July 26, 2016

Meconium Aspiration Syndrome Cause of Birth Injuries or Death

by Levin & Perconti

When parents prepare for the birth of their baby they anticipate joy and delight. Sometimes, however, a family is left saddened and in disbelief after their baby suffers an injury during birth. Birth injuries occur in up to about 6 out of every 1,000 births in the United States. There are a number of different types of injuries that may occur. One of the most serious injuries is meconium aspiration syndrome. Meconium aspiration syndrome, MAS, happens when the baby breathes in some of the amniotic fluid before or during labor or delivery.

About Meconuim Aspiration Syndrome

MAS is a very serious problem that occurs in up to approximately 10% of all births. Meconium is a substance that consists of the first fecal matter, sometimes mixed with amniotic fluid. The baby can breathe this substance into his lungs. When someone breathes fluid into the lungs it is called aspiration. Aspiration of meconium can cause severe birth injuries or even death. It most often occurs when the baby is under stress during the labor or delivery process.

Causes of Meconium Aspiration Syndrome

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July 19, 2016

Mother of Infant Who Died During Childbirth Files Lawsuit

by Levin & Perconti

The birth of your child should be one of the best days of your life. However, what was supposed to be a joyful day turned tragic for one mother after her daughter died during childbirth. The mother has filed a lawsuit against the hospital and doctor stating that they were negligent and failed to provide proper care in order to prevent injuries. The lawsuit was filed in Cook County and is requesting a jury trial and a judgment of more than $50,000.

Mistakes during Delivery

For most women, the labor and delivery process progresses without any serious problems. Unfortunately, sometimes there are complications which can cause severe injuries or, in rare circumstances, death. When complications present themselves, the doctors and other members of the medical team need to make decisions and take quick action. If medical assistance is not immediately rendered, complications can take a serious and deadly turn for the worse.

Monitoring Is Important

During labor and delivery both the fetus and the mother are monitored. It is very important to ensure that the baby is never in distress. If any distress is noticed both baby and mother must be immediately assessed. If the baby is experiencing deprivation of oxygen it is considered a medical emergency. The baby needs to be delivered immediately, possibly by c-section. The point of using a monitoring device is to be able to quickly be made aware of a problem. In this case, it seems that there was either no monitoring or there was no medical personnel paying attention to it.

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July 12, 2016

The Basics - What Babies At Risk for Birth Injuries?

by Levin & Perconti

Birth injuries occur to approximately 3 to 6 out of every 1,000 births in the United States. A birth injury is harm that happens to a child during the labor or delivery process. Birth injuries can range from mild to severe. Mild birth injuries are often treated and the infant makes a full recovery. More severe injuries may require ongoing treatment or surgery. Permanent or disabling injuries are the most severe types of birth injuries that usually occur due to lack of oxygen during birth. There are some important risk factors that make birth injuries more likely.

Premature Babies

Babies who are born prematurely are at a higher risk for birth injuries than full-term babies. Premature babies are those born at less than 37 weeks gestational age. These infants are at a higher risk because their organs may not be fully formed or functional. Jaundice is one of the main concerns for premature infant injuries. When treated promptly, jaundice typically poses no long-term medical harm and infants recover fully. However, if jaundice goes undiagnosed or treated it can lead to serious medical problems or even death.

Large Babies

Large babies or those who weigh more than 9 pounds may be at a higher risk for possible birth injuries. Large babies can more easily become stuck during delivery. When this occurs, the doctor may need to assist in the delivery by pulling the baby or through the use of instruments. Large babies are often born to mothers with diabetes or hypertension. Prenatal care should be done to confirm the size of the infant prior to delivery. If the baby is large, a cesarean section may be required to avoid the potential for injury during birth.

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July 4, 2016

Infant Suffered Neurologic Injuries at Birth, Lawsuit Filed

by Levin & Perconti

The birth of a baby is one of the happiest days in the lives of parents and relatives. While most births happen without incident, unfortunately, sometimes an injury occurs at birth. A woman has filed a lawsuit in Cook County claiming that her daughter was permanently injured due to negligence. The baby suffers from serious brain damage, which is irreversible. The lawsuit seeks damages of more than $50,000.

Neurologic Injuries

Neurologic injuries are those affecting the central nervous system. In this case, the lawsuit indicates that there were complications during birth that caused the infant to suffer a lack of oxygen to the brain. The brain can only survive for a matter of minutes without a sufficient oxygen supply. Oxygen deprivation, also known as cerebral hypoxia, causes severe and permanent brain damage and neurologic injuries. The lawsuit alleges that negligence on the part of the doctor and hospital during the labor and delivery process caused the injuries.

Labor and Delivery Mistakes

Most often, the labor and delivery process concludes without any complications or injuries. However, when there are complications, the doctor and medical team must take immediate steps to resolve the problem and make the birth successful. Sometimes a prolonged labor can cause problems with delivery. The mother and baby should be monitored during labor to ensure that it is progressing as it should. In this case, the mother indicates that the doctors should have known that the baby was at risk and therefore should have performed an emergency c-section.

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June 26, 2016

How Birth Injuries Are Diagnosed and Treated

by Levin & Perconti

The birth of a child is supposed to be a joyful experience; however, it can become an upsetting event if the child is born with a birth injury. It is estimated that approximately 6 to 8 infants out of every 1,000 suffer from some type of birth injury in the United States. This equates to more than 25,000 children each year. Injuries in infants may range drastically, from minor to very severe. Minor injuries are those that will be relatively easy to treat and the child will recover completely with no long-term harm. More severe injuries could take months or years of medical treatment and rehabilitation, and sometimes the injuries are disabling.

Evaluating Infants at Birth

All infants are evaluated at birth using a system called the APGAR scale. Doctors or other medical professionals can quickly assess an infant’s overall condition by evaluating the baby’s color, heart rate, reflexes, muscle tone, and respiration. The assessment is done a minute after birth and again at five minutes. A perfect score in each category is ten. If a baby has a score lower than 7 in any category it indicates that the infant requires additional assessment and monitoring. The APGAR test is just one way to evaluate a baby. Other testing and observation is needed to further diagnose a baby’s condition.

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June 19, 2016

Jaundice in Newborns

by Levin & Perconti

The birth of a child is one of the happiest days in a parent’s life. Sometimes, however, complications at birth can cause injuries to the baby. Sometimes these injuries are minor, while other times they could be quite serious. Jaundice is a common problem with newborns at birth. Jaundice is a condition that is characterized by yellow skin color. It can also affect the whites of the baby’s eyes. Jaundice is often easily treated with no further problems. However, sometimes jaundice may not be properly diagnosed or treated, leading to medical complications.

Diagnosis of Jaundice

Jaundice
in newborns can range in severity. Mild cases of jaundice may not require any type of treatment. More severe cases require immediate treatment. Doctors and other medical professionals should diagnose and treat jaundice as quickly as possible. Blood tests should be done to determine whether a child has elevated levels of bilirubin. Bilirubin is a substance that the body creates to remove dead blood cells. The substance is then broken down in the liver so it can be removed through waste.

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June 12, 2016

Mother Filed Lawsuit after Birth Injury Caused Brain Damage to Her Newborn

by Levin & Perconti

The birth of a child is one of the most joyful experiences of a parent’s life. Yet, for one mother, the joy was quickly replaced with heartbreak when her newborn infant suffered a serious birth injury. The mother filed a lawsuit against the hospital, doctor, and several medical groups. The lawsuit is seeking a trial by jury and damages of more than $50,000.

Hypoxic Ischemic Injury

Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy, HIE, is brain damage caused by a lack of oxygen (asphyxia) to the brain during labor or delivery. It is estimated that HIE effects an estimated 20 out of every 1,000 births. There is an increased instance of HIE in premature babies. HIE is a medical emergency that requires immediate care and treatment. Unfortunately, many infants suffering from HIE die as a result. HIE by asphyxiation is the most common cause of infant death in the United States, and is the most common reason for serious disabilities in infants.

Permanent Disability

HIE results in brain injuries that may range from minor to severe in nature. Infants with permanent disabilities may have limited motor skills, and reduced mental abilities. The extent of these serious injuries may not be immediately known. Once the child is older, the doctors will be able to have a better indication of the degree of severity.

Treatment for HIE

Sadly, once the brain has been damaged due to oxygen deprivation, it will not improve. The child in this case will never fully recover, and will require treatment and care for his entire life. He will never be able to live a normal life, and the parents will be facing extreme expenses and emotional distress. The lawsuit alleges that the doctors were negligent because they failed to prevent the injury and did not properly monitor the labor and delivery. Further, the doctors did not take the necessary steps immediately following delivery to diagnose and treat the infant.

Prevention of HIE

HIE can be prevented with the proper use of diagnostic and monitoring of the mother and infant during labor. If distress is noted, it is a medical emergency. HIE may sometimes be prevented by performing an emergency C-section. When the oxygen levels to the baby are monitored, a change in them should be quickly responded to. Additionally, there is some indication that immediate cooling of infants who suffered oxygen deprivation may keep the injury from worsening.

Medical Negligence

When a doctor of medical professional fails to properly treat or diagnose a medical issue, and the patient experiences a serious injury, the doctor may be responsible for medical negligence. In this case, the doctor, medical groups, and hospital, are all blamed for negligent care of the infant. While there is nothing that can be done to repair the damage that was done, legal action may help to prevent it from happening to another family in the future. A lawsuit seeks compensation for medical expenses, which are going to be astronomical over the life of the child. If your baby was injured at birth, a lawsuit may be necessary. Contact the legal team at Levin & Perconti to discuss your options.

See Related Posts:

Newborn’s Injuries Blamed on Doctor’s Negligence

Cerebral Palsy May Be Caused by Birth Trauma

June 5, 2016

Brachial Plexus Newborn Injuries

by Levin & Perconti

Most babies are born without complications; however, some infants suffer injuries during birth. It is estimated that 6 to 8 out of every 1,000 newborns suffer birth injuries. These injuries include relatively minor injuries, as well as major, disabling medical problems. Of these injuries, some of the most common occur when there is damage to the brachial plexus during birth. Infants are particularly susceptible to suffering medical injuries because of improper handling or mistakes made during labor or delivery.

Brachial Plexus

The brachial plexus is a bundle of nerves that is located in the upper shoulder and neck area of the body. The nerves can be damaged when the area is pulled or pinched, such as can occur during a particularly difficult birth. When nerve damage happens it may be relatively minor and the child will eventually make a full recovery. Nerve damage may also be extensive. When the area is permanently damaged, permanent disability is the possible outcome. The child could have restricted movement of the shoulder, arm, and hand, as well as possible nerve problems that affect facial muscles. The problems are associated with the side of the body where the immediate damage happened.

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May 27, 2016

Newborn’s Death Prompts Lawsuit

by Levin & Perconti

The birth of a baby should be a happy day for parents. However, for one family, the joy of birth quickly turned to despair when their newborn infant died just minutes after she was born. The infant’s mother filed a lawsuit in Cook County alleging the doctor and hospital failure to provide proper obstetrical care. According to the lawsuit, the medical team did not take steps necessary to ensure a safe birth and therefore, the baby died. The lawsuit seeks damages of more than the jurisdictional limits and is requesting a trial by jury.

Proper Procedures Not Followed

The newborn death rate in the United States is lower than in many other countries, however, there are still mistakes that may occur during labor or delivery. Hospitals should follow the proper procedures during labor to reduce the risk of complications during birth. One of the procedures that was not followed in this case, according to court documents, was monitoring of the baby’s heartbeat through ultrasound. The baby apparently experienced some trauma which would have been quickly detected through monitoring. The baby should have been delivered immediately, possibly through cesarean section.

Medical Negligence

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May 13, 2016

Lawsuit Alleges Birth Injuries Were Caused by Medical Negligence

by Levin & Perconti

The birth of a child should be a happy experience, but for one family, the happiness turned to sadness when the baby suffered a birth injury. The parents have filed a lawsuit in Cook County against a hospital and medical team that were allegedly negligent in their treatment, causing serious and permanent injuries to the infant. The lawsuit requests a trial by jury and damages in excess of $50,000.

Crash Cesarean Section

A crash cesarean section, or c-section, is performed on an emergency basis. Therefore, the c-section was not previously planned as part of the pregnancy medical exams. A c-section is a medical procedure to extract the infant, which is done instead of a vaginal birth. The c-section is often completed as a precaution to ensure the infant remains safe and healthy during labor and delivery. In this case, the woman’s c-section was done at the last minute and the baby suffered a birth injury.

Permanent Birth Injuries

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May 6, 2016

Premature Babies May be at Higher Risk for Birth Injuries

by Levin & Perconti

Parents expect that their baby will be born happy and healthy, and without complications. Sometimes, however, complications do occur. While not frequent, complications during labor and delivery can cause mistakes to happen which could result in birth injuries. Premature babies may be at a higher risk for birth injuries because of their small size and other factors.

Premature Babies

The normal pregnancy should last approximately 40 weeks. An infant born at 37 weeks or less is considered premature. Giving birth to a premature infant can be a very scary experience. The parents are likely not prepared for the birth as it usually comes as a surprise. However, there are times when the doctor notes that there could be the possibility of a premature birth. For example, multiple births are often born earlier. Other conditions could also cause premature labor.

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May 5, 2016

Newborn’s Injuries Blamed on Doctor’s Negligence

by Levin & Perconti

The birth of your baby is one of the best days of a parent’s life – unless something goes wrong. When a problem during labor or delivery occurs, it can cause injuries to the baby. Some of these injuries are minor, while other times they could be severe, or even life-threatening. A recent lawsuit was filed in Cook County claiming that the medical provider was negligent and caused a serious and permanent birth injury to an infant during delivery. The lawsuit is seeking damages in excess of $50,000 from each of five defendants, including Northwest Community Hospital, a medical center, and several members of the medical team.

Types of Birth Injuries

There are a number of different birth injuries that are the most common occurrences in newborns. Some of the most common injuries include bone fractures, brachial plexus injuries, and bruises. More serious injuries include hemorrhages, and asphyxia, which can cause brain damage. Many minor injuries will heal quickly with only minimal treatment while more severe injuries may require surgery and long-term care. Permanent injuries can cause life-long disabilities to the child and will certainly be emotionally challenging for the family, as well as extremely costly.

Clavicle Fracture

The infant in this case suffered a severe clavicle facture. The clavicle is also known as the collar bone. It is located near the brachial plexus, a bundle of nerves near the shoulder. When the clavicle is fractured it can cause damage to the brachial plexus, resulting in restricted movement of the arm or hand. It is estimated that as many as 1 in 11 infants with a clavicle fracture also suffer from a brachial plexus injury. The injury affects the nerves and they may heal after a period of time, depending on the extent of the injuries. Fractures can usually be avoided when doctors take proper care during labor and delivery.

Medical Negligence

In this case, the lawsuit states that the health care providers failed to take sufficient measures to ensure the health of the infant during birth. The doctors should have noticed that the birth was a difficult one, and therefore taken steps to provide a safe delivery. According to the paperwork, the medical team was negligent by failing to exercise proper care during delivery and by failing to recommend a cesarean section be performed, rather than proceed with a highly risky vaginal delivery. As a result, the infant suffered severe and permanent injuries.

Birth Injury Lawsuit

Birth injuries are unexpected and can be devastating to the parents. The child could face years of pain and may need to undergo numerous medical treatments and surgeries in order to recover. Sadly, some children will never fully recover. This will cause them to have a permanent disability, which will require ongoing care and treatment. There is nothing that can be done to change the unfortunate circumstances that resulted in the injuries; however, parents can make a claim to seek the compensation their child is entitled to.

The child in this case was severely injured and the parents are seeking damages on his behalf. Damages typically include money to cover medical costs, future treatment and care, money for pain and suffering, and for loss of enjoyment of life. If your infant was injured during birth due to negligence, you may be entitled to money. Contact the experienced legal team at Levin & Perconti to discuss your case.

See Related Posts:

What to Do After a Birth Injury

Facial Nerve Palsy May be Caused by Birth Trauma