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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 medical negligence attorney maternal injury

For the past year, people throughout the United States have been concerned about the risks of COVID-19, and as the virus continues to affect everyone’s daily lives, most people are taking precautions to minimize the risks of infection. Those who do become infected may be able to receive the treatment necessary to recover, but the chances of death continue to be high. This is a major concern for pregnant mothers since they will want to protect their child’s health in addition to their own. Unfortunately, the rate of maternal death in the United States, which is already significantly higher than in other industrialized countries, has become even higher for mothers who have been infected with COVID-19.

Additional Risks for Pregnant Mothers

Multiple studies have looked at the rates of severe illness, hospitalization, and death among pregnant women with COVID-19, finding that these women are at an increased risk of serious complications. Pregnant women are 3.5 times more likely to be hospitalized, and they are also much more likely to be admitted to an intensive care unit or require interventions such as invasive ventilation or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). In addition, a study found that the maternal mortality rate for women with COVID-19 infections was 1,250 deaths out of 100,000 pregnancies. This rate is 13.6 times higher than the mortality rate for non-pregnant adults of a similar age.

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Cook County birth injury attorney sepsis

During pregnancy, labor, and delivery, there are a variety of health issues that can affect both mothers and children. One major concern is the possibility of contracting infectious diseases. Viruses or bacteria may be transferred from a mother to a child during pregnancy, or pediatric infections or maternal infections may occur if the proper sterilization procedures are not followed during delivery. While infections can be dangerous enough on their own, they may also result in sepsis, which is a life-threatening condition that can affect a person’s long-term health.

Symptoms and Complications of Sepsis

In some cases, infections are localized in one part of the body. However, when an infection spreads throughout the body or bloodstream, or if it infects one or more major organs, this may trigger an immune response that can cause additional complications. The chemicals released by the body to combat infections can lead to the inflammation of the body’s tissues. In serious cases, a person may experience septic shock, in which their blood pressure may drop to dangerously low levels, and they may suffer permanent damage to organs such as the heart, lungs, kidneys, or brain.

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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 preeclampsia

There are many different health concerns that can affect a mother and her child during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. High blood pressure experienced by a pregnant mother, which is known as preeclampsia, is one serious condition that can lead to birth injuries. This complication will usually occur after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and a mother may also experience this condition immediately after giving birth. Preeclampsia should be recognized and addressed promptly by medical professionals to protect the health of both the child and the mother.

Complications Related to Preeclampsia

While the causes of preeclampsia are not fully understood, it may occur when the blood vessels in the placenta do not develop properly, restricting blood flow to the fetus. Genetic factors, nutritional issues, and body fat may also play a role in a mother’s high blood pressure. Symptoms of preeclampsia include headaches, vision problems, abnormal swelling in a mother’s hands or face, and pain in the upper abdomen. Tests that can be performed to diagnose preeclampsia include measurement of protein levels in a mother’s urine and blood tests to measure platelet levels or look for the presence of chemicals that indicate impairment of kidney or liver functions.

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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 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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Cook County maternal injury childbirth

As one of the richest countries in the world, the United States should be able to provide quality healthcare to mothers and children during the process of pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Unfortunately, even though medical facilities have made a serious effort to reduce birth injuries to children, the same level of care is often not provided to mothers. In fact, the U.S. has the highest rate of maternal death among developed countries, with hundreds of women dying during childbirth each year. Perhaps even more concerning, however, is the increasing rate of serious maternal injuries, known as severe maternal morbidity. These types of injuries affect mothers in more than 1 percent of all births, adding up to over 50,000 cases each year.

What Is Maternal Morbidity?

Unexpected complications during pregnancy and childbirth can result in many different types of short-term and long-term issues that affect a mother’s health. Some forms of severe maternal morbidity include:

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Cook County medical malpractice attorney maternal death

When a pregnant mother goes into labor, she may be much more concerned about the health of her unborn child than her own health. The thought that she could pass away during labor or delivery may never even cross her mind. Tragically, maternal death is a major problem in the United States. Between 700 and 900 mothers pass away every year in this country from pregnancy-related complications. In fact, the United States has a higher maternal death rate than all other developed nations. Even more concerning, the rate at which pregnant mothers are dying has increased in the last few decades despite advances in prenatal care. In some cases, medical error or negligence may have caused maternal death. 

Factors That Contribute to Maternal Mortality

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines a pregnancy-related death as one involving the death of a mother during pregnancy or within one year of the end of the pregnancy. In 1987, the first year for which the CDC collected data about pregnancy-related death, there were 7.2 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. By 2016, this rate had more than doubled. The top cause of pregnancy-related death in the United States is hemorrhaging or excessive blood loss. Other top causes of maternal death include:

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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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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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