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Chicago birth injury attorneyIdeally, a baby is born head-first. This ensures that the child can breathe as soon as his or her head clears the birth canal. A baby that is positioned incorrectly within the mother’s body during labor and delivery may suffer life-threatening birth injuries. Doctors may need to take corrective actions to reposition the baby or deliver the baby through Cesarean section (C-section.) If a doctor fails to handle a breech birth correctly, the baby may suffer serious or even fatal injuries.

Potential Remedies for a Baby in Breech Presentation

When a baby is in breech presentation, doctors have several choices. In some cases, the doctor may be able to manually reposition the baby so that the mother can continue with a vaginal delivery. External cephalic version (ECV) is a process during which a doctor pushes on the outside of the woman’s abdomen in order to manually reposition the baby. However, this procedure is not safe in situations involving multiples, rupture of the amniotic sac, abnormal fetal heart rate, low amniotic fluid levels, or vaginal bleeding.

In many cases, the best way to ensure that a breech baby is delivered safely is to deliver the baby via C-section. Although there are also risks associated with a C-section, the risks of vaginal delivery often outweigh the risks of a C-section when the baby is not positioned correctly. An obstetrician must consider all of the relevant factors and make the decision that reduces the chances of injury to the baby and the mother as much as possible.

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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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Cook County birth injury attorney Erb's palsy

There are a wide variety of complications that can occur during a child’s birth, and if these are not addressed correctly, children may suffer birth injuries. Depending on the type and severity of an injury, a child may require extensive medical treatment or may even suffer permanent disabilities. Erb’s palsy, which is a condition that affects a person’s arms and shoulders, can result from complications during delivery. When a child suffers from this type of injury, parents will want to understand how they can provide the necessary treatment throughout the child’s lifetime.

Causes and Effects of Erb’s Palsy

Erb’s palsy may occur due to injuries to the brachial plexus during a child’s delivery. The brachial plexus is the network of nerves that carry signals from the brain and spinal cord to the shoulders, arms, and hands. These nerves may be injured if shoulder dystocia occurs during birth, especially in cases where too much force is placed on a child’s head, neck, or shoulders. Improper use of forceps or vacuum extraction can lead to nerve damage, and a child may also experience injuries to the brachial plexus during a Cesarean delivery.

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Cook County medical malpractice attorney birth injury

There are many different types of complications that can arise during labor and delivery, and if they are not addressed properly, they can affect the health of both the child and the mother. Infections are one common concern, and in addition to taking steps to ensure that a child does not become infected by bacteria or viruses during delivery, doctors and nurses should also address maternal infections, since they may lead to birth injuries to children or maternal birth injuries. Chorioamnionitis is one type of dangerous condition that can sometimes occur, and it involves a bacterial infection of the amniotic fluid and the membranes inside the uterus.

What Causes Chorioamnionitis?

Chorioamnionitis typically occurs when bacteria that are present in the vagina, such as E. Coli or Group B Streptococcus (GBS), enter the uterus. These bacteria can then infect tissues within the uterus, including the placenta or the sac surrounding the amniotic fluid, and the child may also become infected.

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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

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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Cook County birth injury attorney cerebral palsy

Complications during labor and delivery can lead to different birth injuries, such as cerebral palsy (CP). Children with cerebral palsy may experience a variety of symptoms that affect their movement, cognitive function, and many other areas of their lives. Epilepsy is a common condition that is related to cerebral palsy, and between one-third and one-half of people diagnosed with CP experience some form of seizures. While different medications are available to treat epilepsy, parents will want to make sure these drugs are safe for their children to use.

Treating Seizures With Anticonvulsant Medications 

Children with cerebral palsy can experience multiple different types of seizures. These include tonic-clonic seizures that cause a child to suffer a complete loss of motor functions and experience convulsions in the muscles, as well as confusion that can last up to a few weeks after a seizure. Partial complex seizures can also occur, and while these do not involve convulsions, they may lead to a partial loss of consciousness and temporary impairment to walking or other motor functions.

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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 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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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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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

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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