with antibiotics and do not cause any long-term damage. However, if a pregnant mother develops a UTI and it is not treated properly, the infection can cause premature birth, sepsis, preeclampsia, and low birth weight.

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