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chicago birth injury lawyerBy its very nature, the process of giving birth to a child puts mothers and infants at heightened risk of health problems, including serious birth injuries and maternal death. Yet the risk of maternal injuries impacts certain people more than others. According to the CDC, Black, American Indian, and Alaska Native women are up to two to three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related issues than white women. Most of these deaths are preventable. 

All women deserve to be treated according to the highest standard of medical care. But when Illinois doctors fail to abide by standardized protocols and do not maintain awareness of their patients’ risks and medical needs, women can suffer serious injuries and even death during childbirth. If you or someone you love has been injured or killed during childbirth, an experienced Illinois maternal injury attorney may be able to help. 

What are Common Causes of Maternal Mortality? 

Maternal mortality is considered a death that happens during pregnancy, childbirth, and for up to a year after giving birth. For unknown reasons, maternal mortality has increased significantly in the United States in the past thirty years and statistics indicate that minorities bear an unfair share of maternal injury and mortality cases. 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1101529682.jpgThe birth of a child can be one of the most joyful times of a parent’s life. Yet labor and delivery also carry significant risks, including dangers to the child’s current and future health. Competent medical care can minimize most risks during childbirth and most doctors and nurses serve their patients with an excellent standard of care. 

But sometimes, a medical provider’s exhaustion, sloppiness, neglect, or incompetence cause a neonatal infant real harm. Physical birth injuries can cause pain and suffering for a child, but they can also result in long-term developmental delays and disabilities. In turn, this can require difficult and expensive medical treatment that may be necessary for many years and even an entire lifetime. 

Which Birth Injuries Can Cause Developmental Delays? 

“Developmental delay” is a fairly broad term that indicates a child is not reaching appropriate developmental milestones at a certain age. These include cognitive, physical, verbal, auditory, and emotional abilities that persist over time. Some begin relatively early and are quite clear, while others may develop more slowly and take time to recognize. 

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rockford birth injury lawyerA child’s birth can be an intense and frightening experience, even when things go well. New parents experience so many unknowns, and in retrospect, the entire process can seem like a blur. Yet it is crucially important to be alert and pay close attention during your child’s birth because sometimes things do not go as planned. 

Infants can sustain injuries during childbirth, and some of these injuries are unavoidable. Other times, however, they happen as a consequence of negligence on the part of a medical provider. Skull fractures are an all-too-common injury that infants may sustain because of a medical mistake or oversight. If your infant was seriously hurt or killed during childbirth, contact an experienced Illinois birth injury attorney to learn about your legal options. 

Common Causes of Skull Fractures During Childbirth

Skull fractures can happen for many reasons; no matter the cause, they can pose serious risks to an infant’s life. Some common reasons an infant’s skull might be fractured during childbirth include: 

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chicago birth injury lawyerBoth mothers and infants are at a heightened risk of complications and injuries during labor. Sometimes, injuries happen because of unpredictable events; other times, a provider’s negligence is responsible for causing problems. One of the most dangerous forms of birth injuries is hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), or a lack of oxygen to the brain during birth. Infants who do not have sufficient access to oxygen during labor can suffer from permanent brain damage and even die. Providers must be aware of the risk factors that heighten the potential for HIE and can be held liable for birth injuries resulting from failure to provide a safe and appropriate standard of care. 

What is Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy? 

Although there are many ways that a lack of oxygen can damage an infant during childbirth, HIE specifically refers to an inadequate supply of oxygen to the brain. Many complicating factors can contribute to HIE, including, but not limited to:  

  • Preeclampsia, maternal obesity, high blood pressure, or other pregnancy risks 

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elmhurst delayed c-section lawyerC-sections, short for “cesarean sections,” are generally a safe alternative to giving birth vaginally. C-section deliveries can be planned in advance, but can also happen unexpectedly or in an emergency. Prolonged labor or pregnancy complications often require C-sections to preserve the health of the mother and the baby. 

When timed and performed correctly, C-section deliveries can save lives. But when doctors do not recognize that a C-section delivery is necessary, a delayed procedure can cause serious injuries and even death. Read on to learn more about when C-sections may be necessary and the potential consequences of improperly delaying this important procedure. 

What Are Common Injuries From a Delayed C-Section? 

Injuries resulting from delayed C-sections are one of the most easily preventable birth injuries, making it especially devastating when obstetricians fail to recognize their necessity. Infants are at greatest risk of catastrophic birth injury, and common types of injury include: 

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chicago birth injury lawyerHealthy children are born every day in Cook County hospitals, and for most parents, childbirth is one of the hardest but most joyous experiences they will ever have. For some parents, however, what should be a sacred and precious experience ends in a nightmare. If a mother has a case of undiagnosed or untreated genital herpes, there is a risk that an infant will catch herpes from the mother during childbirth, resulting in serious injuries or death

Can a Newborn Get Genital Herpes? 

Newborns can catch genital herpes from their mothers, especially if the mother contracted herpes for the first time during the last six weeks of her pregnancy. The first herpes outbreak a person experiences is usually her worst, but a mother having an outbreak may be actively shedding the virus during birth even if it is not her first. Women who are having an active herpes outbreak who share that information with their doctors and fail to receive adequate treatment may pass the infection onto their infants. 

Warning Signs of a Herpes Infection in Infants

Herpes simplex virus is usually a harmless infection in adults; in fact, most adults with herpes are estimated to be unaware of their infection because of a total lack of symptoms. Approximately 20-25 percent of women have a latent herpes infection and give birth with no incident. For some infants, however, neonatal herpes can be a serious and even fatal condition. Because their immune systems are undeveloped, a herpes infection can overwhelm their body and result in serious damage to the nervous system, brain, and even death. 

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Chicago medical malpractice lawyer for birth injuriesDoctors, nurses, surgeons, pharmacists, and other medical professionals are held to a high standard when it comes to patient care. Something as simple as misinterpreting a laboratory test result or ignoring an elevated fetal heart rate can have disastrous consequences – especially during pregnancy and birth. If you or your baby were harmed by suspected medical negligence, you may be able to take legal action to hold the party who was at fault responsible and recover financial compensation for your damages. However, to bring a successful birth injury claim, you will need compelling evidence.

Elements of a Birth Injury Case

Doctors and other medical professionals cannot prevent every tragedy. However, they do have a legal obligation to provide competent medical care to their patients.

When a mother or her child are harmed during pregnancy, labor, or delivery by a medical mistake or oversight, a victim or their family members may choose to bring a medical malpractice claim against the liable party. The at-fault party may be an individual medical provider or a medical facility such as a hospital. To be successful, the plaintiff in a birth injury case must prove:

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Chicago birth injury lawyer for GBS infectionsThere are many issues that can affect the health and safety of a child during the process of pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Some of the most serious concerns involve infections that may be passed from a mother to a child. Group B streptococcus (GBS) is one of the most common of these infections, and it can lead to serious injuries and health issues for newborns. By understanding the risk factors, the symptoms, and the effects of a GBS infection, parents can make sure they are taking the right steps to protect their child’s health and well-being.

Causes of GBS Infections for Newborns

Streptococcus, or strep, bacteria are often present in human intestines, genitalia, and urinary tracts. Around one out of every four pregnant women have GBS bacteria in their bodies. In some cases, the bacteria may be transmitted to a child during pregnancy, or an infection may lead to chorioamnionitis, which may lead to inflammation of the placenta, restricting the flow of blood and oxygen to the child and potentially leading to issues such as lack of oxygen or cerebral palsy. However, children are most commonly affected by GBS infections during childbirth. 

There are multiple issues that can increase the likelihood of a GBS infection during labor and delivery, including:

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Chicago birth injury lawyer

Every parent hopes that their child will grow up healthy and strong. Unfortunately, approximately 2 out of 1000 children suffer from a serious condition called cerebral palsy. The causes of cerebral palsy are not fully understood. Sometimes, the condition is unavoidable. Other times, medical negligence during pregnancy or birth causes the condition.

Cerebral palsy can reduce a child’s ability to walk, talk, eat, and become an independent adult. Fortunately, there are several different treatments available to cerebral palsy sufferers that may reduce symptoms and improve mobility. A recent study has demonstrated that horse therapy, also called hippotherapy or equine therapy, is a viable treatment option for kids with cerebral palsy.

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Cook County birth injury lawyer

When a woman is pregnant, the last thing she expects is her child’s life to end prematurely. Sadly, approximately 1 in 160 births is a stillbirth. If your baby died during pregnancy, you may be shocked and overwhelmed. You may be asking yourself if there was anything that could have been done to prevent your child’s death. Stillbirths occur for countless reasons. Sometimes, unavoidable genetic abnormalities are to blame for an infant’s death. Problems with the umbilical cord or placenta, infections, and preeclampsia can also cause or contribute to stillbirth.

If substandard medical care causes a stillbirth, the mother or father may pursue a medical malpractice claim against the responsible party. The parents may be entitled to financial compensation for their losses.

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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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Posted on in Birth Injury

chicago birth injury lawyerLabor induction, although not the norm, is a fairly common practice. A doctor may decide to induce labor for a variety of different reasons, including to preserve the health of the baby and mother.

OB/GYNs have a variety of methods at their disposal to induce labor. Most commonly, doctors will administer a medication that stimulates and softens the uterus (known in the medical community as “ripening”)

Cytotec is one of the most popular uterus-ripening drugs. Although initially developed as a treatment for ulcers, the drug was found to be an effective ripening agent. It is prized for its affordability, efficiency, and ease of use. The drug is also recommended by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists as a safe and effective means of inducing labor.

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elmhurst birth injury lawyerPregnancy, birth, and the first weeks with her newborn baby are some of the most poignant, cherished moments in a mother’s life. Tragically, some new mothers will never experience them due to maternal injury. Maternal injuries occur prior, during, or immediately after childbirth, often causing significant bodily harm to the mother. Some injuries are treatable, while others can result in permanent disability and even death.

Maternal injuries may be the result of infections, obscure disorders, and surgical mistakes, but one of the most common causes is excessive bleeding. Every single year mothers suffer injury and death because of blood loss, known as postpartum hemorrhaging, during and after labor. In fact, it is estimated that nearly 5 in 100 mothers will experience excessive bleeding.

Causes of Postpartum Hemorrhaging

Postpartum hemorrhaging has many different causes. In most cases, it is related to an issue with the placenta. After birth, the placenta must detach and pass through the birth canal along with the afterbirth. If the placenta fails to detach properly, severe bleeding could result.

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Chicago Birth Injury LawyerOne of the most wonderful moments in a family’s life is welcoming the birth of a new baby. After nine months of waiting and planning, that perfect bundle of joy has finally arrived. Unfortunately, not all labor and deliveries go smoothly. Situations occur and if the doctor and medical staff involved in the delivery are negligent or careless, the result can be tragic. Too often, these failures by medical personnel cause serious birth injuries to the baby, such as cerebral palsy (CP), and the life the family was planning is forever changed.

Medical Errors That May Lead to Cerebral Palsy

What type of mistakes do obstetricians and hospital staff make that can cause such severe injury to an otherwise healthy infant? Some of the most common include:

  • Failure to recognize the infant is in distress and delaying delivery by Caesarean section – also referred to as a C-section

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Cook County Maternal Injury AttorneyGiving birth to a child can be a complicated process, and it is often necessary to make difficult decisions in order to protect the health of both the mother and the child. One such decision is whether to induce labor. Labor induction is a common practice, and it is sometimes the best option for ensuring a safe birth. However, it does have certain risks, and it could lead to serious birth injuries or maternal injuries. If you or your child is injured after your doctor induces labor, it is important to understand your options.

When and How Do Doctors Induce Labor?

A doctor may decide that it is necessary to induce labor when there are complications with the labor proceeding naturally. This may be the case when weeks have passed since the due date and the mother has not gone into labor, or when the mother’s water has broken but labor has not started. Labor induction may also be a good option when the mother has certain medical conditions, such as obesity, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, placental abruption, or an infection of the uterus.

One of the most common methods of inducing labor is the administration of the drug Pitocin, which helps start contractions once the mother’s cervix is ready for childbirth. Pitocin can be safe when administered correctly, but there can be complications that harm the child or mother.

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Chicago Birth Injury LawyerThough a diagnosis of cerebral palsy (CP) can be troubling, many children with CP are still able to enjoy a high quality of life. There are many treatments available that can help people manage the effects of CP and improve their mental and physical abilities, and research into new treatments is ongoing. Recently, researchers from Columbia University, Cornell University, and the Burke Neurological Institute have published the results of a study looking at the benefits of a treatment method known as intensive hand therapy.

The Effects of Cerebral Palsy on Motor Skills

Cerebral palsy is a condition that is often caused by brain damage during the process of childbirth, and it can affect muscle tone, control, and coordination throughout the body. Depending on the type of CP that a person has, the condition may affect their arms, legs, or both. Some children with CP are unable to walk, while others primarily experience impairments to their fine motor control.

In the recently published study, the researchers focused on a specific effect of CP known as ipsilateral connectivity, which means that both sides of the body are controlled by one side of the brain. As a result of this condition, the children in the study struggled with mobility and control in one of their arms or hands.

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Illinois Birth Injury AttorneyIn the United States, infant death occurs in more than 5 of every 1,000 live births, and birth injuries and defects are even more common. Knowing that your newborn child’s life is at risk, or that they may experience health complications throughout their life, can be extremely concerning, and you may feel powerless to do anything about it. 

Perhaps you assume that birth complications are simply inevitable in some cases and that you are one of the unlucky ones. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) one of the leading causes of birth injuries and infant mortality is accidents during childbirth. It is not always easy to determine whether the negligence of a doctor or healthcare professional is to blame for your child’s injuries, but there are resources to help you uncover the root cause and determine whether it is possible to pursue compensation for damages. Here are some things you can do to identify and demonstrate medical negligence.

Consult With a Birth Injury Attorney

If your child has suffered an injury during childbirth and you have any suspicion that medical negligence may have been a factor, it is a good idea to talk to an attorney as soon as possible. An attorney who has direct experience with birth injury cases can listen to your account of the childbirth process and look out for any red flags that may require further investigation. An experienced attorney can also ask the right questions to help you identify signs of negligence that you may have been totally unaware of.

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"chicago Spina bifida is a serious birth defect that can affect a child throughout their life. If your child is born with spina bifida—especially open spina bifida or myelomeningocele—they may need extensive medical care and treatment immediately after birth and as they grow older. This treatment can be extremely expensive, and you may be concerned about your ability to cover the costs. Fortunately, there are a variety of financial resources that may be available to you.

What Are the Treatments for Spina Bifida?

There are a few different types of spina bifida, and the necessary treatment depends in large part on the severity of the type that your child has. One of the most common treatments for spina bifida is surgery early in the child’s life, or even before birth. Doctors may be able to perform surgery to close the spine, repair a tethered spinal cord, or drain fluid from the brain that accumulates due to the condition.

Children with spina bifida will also need regular health check-ups to monitor their condition and identify any new treatment needs. Children with more severe forms of spina bifida may have limited mobility or paralysis, so they may require ongoing physical therapy as well as equipment to assist with movement regular bathroom functions, including a wheelchair, walker, crutches, and catheter.

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Chicago Birth Injury AttorneyAs a new parent, the news that your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy (CP) can be unexpected and concerning, especially if you are not familiar with the nature of the condition. You may have many questions about what caused the condition, how it will affect your child’s life, and what you can do to help. It is important to educate yourself about CP so that you understand your options for making sure your child gets the assistance he or she needs. Here, we address some of the common misconceptions about CP to help you develop a more accurate perspective.

Misconception: CP Affects Everyone the Same Way

It is important not to jump to conclusions about the effects of your child’s cerebral palsy based on other cases of the condition that you have seen or heard about. While all cases of CP are caused by brain damage before, during, or soon after childbirth, there are several different types of CP, and the extent to which the condition affects a person’s abilities can vary significantly. Your child’s diagnosis does not necessarily mean that he or she will be unable to walk, speak, or have normal intellectual development, but it is important to pay close attention to the details of the diagnosis so that you understand your child’s specific diagnosis and the likely effects.

Misconception: CP is a Genetic Condition

Cerebral palsy cannot be passed on genetically from a parent to a child, nor can it be transmitted from person to person in any other way. Rather, it is usually the result of complications surrounding the birthing process that prevent sufficient flow of oxygen to an infant’s brain, or a traumatic brain injury during childbirth. Determining what may have caused your child’s condition can help you consider your options for seeking financial assistance.

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Chicago Birth Injury AttorneyWhile birth injuries to a mother or child do sometimes happen, many of these injuries are preventable. Doctors and other healthcare providers have a duty to provide reasonable care based on their patients’ needs, and when they fail to uphold that duty, a patient can file a medical malpractice claim for any resulting injuries and damages.

If there is evidence of medical negligence in connection with any injuries you or your child suffered during the birthing process, you can pursue compensation for the costs of the necessary medical care and treatment for these injuries. However, these are not the only damages that you may be able to recover. Depending on the nature and effects of the injuries, you could have a claim for lost wages and non-economic damages like pain and suffering.

Understanding Lost Wages and Pain and Suffering Damages

Injury victims may recover damages for lost wages when the effects of their injuries prevent them from working and earning income at full capacity. For example, a person may miss time at work during their recovery, or a disabling injury may entirely prevent them from working in the future.

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