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Chicago birth injury lawyersIllinois parents-to-be must navigate a large amount of complex information as they prepare to welcome their child into the world. When tragedy strikes and pregnancy ends in miscarriage, parents often feel a challenging combination of grief, confusion, and anger. There may be many questions - Why did this happen? Is anyone responsible? Sadly, parents who try to preempt unhealthy pregnancies by testing for genetic anomalies may risk inadvertently ending the pregnancy when the test itself causes a miscarriage. 

New Research from Yale Medicine tries to help grieving parents by looking for answers to difficult questions about miscarriages. If you have suffered from a miscarriage and are wondering whether your healthcare provider’s negligence caused or contributed to the miscarriage, call an Illinois birth injuries attorney. 

Miscarriage Testing

One test currently being researched offers to tell parents whether they are experiencing a miscarriage the same day concerning symptoms appear. While the test is still in development, it offers promising insights into whether a miscarriage is happening and why some women suffer from multiple miscarriages. Currently, testing to determine why a miscarriage happened - and even whether a miscarriage is happening - can take weeks, leaving parents in limbo. This test will give women a same-day answer as to whether a miscarriage is happening by detecting levels of alpha-fetoprotein, or AFP. AFP only comes from fetal blood and, if present in the test, indicates pregnancy loss is occurring. 

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Chicago birth injury lawyerDoctors, nurses, midwives, and other childbirth medical specialists have an array of tools at their disposal to aid in ensuring babies are born safely. While the vast majority of deliveries do go smoothly, sometimes urgent intervention is needed. Delivering mothers have no choice but to put their faith in their attending doctor’s skill and knowledge. 

Tragically, not all doctors are as educated or dedicated to their patients’ well-being as they should be. And even when a mistake is just that - an accident - the results can be devastating. One kind of tool that has the potential to cause great harm to both mother and child during delivery is forceps. Forceps look like a large pair of tongs that are meant to fit around a child’s head to help guide them out of the birth canal. While forceps save lives, when used incorrectly, they can cause several types of maternal injuries

How Can Forceps Hurt a Mother During Delivery? 

While forceps injuries are generally well understood in children, mothers can also be badly injured as well.  Injuries that a mother may sustain include, but are not limited to: 

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Chicago maternal injury lawyersPregnancy and childbirth are difficult processes that present significant dangers to Illinois women. Certain behaviors from a woman’s obstetric healthcare providers, such as negligence or malpractice, can seriously compound these dangers to the point that women may suffer from life-threatening injuries and maternal mortality

One leading cause of maternal mortality is that of maternal sepsis - a dangerous infection that generally begins in a woman’s uterus and triggers a full-body immune response system severe enough to injure organs and other bodily tissues. While sepsis is generally more dangerous to women who already suffer from other health issues, it can injure and kill healthy women as well. If a woman you love has been injured or killed by sepsis after childbirth because of medical malpractice, you may want to meet with an experienced Illinois maternal mortality attorney. 

How Common is Maternal Sepsis? 

While maternal sepsis is fairly rare, it is common enough around the world and even in developed countries that the World Health Organization has placed special focus on procedures that will help recognize and eliminate cases. While maternal sepsis is only estimated to occur in .04 percent of American pregnancies, it accounts for 23 percent of maternal deaths. Because some women suffer from sepsis several weeks after childbirth and do not die in a hospital setting, these numbers likely do not reflect the true prevalence of sepsis-related maternal mortality. 

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Chicago birth injury lawyerThe birth of a child is a wonderful experience for most parents, but it comes with significant risks and dangers to mothers. Maternal mortality in the United States is significantly higher than other developed nations with comparable health systems, and neglectful or careless acts on the part of healthcare providers can seriously endanger the health and even the life of a mother before, during, and after childbirth. 

One rare but potentially lethal risk to Illinois mothers during childbirth is that of an amniotic fluid embolism. An amniotic fluid embolism occurs when the amniotic fluid surrounding a baby in the mother’s uterus gets into the mother’s bloodstream. It can be difficult to know whether an amniotic fluid embolism has occurred and doctors must be on the alert for signs of a potential embolism so treatment can be secured immediately. If a doctor misses obvious signs of an amniotic fluid embolism or fails to order effective treatment, the mother can suffer serious health complications, including death. If your wife or partner was injured or died from this condition, you may want to meet with an experienced Illinois maternal mortality lawyer. 

How Does an Amniotic Fluid Embolism Happen? 

When trauma during childbirth causes the barrier between the placenta and the mother’s body to break down, amniotic fluid or other fetal material can get into the mother’s bloodstream. The mother’s body then responds by producing an extreme inflammatory response, which can create blood clots in the mother’s blood vessels. If these blood clots reach the lungs, heart, or brain, they can be fatal. 

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chicago birth injury lawyerDespite advances in medical technology, women still face the risk of maternal injury. Maternal injuries vary in severity, with some only causing minor harm. However, in some instances, both the mother and the baby can be severely hurt.

Uterine rupture is among the most serious maternal injuries. The term describes the tearing of the mother’s uterus during pregnancy or childbirth.

During labor, the mother’s uterus expands as she delivers her baby. After birth, the uterus retracts back to its normal size. However, in some instances, the pressure of the baby strains the uterine walls to the point that they begin to tear or “rupture.”

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