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

October 31, 2015

Mother Sues Chicago Doctor and Hospital for Infant’s Injury

by Levin & Perconti

A Chicago mother has filed a lawsuit in Cook County naming the doctor and hospital where her infant was harmed as the result of a circumcision that went wrong. The woman gave birth to her son on September 10, 2013 at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center and the baby was soon circumcised. According to the lawsuit, the infant was improperly circumcised leaving him disfigured. The problem caused tissue loss and loss of sensation and required additional surgeries to try to correct the problem. The mother seeks compensation for medical costs, lost wages, litigation costs, and pain and suffering.

Medical Mistakes at Birth

The birth process can bring on a wide range of complications which could have a negative impact on the baby. The doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals must provide proper medical treatment. When a mistake is made, the doctor is held responsible. Some birth injuries are more serious than others. For example, when oxygen is cut off to the baby during the birth a brain injury may occur and it could cause cerebral palsy or diminished mental capacity. These types of injuries are generally not reversible and the child will require constant care throughout his or her lifetime. Medical mistakes that cause birth injuries should not go unreported. A qualified birth injury attorney knows how to litigate your case and get you the money you need to pay for current and future expenses that were a result of the mistake.

Medical Procedures Gone Wrong

When a medical procedure is performed it is up to the doctor and other medical staff to ensure that it is completed correctly. Further, they must follow up to make certain that the patient is responding properly after the procedure and must provide additional treatment as needed. In this case, a circumcision, a procedure that should be relatively simple, went terribly wrong. The result was a botched surgery that required additional surgeries to correct. The child will suffer permanent deformity and will have to deal with this medical condition for the rest of his life.

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October 24, 2015

Harmful Effects of Epidurals during Childbirth

by Levin & Perconti

Childbirth is one of the most rewarding experiences in life; however, it can also be one of the most painful. To counteract the pain, many doctors and hospitals offer epidurals. According to the American Pregnancy Association, epidurals are the most common type of pain relief used during labor. While epidurals are generally considered safe, they do come with some risks. When an epidural goes wrong, the results can be devastating.

What Are Epidurals?
An epidural is a type of local anesthesia that is administered for management of pain associated with childbirth. A catheter is typically inserted into the lower back to allow for easy management of the drug. When needed, the anesthesia is administered into the back. This type of epidural is also sometimes called a walking epidural because it allows the patient to move more freely. Various medications are utilized in epidurals. Pain relief may last from 4 to 8 hours. One of the main advantages of an epidural is that it allows the woman to be awake and participate fully during labor and birth.

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October 15, 2015

When Medical Mistakes Happen During Childbirth

by Levin & Perconti

One of the most common types of medical malpractice happens during labor and delivery. Even with the latest technology and support, errors can and do happen. These problems could have been avoided and thus are considered medical negligence. If you or a family member has suffered due to a mistake made by a doctor or member of the medical staff, it is possible to recover damages.

Medical Errors
While medical errors are not common, they do occur from time to time. Unfortunately, mistakes made during the delivery process can have a devastating and lasting effect on the child and his or her family. When childbirth complications are mishandled the result may be a child who is diagnosed with cerebral palsy or other type of brain injury. A prolonged labor or one where the proper procedures were not followed could create a risky situation. Physicians and other medical professionals must take the proper steps to ensure that the birth was attended to correctly. If you feel as though the birth was not handled correctly, you may be right. It is certainly worth further investigation.

Possible Signs of Medical Errors
Sometimes an event may take place during the birthing process that signals a possible error has occurred or is more likely to happen. Some of these include:

· Excessive bleeding or pain
· Absence of the use of a fetal heart monitor
· Abnormal pain or bleeding that has not been addressed
· Low or atypical heat rate of fetus
· Use of oxygen or forceps without consent and explanation of risks
· Lack of fetal movement that is not quickly addressed
· Pediatric team not ready or available at time of birth
· Inappropriate use of anesthetic or oxygen

It may be difficult to remember all the steps that were or were not taken while in labor. For this reason it is helpful to have your partner available to take notes and ensure that the nurse or doctor is contacted immediately if a problem arises.

Diagnosis of Birth Injuries
Sometimes children cannot be properly diagnosed with a brain injury until they begin to develop. There are many varying degrees of brain injuries that could become known as the child grows. Only after a complete diagnosis can the cause of the problem be determined. Many times, the diagnosis and cause are not found out immediately. Childbirth injuries are devastating and take an emotional toll on the entire family. In addition to being a very traumatic situation, it is also puts the parents in a difficult financial situation. Treatments and care costs can be expensive and may need to continue well into the future. Parents need to seek compensation for these costs.

Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney
Childbirth injuries create complex medical and legal conditions that require attention. The dedicated legal team at Levin & Perconti provides the expertise and experience necessary in these types of complex cases. We understand that no amount of money or legal action can make the problem go away. However, it is essential to get the compensation you deserve and make sure that the problem won’t happen to others in the future. If you feel you may be the victim of medical malpractice contact Levin & Perconti Attorneys at Law today.

See Related Posts:
Doctors Given New Guidelines for Newborn Birth Injuries to the Brain

The Risks Associated with Epidurals

September 29, 2015

The Risks Associated with Epidurals

by Levin & Perconti

Epidurals are so commonly used during child birthing that they often seem like an integral part of the process. Many women expect to receive one as a pain medication resource and many physicians routinely give them to every single mother laboring mother. However, the risk involved in receiving an epidural requires thoughtful and personalized consideration.

What is an Epidural?

According to Baby Center, United States physicians use epidurals to manage labor pain more often than any other type of pain medication. An epidural is administered through the insertion of a catheter into the area surrounding the spinal cord and fluid. The procedure lessens the sensation of pain in the lower body by interrupting nerve signals between the sensory and motor nerves, but it still allows you some feeling. Though epidurals are commonly given after active labor begins, the recent trend is to administer it in the earlier stages of labor if requested by the mother.

The Potential Problems

While the epidural is interfering with the nerve signals to lessen pain, it is also interfering with hormones that the female body produces during labor and childbirth, according to natural health expert Chris Kessler.

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September 24, 2015

Court Upholds Substantial Birth Injury Ruling

by Levin & Perconti

A recent ruling by a Wisconsin Appeals Court means that a $900,000 birth injury award will stand. As reported by the Wisconsin Bar, the defendant physician appealed on the grounds that expert testimony presented at trial should have been excluded. The appeals court did not agree.

The underlying case stems from a delivery where the newborn received extensive nerve damage, which left her left arm permanently impaired. The parents filed a negligence lawsuit against the OBGYN and called another physician to give expert testimony during trial. The witness doctor gave the following testimony:

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September 18, 2015

Tragic Homebirth Results in Criminal Charges

by Levin & Perconti

Home births are becoming increasingly popular among expecting parents. Opting for a less sterile atmosphere than a hospital, these parents work with midwives throughout the pregnancy and then deliver the baby inside of their home. Unfortunately, the lack of available emergency services can make these procedures unreasonably dangerous. If the responsible midwife did not act with acceptable standards of care, she may be held criminally liable by the state. But the family is also left to deal with the emotional, physical and financial consequences. With the assistance of an experienced attorney, you can hold the midwife financially responsible for her actions.

A FOX News affiliate is reporting about a North Carolina midwife who was recently charged with several offenses stemming from a failed home birth. The charges reportedly included obstruction of justice, obtaining property by false pretenses, assault inflicting serious bodily injury and the murder of an unborn child. According to the report, the delivery was allegedly mishandled, resulting in a stillborn delivery.

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September 12, 2015

Parents Seeking $27 Million in Compensation for Birthing Injuries to the Brain

by Levin & Perconti

In Texas, the family of a baby who was injured during the birthing process is seeking compensation in the amount of $27 million from the hospital and several medical professionals. The claim centers around a condition called perinatal asphyxia, or the inadequate supply of oxygen during birth.

The allegations of the case are as follows:

*The mother visited her physician at 36 weeks of pregnancy, allegedly complaining of pelvic pain and vaginal discharge

*She was not having contractions and her water has yet to break

*An examination undergone during the visit allegedly showed that her cervix was actively in birth preparation

*The mother was admitted to the hospital and labor was allegedly induced

*Later in the day, the baby was born with blue skin from lack of circulation. He was also flaccid and failed to respond to stimuli

The mother alleges in court documents that, though the baby's head delivered normally, his body became stuck. The medical staff allegedly used various techniques to complete the delivery. He was reportedly treated for perinatal asphyxia and placed in a ventilator, before he was transferred to another hospital that operated a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Physicians at the second hospital reportedly gave a diagnosis of respiratory failure, along with clinical sepsis and the perinatal asphyxia. After a hospital stay of almost a month, the baby was further diagnosed with multicystic leukoencephalopathy. The family claims that the hospitals, as well as their doctors, failed to adequately monitor the baby's well being during the birth.

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September 6, 2015

Pesticide Exposure can Lead to Brain Injury

by Levin & Perconti

Brain injuries can result from a variety of incidents, from automobile accidents to sports injuries. But most people don't realize that they may be inviting a brain injury into their home. As reported by CNN, a 10-year-old Florida boy is currently hospitalized for a traumatic brain injury (TBI), allegedly stemming from a termite extermination in his home.

According to the report, the family left the home for two days while the treatment was completed. Upon returning to the home, the entire family reportedly became ill with stomach pains. While most of the family members recovered completely, the 10-year-old became increasingly ill, requiring an extended hospitalization. CNN reports that he has lost 90% of his motor skills and suffers from a traumatic brain injury. No conclusive determination has been made regarding the extermination of the Florida family's home. However, state and federal agencies are reportedly investigating the incident.

Pesticide Exposure

As stated in the CNN article, the pesticide sulfuryl flouride was used in the home. According to the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC), sulfuryl fluoride is the gas used to fumigate enclosed areas. This odorless and colorless gas works by penetrating crevices and pores within wood. It then enters the insect's body and when used by the insect as a source of energy, it causes death. To be fully effective, the treated area must remain enclosed for a particular amount of time. This is often done by tenting the area and prohibiting humans and pets from entering. After the tents are removed, the structure should reportedly remain unoccupied for another 24 hours, to allow the gas to dissipate. As explained by the NPIC, exterminating professionals should measure the levels of toxicity before allowing residents to return.

The initial symptoms of sulfuryl fluoride exposure include:

*Nose, eye and throat irritation
*Difficulty breathing and coughing
*Numbness of the extremities
*Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting
*Slowed speech or movements

Once the chemical affects the central nervous system, the symptoms become more severe, including:

*Muscle twitches
*Pulmonary edema
*Lung and kidney damage

Studies published by show that sulfuryl flouride attacks the white matter of the brain, especially in younger children when the brain is still in the development stages. White matter brain complications can lead to difficulties with vision and controlling movements of the eye. They can also cause muscle paralysis or restriction of movement. Cognitive functions, like memory, speech and impulse control are also negatively affected by brain matter complications.

When a product or professional procedure results in a brain injury, the victim and family are faced with substantial physical, mental and financial burdens. With the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney, you can secure compensation from the responsible party.

If you or a loved is suffering with a severe brain injury due to the negligent actions of another, contact the experienced attorneys of Levin & Perconti at (312) 332-2872 for a free consultation. These knowledgeable attorneys will aggressively work to secure the damage award to which you are entitled.

August 14, 2015

Oregon Jury Awards $1 Million in Birth Injury Lawsuit

by Levin & Perconti

In an Oregon courtroom, the family of a child injured at birth successfully proved their case against an obstetrician and won damages in excess of $1 million. The child, who is now six-years-old, suffers from a brachial plexus injury. The compensation that she receives from her injuries will assist with medical fees, as well as non-financial challenges she will face for the remainder of her life.

According to reports, the events unfolded as follows:

The expectant mother was admitted to a regional medical center, with normal signs of labor.
The labor progressed without issue until the baby began descending deeper into the birth canal
Medical staff diagnosed the baby with shoulder dystocia.
According to the plaintiffs, despite the early diagnosis, the medical staff used traction to complete the delivery process
The baby was born with a brachial plexus injury.

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