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Illinois medical malpractice attorney birth injury

Our spinal cords serve numerous vital functions. Consequently, damage to the spinal cord before or during an infant’s birth can have profound consequences. Babies who sustain a spinal cord injury during birth may suffer from paralysis, difficulty breathing, digestion issues, and more. The infant may require extensive medical intervention to recover from the spinal cord damage or he or she may be disabled for the rest of his or her life. There are many different reasons that an infant may suffer a spinal cord injury. In some cases, a spinal cord injury is caused by negligent medical care during a child’s birth.

Trauma During Birth May Damage a Baby’s Spinal Cord

Often, spinal cord injuries during birth occur because there is an urgent need to deliver the baby so birth assistive tools are used. For example, if the baby is not receiving enough blood flow to the brain, doctors may need to manually assist labor using forceps or vacuum extraction. When used correctly, birth-assistive tools can save an infant’s life. However, misuse of these tools or using assistive tools with an alternative birthing method can lead to preventable birth injuries. Force applied manually or via assistive tools, external cephalic version, and excessive traction may cause the baby’s spinal cord to become bruised or torn.

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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 medical malpractice attorney birth injury

Giving birth should be one of the most cherished moments of a person’s entire life. Sadly, many mothers throughout the United States have unexpected complications during pregnancy or birth that result in death or injury to the baby or the mother herself. While some of these incidents are unavoidable, others are caused by negligence on the part of the medical staff interacting with the patient. Medical malpractice occurs when a patient is injured or otherwise harmed by a medical professional who fails to perform his or her medical duties proficiently.

When Is a Medical Professional Guilty of Malpractice?

In order to prove that medical malpractice occurred, several conditions must be met. First, an established “doctor-patient” relationship must exist between the individuals in question. For example, a person cannot sue a nurse for medical advice that he or she gave casually outside of work just because that person is a nurse.
Next, the medical professional must have been negligent. Put another way, in order for an action to be considered malpractice, the doctor must have caused harm in a way that any other capable doctor would not have. A medical professional’s care is required to be consistent with “the same degree of knowledge, skill, and ability as an ordinarily careful professional would exercise under similar circumstances” and compliant with the prevailing standard of care. If it can be shown that a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional was not exhibiting this obligatory level of care, he or she may be considered negligent.
Finally, in order for a medical malpractice claim to be valid, the medical professional’s negligence had to cause some type of injury that led to damages. Damages can include medical expenses, physical pain, mental anguish, future medical expenses, decreased earning capacity, and lost wages.

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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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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 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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