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IL birth injury lawyerMost babies weigh between six to nine pounds at birth. While many people are aware of the risks premature and underweight babies face, fewer are aware of the risks associated with larger-than-average babies. “Fetal macrosomia” refers to an infant that weighs more than 8 pounds, 13 ounces. Fetal macrosomia occurs in just under 10 percent of newborns. While many babies with fetal macrosomia are born healthy, high fetal weight can increase the risks of birth injuries such as shoulder dystocia.

Potential Consequences of Fetal Macrosomia

Babies that meet the criteria for fetal macrosomia increase the chances of complications during labor and delivery. One of the primary concerns for large babies is the risk of shoulder dystocia. This condition occurs when the baby becomes lodged on the mother’s pelvis during delivery. The infant’s head is delivered, but his or her shoulders are too large to fit through the mother’s pubic bone. This potentially life-threatening condition must be immediately addressed. Shoulder dystocia may deprive the baby of oxygen which can cause brain damage in a matter of minutes. The condition may also place so much pressure on the baby’s neck and shoulders that the baby’s brachial plexus nerves are damaged.

Uterine rupture, a condition in which the uterus tears during labor, may also be caused by fetal macrosomia. This condition typically necessitates an emergency C-section. Fetal macrosomia may require the use of birth-assistive devices such as vacuum extractors and forceps which may potentially injure the infant. Vaginal tearing and other injuries to the mother may be caused by large birth weight as well.

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Illinois medical negligence attorney birth injury

Childbirth used to be extremely painful and had a high chance of infant or maternal death. Medications have made childbirth much safer for women in the western world. Unfortunately, the medications used to make childbirth easier and safer are sometimes the same medications that can cause preventable birth injuries. Incorrect administration, inaccurate dosing, and other medication mistakes can cause severe harm to infants and mothers.

Prescribing or Administering a Medication During Pregnancy That Harms the Baby

Women who are pregnant must be very careful of what they put in their bodies. While most people think of illicit drugs when they think of drugs that can harm an unborn child, prescription medications can also cause birth injuries or even fetal death. Many SSRI medications designed to treat depression such as Zoloft and Prozac are very dangerous to unborn children. Persistent pulmonary hypertension, cleft palate, and Spina Bifida are just some of the birth defects that may be caused by certain antidepression medications. Some antibiotic medications, acne medications, and seizure medications like Lamictal and Tegretol may also cause birth defects. Doctors who prescribe or administer these medications to pregnant women may be liable if the baby suffers a birth defect.

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Cook County medical negligence attorney

Little can prepare a parent for the news that their child suffers from a disability like cerebral palsy. In addition to the grief, shock, and anger a parent may understandably feel, they must also contend with the massive financial impact the disability can cause. In one study, it was estimated that the costs associated with a cerebral palsy diagnosis total approximately $1 million. If your child is suffering from cerebral palsy caused by substandard medical care, it is important to know your options for seeking restitution.

Medical and Educational Expenses for a Child with Cerebral Palsy

A 2004 study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) investigated the direct and indirect costs of a child developing cerebral palsy. The study was, and still is, one of the most comprehensive evaluations of its kind. Researchers found that the average lifetime cost of cerebral palsy per person totaled approximately $921,000 in 2003 dollars. Adjusted for inflation, that equates to $1,326,128 in 2021. It is important to note that this estimate does not include the financial losses suffered by caregivers due to lost income and productivity and other out-of-pocket expenses.

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Illinois birth injury attorney delayed C-section

Approximately 30 percent of babies born in the United States are born via cesarean section or C-section. Some mothers plan a C-section in advance for personal reasons or health concerns. Others are forced to deliver their baby through an emergency C-section because medical complications make a vaginal birth too dangerous. One of the most crucial responsibilities obstetricians and other medical staff have is to recognize when unplanned or emergency C-sections are needed to protect the health of the mother or the baby. Delayed C-sections or proceeding with vaginal birth when a C-section is safer can lead to preventable birth injuries.  

Failure to Provide a Timely C-Section

Like all doctors, obstetricians have a legal obligation to provide reasonably skilled medical treatment to expectant mothers. This includes carefully weighing the risks associated with vaginal birth versus cesarean delivery on a case-by-case basis. A mother may require an emergency C-section if labor is prolonged, the baby is in a breech position, problems with the umbilical cord or placenta cuts off the baby’s blood supply, or other medical complications arise. If a mother requires an emergency C-section, the procedure must be carried out quickly. If a doctor waits too long to perform a C-section or fails to perform a necessary C-section, the baby or the mother could be left with lasting injuries.

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Chicago medical malpractice attorney birth injury

Even though childbirth is a commonplace event, it can still be dangerous. Multiple different types of complications can occur during labor and delivery, and they should be addressed properly to prevent birth injuries to children or maternal injuries to the mother. One issue that can increase the risk of injury is the use of drugs to induce labor if a woman does not go into labor on her own, and it is past her due date. While Pitocin is commonly used for this purpose, it has been found to cause complications related to hyperstimulation of the uterus.

When Is Pitocin Used?

Pitocin is a synthetic form of the hormone oxytocin, which induces contractions in the uterus. Pitocin may be used to induce labor in pregnancies that have progressed beyond 40 weeks, and it may also be administered to speed up labor or help avoid complications if labor has stalled. Pitocin will only be effective if a mother’s cervix is favorable for labor and has begun to soften and dilate.

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Cook County birth injury attorney cerebral palsy

Since cerebral palsy (CP) can affect a child in many different ways, parents will no doubt be considering everything they can to address these ongoing health concerns and ensure that their child receives treatment that will allow him or her to live a healthy and fulfilling life. Botox injections are one treatment that has been used to address muscle spasticity, stiffness, and pain. In addition, they may help children with CP improve their ability to walk and increase their range of motion.

Using Botox to Treat Spasticity

Botulinum toxin has a variety of medical uses, and under the brand name Botox, it is most well-known for its cosmetic uses to decrease facial wrinkles. When injected into the muscles, Botox can cause partial paralysis and weaken muscle movements. This can reduce muscle spasms, and it can help children gain more control over their movements while also addressing the pain caused by muscle tightness and spasticity.

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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 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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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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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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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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Illinois medical negligence attorney cerebral palsy

Cerebral palsy (CP) can cause uncontrolled movement, difficulty swallowing, problems with walking and coordination, chronic pain, and a long list of other debilitating symptoms. If you are a parent of a child with cerebral palsy, you may be willing to try almost anything to give your child some relief from his or her symptoms. One medication you may be curious about is Cannabidiol, or as it is better known, CBD oil. There is still much to be discovered about this substance and how it can be safely used as a medication for children. However, there are also many parents who praise the substance’s ability to reduce their child’s CP-related symptoms.  

What Is CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol is a chemical compound found in cannabis plants. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive compound found in cannabis, CBD is not psychoactive. It does not produce the feeling of being “high.” However, the substance may be able to provide some of the same pain-relieving and calming benefits that THC-containing marijuana provides. CBD oil is often taken sublingually, meaning it is placed under the tongue and allowed to enter the bloodstream through capillaries in the mouth. It may also be taken orally in capsule form or even used topically in the form of CBD-infused lotions and creams.  

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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 maternal birth injury attorney

Many expectant mothers wait for their delivery date with anticipation, excitement, and trepidation. While everyone hopes for a smooth delivery, unfortunately, this does not always happen. A variety of complications during the birthing process can result in serious injuries or death to the mother. While some maternal injuries are unavoidable, there are some cases in which they could have been prevented. Patients who have suffered injuries during birth and their family members will likely want to determine who may have been responsible for these types of injuries. 

Common Injuries to a Mother During Labor and Delivery

There are many different things that can go wrong during the birth of a child. Doctors, nurses, or other medical staff must carefully monitor the mother and the infant for signs that could indicate a health concern. If a complication arises, staff must be ready to take swift action to fix it. Common maternal injuries include but are not limited to:

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Chicago premature birth injury attorney

The typical gestation period for a baby is approximately 40 weeks. However, various problems during pregnancy can cause an infant to be delivered too soon. Premature babies face numerous serious health concerns including brain injuries, patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), respiratory problems, vision and hearing loss, and developmental delays. There are almost countless reasons that a baby may be delivered prematurely. In some cases, preterm birth is a result of medical malpractice. If a doctor’s negligence caused or contributed to a baby being born too soon, the doctor or the medical facility may be legally responsible for a birth injury and the subsequent harm it causes.

Understanding the Medical Standard of Care

The majority of medical malpractice claims are based on a medical professional’s negligence. A doctor, nurse, or other medical professional is considered negligent when his or her failure to meet the “medical standard of care” led to a patient’s injury or death. The medical standard of care refers to the quality of treatment that a reasonably skilled professional of similar education and training would have provided in similar situations. A doctor could be liable for injuries related to premature birth if he or she failed to diagnose issues that could cause premature labor, failed to order the correct treatment for a mother at risk of premature labor, ordered the wrong type of medication, or made other mistakes that endangered the life of the infant or the mother.

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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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