February 4, 2016

Neonatal Cooling May Help Oxygen Deprived Newborns

by Levin & Perconti

The birth of a baby is usually a joyful time for families, unless a severe birth injury causes harm to the newborn. One of the most common types of birth injuries is called hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). This is a reduced flow of oxygen to the baby’s brain during the birth process and is also a type of birth asphyxia. HIE may cause brain injuries that range from minor to severe. There are many factors that contribute to how a child with HIE will develop. Recent information indicates that reducing the body temperature immediately after the occurrence of a serious brain injury has a major positive impact on recovery. The baby’s brain has a much better chance of improvement when the body is cooled to slow metabolism.

Neonatal Cooling
A medical treatment for HIE, neonatal cooling requires the newborn to spend time at a lowered temperature for the immediate hours and days following birth. The cooling treatment reduces the body’s temperature and slows the metabolism. This gives the body a much better chance of recovering and is particularly important for brain recovery. Decreasing the body temperature has been shown to reduce the severity and extent of a brain injury in some cases. The body may be able to repair the damage thus reducing the extent of the damage done by lack of oxygen.

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January 28, 2016

Low Apgar Score Could Indicate Birth Injury

by Levin & Perconti

The birth of your baby is one of the happiest days of your life. That day could be tarnished if the baby suffers an injury at birth. When a birth injury occurs it is possible that the doctor, nurse, or hospital is to blame. Babies that suffer significant birth injuries may have ongoing medical and developmental problems for a period of months or years. Still others may never fully recover and will require ongoing care for the rest of their lives. Some of the most common serious birth injuries include:

· Brachial Plexus Injuries
· Perinatal Asphyxia
· Brain Hemorrhage
· Spinal Cord Injuries
· Cerebral Palsy

Babies born in United States hospitals are evaluated utilizing the Apgar system.

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January 19, 2016

Birth Trauma Poses Serious Consequences

by Levin & Perconti

The birth of a child should be a happy time, yet once in a while, the joy turns to sorrow when a baby faces birth trauma. Birth trauma may happen during an otherwise normal delivery. Birth trauma consists of a number of different medical problems that may include injuries to the face, head, shoulders, body, or abdomen. Injuries may range from mild to severe. Some injuries will heal quickly while others may have a more serious prognosis. Birth trauma injuries can be caused by the negligence of the doctor or other medical professionals who are delivering the baby.

Risk factors for Birth Trauma
There are some factors that may increase the risk for birth trauma. The most common risk factors are:
· Large Babies
· Breech Delivery
· Prolonged Labor
· Instrumentation Use During Delivery
· Excessive Traction During Delivery
· Large Head

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January 12, 2016

Newborn Suffered Permanent Brain Damage During Delivery – Lawsuit Filed

by Levin & Perconti

The birth of a child should be a joyful occasion, however, for one Cook County mother, the delivery proved to be traumatic. The woman claims in a lawsuit that her daughter experienced permanent brain damage due to lack of oxygen during labor and delivery. The baby suffered fetal asphyxia and seizures, according to the lawsuit. The woman is seeking damages of more than $50,000 as well as legal fees.

Fetal Asphyxia is Dangerous
Fetal asphyxia is the lack of oxygen to the baby that occurs during the labor or birth process. In this case, the woman was given an epidural, which caused her blood pressure to drop to dangerous levels. According to the paperwork, the fetal monitor was disconnected for a period of 68 minutes, during which time the baby was deprived of oxygen for a period. Fetal asphyxia may cause mild to severe injuries or death. The infant in this case suffered permanent brain damage as a result of oxygen deprivation. The child will likely require constant care and her quality of life will be greatly reduced.

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January 6, 2016

Mother Alleges Negligence in Infant’s Death

by Levin & Perconti

A Cook County mother has filed a lawsuit alleging that an Evanston hospital was negligent and caused the death of her baby. Most of us receive the prenatal care that is requested by our doctor and the process goes smoothly. In this case, however, the mother received the prenatal care she was supposed to, yet there was a very sad ending rather than a happy birth. The mother claims in the lawsuit that she was negligently prescribed medications to treat a bacterial infection during delivery. The complaint states that the baby should have been removed from the womb due to the infection, but was not. As a result, the baby died.

Complications During Pregnancy and Birth
The pregnancy and birth experience usually go well for women. Sometimes, however, there are complications that can cause concern. In this case, the woman experienced a severe infection while pregnant and the medications she was given may have caused the death of her baby. The lawsuit names Northshore University Healthsystem Evanston Hospital, Midwest Center for Women’s Healthcare, Ltd., and two healthcare workers alleging wrongful death. In this sad case, the woman was under the care of doctors, who should have known that the infection was dangerous to the unborn baby.

Negligence Causes Birth Injuries
Birth injuries are all too common and many of them could be prevented. With proper care and treatment, babies should not suffer severe birth injuries. Negligent care by a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional is not acceptable. These people are trained to provide us with proper care and we trust that they will do so. Unfortunately, when a doctor is negligent it often ends with injury or death to a patient. Serious birth injuries may improve over time or may continue for a lifetime, depending on the cause. Brain injuries are usually severe and may cause the infant to suffer permanent brain damage.

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December 26, 2015

San Francisco Hospital May Have Exposed Hundreds of Babies to Tuberculosis

by Levin & Perconti

The birth of a baby is supposed to be a happy event and one that comes without complications. That was not the case for hundreds of newborns in a San Francisco hospital. In a recent announcement, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center has stated that babies and mothers in their “Mother & Infant Care Center” may have been exposed to tuberculosis. A hospital employee working in that unit was diagnosed with tuberculosis, a serious contagious disease. The hospital is providing antibiotic treatment to everyone who was potentially exposed during the time of mid-August through mid­-November of this year.

Tuberculosis, called TB, is a highly infectious disease that can impact the lungs and other organs of the body. There are two types of tuberculosis including latent and active. Those who have latent TB do not show any symptoms and therefore cannot spread the disease. Active TB is infectious and can be spread to others. Symptoms of TB can begin slowly and progress over time. Some common symptoms are a cough, fever, chills, fatigue and weakness, loss of appetite, and shortness of breath. Those who have only one or two mild symptoms may not know that they have TB.

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December 18, 2015

Are Home Birth Options as Safe as Hospital Births?

by Levin & Perconti

Home birth was the only option for women 100 years ago. As hospitals and medical care evolved, so did the use of hospitals for labor and delivery. Today, however, there is a trend for some women to give birth at home, with the help of a midwife. Some wonder whether this is a safe option and one that should be given serious consideration. It is important to note that even though a woman wants to have a home birth, she should continue to receive standard prenatal care through a doctor.

Those Who Should Give Birth in a Hospital
There are some conditions and situations where hospital birth is preferable and indeed safer than giving birth at home. It is important to determine whether you may be at higher risk for a difficult delivery before making the decision as to where to give birth. Those with diabetes, preeclampsia, or have other medical conditions should consider hospital birth. Also, those who have a large baby could be considered at higher risk for complications during birth. Sometimes these situations require immediate advanced care which may include a cesarean section rather than a vaginal birth.

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December 11, 2015

Parents File Lawsuit Alleging Malpractice in Son’s Brain Damage

by Levin & Perconti

A couple has filed a lawsuit in Cook County alleging the doctors and hospital are guilty of malpractice in the treatment of their infant son. The woman gave birth to a premature baby at Advocate Christ Hospital and Medical Center as well as two doctors. The lawsuit alleges that the doctors failed to diagnose and treat a neonatal infection. The infection then spread to the baby’s blood and nervous systems causing irreversible brain damage as well as damage to other vital organs. The lawsuit seeks damages to cover medical expenses as well as compensation for loss of a normal life.

Premature Birth Complications
Premature birth is defined as a birth that occurs more than three weeks before the scheduled due date. Babies who are born early are more likely to suffer from a variety of premature birth complications. Some of the most common problems include breathing and lung problems, heart problems, problems with the brain, issues with the ability to control their temperatures, and gastrointestinal problems. These and other problems may be short or long term. Not all preemie babies have issues. Those infants with higher birth weights and those born closest to their due dates are less likely to have serious conditions. Since premature babies are at a high risk, doctors must take special care in diagnosing and treating complications.

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December 4, 2015

Some Common Birth Injuries Are Preventable

by Levin & Perconti

Most births are happy times for new parents and in most cases the birth goes well, without complications. However, sometimes there are complications that, if handled improperly, can cause serious and long-term harm to the newborn. Medical professionals must be ready to take care of all types of situations that could happen during labor and delivery. When the proper treatment is rendered in a speedy manner, the chances of serious injury or death are diminished. If doctors and others do not offer appropriate care they may be negligent in their actions, or lack of actions.

Brachial Plexus Injuries
The brachial plexus is a bundle of nerves that connects the spine, neck, shoulder, and arms. If damage occurs to this area during birth the infant may suffer injuries. The injuries may be mild and the child may recover completely after a few months or the damages could be permanent and severe. This type of injury most often happens when the child’s shoulders become stuck during birth. The doctor may need to pull the infant by using forceps or a vacuum instrument.

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November 27, 2015

Shoulder Dystocia Injuries at Birth

by Levin & Perconti

The birth of a child is supposed to be a happy event. While in most cases, the birth goes well, sometimes an injury occurs. An injury to the infant can be very difficult for the family and painful for the newborn. One of the most common injuries that can happen during vaginal birth is shoulder dystocia. Shoulder dystocia is an injury that happens when the baby’s shoulders become lodged in the mother during birth. The newborn’s head is delivered; however, the baby gets stuck. This may result in birth injuries to the child. In many cases, the injury could have been prevented and if so, the doctor may have acted in a negligent manner.

Shoulder Dystocia
Shoulder dystocia can cause a prolonged or delayed birth. In situations where the birth is delayed, the child could be deprived of oxygen. If there is a lack of oxygen, brain damage may occur. An attempt by the doctor to assist the birth by using forceps or a vacuum will increase the possibility of nerve injuries to the shoulder which could be severe. For these reasons, doctors need to be aware of the potential for a problem and prepare accordingly.

Risk Factors for Shoulder Dystocia
While shoulder dystocia may occur at any time, some women are at a higher risk for than others. Some of the risk factors include:

· Large Baby
· Diabetes
· Obesity
· Multiple Birth
· Past Due Date
· Induced Labor
· Epidural
· Assisted Birth

The doctor needs to carefully monitor the mother throughout her pregnancy and labor. Tests will show the approximate weight or size of the baby, which may be a considerable problem during birth. In cases where there is a high risk pregnancy, the doctor should determine whether a cesarean section is a better option than a vaginal birth. Additionally, the doctor must have the support staff ready to assist in the birth if necessary. Prevention is essential in reducing the incidence of shoulder dystocia.

Injuries Due to Shoulder Dystocia
When the baby is delayed or lodged at birth there are a couple of problems that could happen. The baby will be delayed during delivery, which can cause a lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain. Brain damage may occur or the baby could even die as a result. A more common injury in this situation is to the nerve bundles in the shoulder, which can become pinched, stretched, or pulled. This will cause movement problems with the shoulder, arm, and hand which may be temporary or permanent.

Medical Malpractice During Birth
The doctor is responsible for delivering the baby in a manner that will keep both the mother and baby out of harm’s way. In the case of shoulder dystocia, the doctor should be able to determine whether the mother is at high risk for this occurrence and take the necessary steps to prevent injury. For example, if a pregnant woman is overdue and the baby is large, the best option may be to avoid vaginal delivery with a C-section. Negligence on the part of a doctor is not acceptable. If your baby was injured due to medical malpractice or an error on the part of the doctor, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the experienced legal team at Levin & Perconti to schedule a free confidential consultation.

See Related Posts:
Shoulder Dystocia Birth Injury Lawsuit Results in $1.8 Million Verdict for Plaintiff
Medical Malpractice: The sad case of shoulder dystocia

November 17, 2015

Parents Sue Hospital and Doctors for Birth Injuries to Daughter

by Levin & Perconti

The parents of a baby girl have brought a lawsuit against the doctors and the hospital alleging medical malpractice. The suit states that the infant was severely injured during birth as a result of the use of excessive traction. The baby suffered injuries to spinal nerves in her neck and shoulder areas. The child sustained brachial plexus palsy which caused paralysis of the right arm. Injuries of this type are recognized immediately; however, sometimes the extent of damage and disability may take some time to determine. This lawsuit names the University of Chicago Medical Center and two doctors.

Brachial Plexus Injuries
The brachial plexus is a group of nerves in the shoulder area. Brachial plexus injuries in newborns occur when these nerves are damaged. This can be caused by pulling on the shoulders during delivery, putting too much pressure on the baby’s raised arms, or the baby’s head and neck pulling towards the shoulders during birth. There are several types of brachial plexus injuries that may occur including:

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November 8, 2015

Negligence During Birth Caused Brain Damage – Levin & Perconti Lawsuit

by Levin & Perconti

A mother is alleging that negligence during birth caused brain damage to her daughter. The Cook County woman gave birth at Little Company of Mary Hospital in December of 2008. The lawsuit names the Evergreen Park hospital, the woman’s doctor and the nurse and is seeking damages of more than $50,000. The woman is represented by Levin & Perconti, Ltd.

Birth Injuries Lead to Brain Damage

The birth of a child is one of the happiest days in a parent’s life. However, when something goes wrong during delivery, the result can be devastating. In this case, the lawsuit states that the infant suffered hypoxia, ischemia, and asphyxia during birth. These are all related to lack of oxygen which can result in brain damage. Cerebral Palsy is one of the most common conditions caused by lack of oxygen during birth. Other brain damage injuries can occur as well, including autism. In this case, the severe oxygen deprivation at birth caused severe and permanent brain damage to the daughter.

Negligence During Delivery

The delivery of a child does not always go as smoothly as it should. Sometimes mistakes are made. Doctors and nurses are held to a high level of standards and are required to provide proper patient care. In this case, the lawsuit claims negligence on the part of doctor and nurse during delivery. Because of their negligent care, the infant suffered a serious birth injury. The child brain damage is permanent and severe and there are other unnamed injuries as well. In such a case, the child will never be able to lead life alone and will always require some degree of medical and emotional care.

Brain Trauma in Newborns

Brain trauma in newborns is a serious injury and one that negatively impacts the child for his or her entire life. Brain trauma affects the ability to grow and develop normally. Brain trauma caused by decreased oxygen or decreased blood flow to the baby’s brain is almost always a result of medical negligence. The doctor or other medical professionals should have taken appropriate steps to make sure that brain trauma did not occur. It has been estimated that birth asphyxia may occur in approximately 2 to 10 out of every 1,000 births. Signs of brain damage may include low Apgar scores, low oxygen levels on the fetal monitor, and organ damage that will typically show up in the days following birth.

Contact a Reputable Law Firm

If your child was born with a brain injury due to medical negligence you will likely be facing long-term medical bills, care requirements, and medications for the life of the child. While nothing can help you cope with the situation or take away the injury, you should not have to suffer financially. When medical negligence has occurred you may be entitled to compensation for medical costs, pain and suffering, ongoing treatment, and future medical expenses and care. Contact Levin & Perconti to schedule a consultation to answer your questions and determine how to proceed.

See Related Posts:

Child with Cerebral Palsy Receives $6.5 Million Birth Injury Settlement with Chicago Hospital

Disabled Child Receives $3 Million Verdict in Midwife Birth Injury Lawsuit