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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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Chicago birth injury attorney infections

For many expectant mothers, the fear of something going wrong during pregnancy or delivery can be daunting. Every expectant parent hopes that the child’s birth will go smoothly, and no issues will arise. Sadly, many births do involve dangerous complications that put both the mother's and the infant’s lives in danger. What is even more tragic is that some of these problems may have been prevented if medical staff took the appropriate steps to recognize and address the signs of distress. Infections are especially concerning complications that can develop during pregnancy and birth, and they can lead to serious injury or even death for the mother and/or the child.

Infections Passed from Expectant Mothers to Infants

When bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites spread through a person’s body, the result is an infection. Maternal infections can be especially problematic, because the infection may spread to the womb and infect the fetus. The bacterial infection chorioamnionitis can cause the fetal membranes to become dangerously inflamed. Toxoplasmosis, a condition caused by parasites that often live in cat feces, can also be passed from the mother to the fetus during pregnancy. Toxoplasmosis can cause life-altering consequences for an infant, including brain damage and blindness. Sexually transmitted infections such as human papillomavirus (HPV), herpes, syphilis, and gonorrhea can also put infants at risk. Some of the most common infections that infants develop during or shortly after birth include pneumonia, cytomegalovirus (CMV), and congenital rubella. Neonatal infections can cause the child to suffer from intellectual disabilities, congestive heart failure, disfigurement, hearing loss, and even stillbirth.

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Illinois birth injury attorney cerebral palsy

One of the biggest concerns for many children with cerebral palsy due to a birth injury is malnutrition. For decades, struggles with diminished growth and inadequate nutrition were considered an unavoidable part of living with severe cerebral palsy. Now, thanks to advances in medical technology, CP sufferers have more options for care than ever. One option for children who struggle with oral motor dysfunction or dysphagia is gastrostomy feeding or using a “G-tube.” If you are a parent of a child with CP, you may be wondering what is involved in a G-tube placement and whether this option is right for your child. 

How Does a G-Tube Work?

A gastrostomy is a feeding tube that is inserted through a small hole in a person’s abdomen for the purposes of hydration, nutrition, and medication administration. Most G-tubes involve a pump or gravity drip that allows formula or medication to be introduced directly into the stomach. Parents may also use a syringe to administer medication or formula through the feeding tube. Many parents of children with CP are wary of feeding tubes, because the thought of a tube being placed through their child’s abdominal wall is an understandably frightening prospect. While a gastrostomy is not appropriate for every case, many parents of children with severe CP find that a G-tube helps their child receive the nutrition they need.

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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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