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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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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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Illinois medical negligence attorney

cesarean section, or “C-section” for short, refers to a surgical procedure during which an infant is born via an incision in the woman’s abdomen. An emergency C-section typically occurs when a mother planned to give birth vaginally, but unexpected complications make a C-section the safer choice. Doctors and medical staff are trained to recognize signs of fetal or maternal distress that may indicate a C-section is needed. In some cases, a physician’s failure to perform a necessary C-section may lead to serious birth injuries and even fetal or maternal death.

Medical Complications That Can Lead to an Emergency C-Section

Just under one-third of U.S. mothers who gave birth to a child in 2017 did so via cesarean delivery. Choosing to deliver a baby naturally or undergo a C-section is a very personal decision for expectant mothers. Many women understandably have strong feelings about whether or not they want their baby delivered surgically. Unfortunately, some expectant mothers do not have the birth experience they had hoped for because unexpected medical complications arise. A cesarean section is typically considered to be a riskier delivery method than vaginal birth. However, when a mother and her baby are in danger, this may be the best way to prevent birth injuries or fetal death. Some medical issues that may require an unplanned C-section include:

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Cook County cerebral palsy birth injury attorney

If you are a parent of a child with cerebral palsy (CP), you know just how difficult it can be to watch your child suffer from CP symptoms. Children with CP caused by a birth injury may experience trouble controlling their movements, problems with walking and coordination, difficulty swallowing, pain, and much more. Each CP case is very different. Some sufferers only experience mild symptoms that have a manageable effect on their everyday lives, while other CP sufferers endure symptoms that are completely incapacitating. As a parent of a child with cerebral palsy, you may wonder if any medical procedures can help your child gain control over CP symptoms. Surgery is not right for everyone, but some CP patients find that surgical interventions such as the ones described below improve their mobility, independence, and overall quality of life. 

Procedures That Can Alleviate CP Symptoms

The most challenging symptoms for many cerebral palsy patients are muscle spasticity and stiffness. Orthopedic surgery on a CP patient’s arms, wrists, legs, or feet may help correct alignment issues, enhance motor functioning, and increase the patient’s overall control over his or her movements. Surgical procedures may also be able to address CP symptoms such as curvature of the spine (scoliosis), spinal deformities, tremors, gastrointestinal distress, hearing difficulties, joint problems, hip dislocation, and pain. As with any type of surgery, there are certain risks associated with CP surgeries, including complications with anesthesia, infections, and excessive bleeding. A doctor may recommend surgery to a CP patient if he or she believes that the benefits of the surgery will outweigh the risks. In many cases, non-invasive treatments such as physical therapy, medications, muscle injections, and orthotic devices are usually performed before surgery is considered an option.

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Cook County birth injury attorney cerebral palsy

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a disorder that negatively affects a person’s ability to control his or her movements. An individual with CP may experience rigidity or limpness of the limbs and trunk, atypical posture, reduced balance and coordination, involuntary movements, exaggerated reflexes, and other physical problems. Cerebral palsy can be caused by a number of different factors, including birth injuries. Someone who has CP can have difficulty with walking, swallowing, sight, and more. Understandably, many parents of children with CP wish to do everything they can to find ways to alleviate their children’s symptoms so that they can live as normal a life as possible. One treatment option that many parents of children with CP are exploring is Botox injections.

How Does Botox Help?

You have probably heard about Botox injections being used cosmetically to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. However, the drug has many other uses as well. Botox is the brand name of a “botulinum toxin A,” which is a substance created by bacteria. The substance is a potent neurotoxin; however, when small amounts are injected locally, it can be used for medical or cosmetic purposes. Botox has the effect of weakening or paralyzing muscles by blocking nerves from firing. This may help to relax muscles and therefore decrease pain in some CP patients.

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Chicago birth injury attorney pitocin cytotec

The medical advances made in the last 100 years have dramatically reduced the number of birth injuries and stillborn births in the United States. Drugs administered during pregnancy, labor, and delivery can help reduce maternal pain, avoid complications, and prevent injuries to the newborn child. Unfortunately, if there is a medication error, the consequences can be devastating. Medication mistakes can cause lifelong complications or even death to both mothers and infants. If you or a loved one were the victim of a medication error during pregnancy or birth, you will want to understand the reasons these errors occurred and the steps you should take.

Improper Drug Administration or Dosing

Some of the most common medication mistakes that lead to infant and maternal injuries involve the drugs Cytotec and Pitocin. Cytotec, or the generic version of this medication, misoprostol, is intended to treat stomach ulcers. However, it is sometimes used “off-label” to induce labor. While this medication can be very beneficial in some circumstances, if used incorrectly, it can cause debilitating injuries, including but not limited to:

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Chicago medical negligence attorney shoulder dystocia

Every expectant parent hopes that the birth of their child goes as smoothly as possible. Unfortunately, some births involve unexpected complications that put the baby at risk of serious injury or death. Shoulder dystocia, a condition that occurs when an infant’s shoulders become lodged in the mother’s pelvic area during birth, can be especially dangerous. Doctors and nurses must take swift action to prevent shoulder dystocia from developing into a life-threatening situation. If the medical staff does not properly prevent or respond to shoulder dystocia, the medical facility may be liable for any injuries that result.

Why Does Shoulder Dystocia Occur During Birth?

Shoulder dystocia occurs when a child’s head leaves the birth canal but his or her shoulders become stuck. The condition can result in a grave situation that must be dealt with quickly and precisely. There is no way to predict shoulder dystocia with 100 percent certainty, but there are certain factors that can make an infant more likely to suffer from this serious complication, including:

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Cook County birth injury attorney cerebral palsy

If you have a child with cerebral palsy, you already know the typical symptoms. Cerebral palsy can cause problems with movement, posture, walking, breathing, sensory processing, and swallowing, as well as serious pain, seizures, and a myriad of other issues. One symptom that has caused many restless nights for children with cerebral palsy and their parents is difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. Research shows that up to 46 percent of children with CP have sleep problems that interfere with their quality of life. Experts suggest that parents of children with cerebral palsy try the following tips to help their children get the adequate rest they need:

Reduce Noise and Other Sensory Input Before Bed

Infants are born with a heightened reaction to sudden noises called the Moro reflex or “startle reflex.” Typically, this reflex lessens as the child ages, but children with cerebral palsy often retain the strong response to noise long after infancy. This can make children especially reactive to abrupt or loud noises. Even something as simple as a radio playing in another room may be enough to keep a child with CP tossing and turning. One of the best ways to help your child sleep may be to ensure that the child’s home is a quiet, non-stimulating environment.

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Cook County birth injury attorney cerebral palsy

Cerebral palsy refers to a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture. In many cases, cerebral palsy (CP) is caused by damage to the brain sustained during a birth injury. Symptoms of CP include impaired movement, involuntary movements, unsteady walking, limpness or rigidity of limbs, and atypical posture. The severity of CP differs depending on the person. Some individuals might need braces to help them walk, while others may be confined to a wheelchair and require lifelong care

One of the scariest symptoms for parents of children with CP is dysphagia, or trouble swallowing. Also called oral-motor dysfunction, up to 90 percent of CP sufferers experience dysphagia. If you have concerns about your child’s ability to safely eat and drink, your doctor may suggest a “swallow study.” Read on to learn more about how this important test may help your child with cerebral palsy.

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