January 28, 2015

Family Sues Hospital Over Water Birth Injury

by Levin & Perconti

Water births are a type of birthing process where the mother delivers the newborn in a pool or tub of warm water. The infant is delivered under the water, which supporters assert is less traumatic than a traditional delivery environment. Though the concept is relatively new in modern American society, gaining popularity in the 1980s, women have reportedly engaged in water births for hundreds of years. In Japan, women delivered in the sea, while expectant mothers in Finland gave birth inside of saunas.

Supporters argue that it is a natural method of birth, with minimal risk for healthy mothers. The warm water reportedly eases the pain and discomfort of delivery, decreasing the need for medication and anesthesia. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) states that water births are useful for pain management during the first stages of birth. However, the organization warns about the risks involved in completing the actual delivery under water.

The Birth Injury Lawsuit

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January 22, 2015

The Risks of Meconium Asphyxiation

by Levin & Perconti

Many things can go wrong during the delivery of a child. Experts advocate for prenatal care to decrease the likelihood of injury to the mother and the baby. But sometimes, even a healthy pregnancy results in a difficult birthing process. When this occurs, the medical staff's actions are essential to promoting the health of the infant. They must recognize the symptoms of potential conditions and act accordingly to decrease the possibility of further damage.

According to the National Institute of Health, meconium is the fecal matter passed by a newborn soon after birth. When babies experience stress inside the womb, they often pass meconium into the uterus. The matter mixes into the amniotic fluid that surrounds the baby, creating a potentially dangerous situation. The infant may breathe in the meconium while still inside the womb or directly after the birth before the amniotic fluid is wiped away. Once this substance enters the lungs, it can cause the infant's lungs to swell, blocking the airway. This is called meconium aspiration

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January 15, 2015

Malpractice Lawsuit Requirements in the State of Illinois

by Levin & Perconti

Birthing injuries are extremely challenging for families. They are particularly difficult when caused by a physician or member of the treating hospital staff. Under these circumstances, a court of law may order the payment of damages as compensation for the injury. But a malpractice claim requires more than the simple filing of a document. When instituting a malpractice lawsuit, its important to abide by the relevant laws within Illinois.

Statute of Limitations

The state places limits on the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit in Illinois courts. Under Illinois law, an injured party has two years to file a lawsuit, but there are variations on when the time begins to run. Though it typically starts on the date that the injury occurred, this isn't always practical because the victim may not be aware that the injury occurred. In this situation, the discovery rule may apply, where the statute of limitations does not start until the date that the injury is discovered. In some situations, the statute of limitations time may be interrupted, like in cases where the victim is a minor or temporarily disabled. The statute of limitations will begin running again when the child becomes an adult or the disability is cured.

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January 7, 2015

FDA Speaks About Pain Medications and Pregnancy

by Levin & Perconti

The joys of pregnancy are unfortunately mixed with a variety of aches and pains. From back strains to swollen feet, expectant mothers deal with a lot in their quest to bring new life into the world. To help women deal with these issues, physicians often prescribe pain medications as a way of managing the symptoms and making them more bearable for the pregnant mother. However, recent studies suggest that the usage of these medicines during pregnancy may have an adverse effect on the health and well-being of the newborn baby. When prescribing doctors do not adequately consider these risks and an injury results, a court of law may find liability and award compensation.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently released a safety announcement regarding the level of risk involved in taking pain medications during pregnancy. Acknowledging concerns about the safety of these medications, the government agency reviewed results from several published studies on the issue. The medications and injuries considered were:

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January 2, 2015

Enhanced Treatment Does Not Prevent Deaths Among Neonates

by Levin & Perconti

Thousands of babies are born each year with low oxygen levels, which creates a significant risk of death or long term brain injury. Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) occurs when the brain does not receive an adequate amount of oxygen. Within minutes of oxygen deprivation, brain cells begin to die, making HIE a potentially fatal condition.

To protect newborns from the fatal results of HIE, doctors often use a cooling method where the infant is purposely placed into a state of hypothermia for a specific period of time.

According to a report in the medical journal Nature, this treatment is effective at preventing death and brain injury between birth and toddler years. The effectiveness in advanced ages has yet to be determined. Treated babies were found to have increased mental and physical well being than those who were not cooled. They were 60% more likely to exhibit normal levels of intelligence, auditory abilities and vision.

According to recent reports, researchers are now trying to determine whether longer and more intense cooling treatments will produce better results. An article in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) is discussing the results of a study on longer and deeper cooling methods. The details of the study were as follows:

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December 26, 2014

Another Jury Awards Millions in Birth Injury Case

by Levin & Perconti

In the delivery room, soon-to-be mothers and fathers expect a high level of care and professionalism from their treating physician and hospital staff. Injuries and death can result when that standard is not met, leaving families with a lifetime of mental, emotional and financial challenges. With the assistance of the courts and an experienced attorney, negligent doctors and hospitals may be found liable and held responsible for their actions. That was the outcome of a recent case where a jury ruled that a negligent hospital should compensate a child and his mother.

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December 17, 2014

Court Awards Million Dollar Verdict for Cerebral Palsy Treatment

by Levin & Perconti

A federal district court recently awarded a couple $6.75 million for injuries relating the the treatment of son's condition. According to a report by Medical Press, the New York family hoped that the medication would bring relief for their young son, who was born with cerebral palsy. Instead, the it led to a life threatening condition that requires constant monitoring.
Cerebral palsy is a disorder that results from injury to the developing brain, usually occurring during pregnancy. According to cerebralpalsy.org, there are a variety of causes that lead to the condition:

***A prenatal disturbance of brain cell migrations occur with environmental factors prevent cells from moving into their correct locations within the brain

***Poor insulation of developing nerve cells occurs when the protective covering does not form adequately enough to protect nerve endings

***Prenatal brain cell death occurs when problems during the birthing process lead to a lack of oxygen to the brain or the rupturing of blood vessels within the brain

***Postnatal traumas, injuries and infections can lead to inappropriate connections between cells within the brain

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December 13, 2014

A Different Perspective - United Kingdom Encourages Home Births

by Levin & Perconti

Pregnant women in the United Kingdom are urged to give birth at home or in a birthing center. A report by NBC News discusses new guidelines issued by Britain's National Institute of Health Care and Excellence. The agency concluded that women with uncomplicated pregnancies, which reportedly accounts for about half of all cases, can safely give birth within the comfort of their home with the assistance of a midwife. According to the article, researchers asserted that women are less likely to receive unnecessary surgeries and receive unwanted medications when giving birth outside of a hospital.

This professional advise varies greatly from that given by American experts. In January of this year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released a report about the dangers of home births, after noticing a slight increase in the number of women choosing this birthing environment. The greatest concern is the lack of available resources in case of emergency. A study in the American Journal of Obstetrics supports this theory. Researchers concluded that home birth pregnancies are ten times more likely to result in stillborn births than those taking place inside of a hospital. In addition, the frequency of neonatal seizures and neurological difficulty is reportedly four times higher in home births.

Why the Difference?

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December 3, 2014

Pre-Term Births Are the Leading Cause of Newborn Deaths

by Levin & Perconti

An extreme amount of caution is necessary when bringing a child into the world. Mothers trust their physicians to make appropriate decisions and facilitate a safe delivery. Unfortunately, these responsibilities are not always met, which can lead to a target="_blank"newborn injury. Birth injuries can occur through out the pregnancy, as well as during delivery. One of the most common causes of injury is preterm birth, which occurs when the baby is delivered prior to 37 weeks of pregnancy. Recent reports call it the leading cause of death among infants around the world.

According to National Public Radio (NPR), internationally, more than a million children die each year from premature birth-related complications. These numbers resulted from a study by the World Health Organization, along working with several other medical researchers. Though the highest rates of death occur in India and Nigeria, these statistics still highlight the dangers of preterm birth within the United States, particularly when adequate care is not provided.

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November 24, 2014

Court to Hear Embolism Misdiagnosis Case

by Levin & Perconti

A Florida court recently granted a widower's plea for a new trial regarding the death of his wife during childbirth. Eleven years after her death and seven years after a jury ruled in favor of the medical defendants, the Florida Supreme Court threw out the 2007 verdict and granted the plaintiff a new trial. The victim's husband now has a second opportunity to present evidence about the circumstances surrounding his wife's death.

According to an article in the Sun Sentinel, the plaintiff's wife gave birth to their son in June of 2003. In the minutes following his birth, she began to seizure. Her body went into cardiac arrest and she lost consciousness. The new mother reportedly remained in that condition for five hours, before passing away. In his lawsuit, her husband alleged that the hospital was at fault by failing to monitor her health and inadequately treating her condition as it rapidly worsened.
The hospital's defense reportedly hinged on the assertion that the mother's death was the result of a rare pregnancy condition called amniotic fluid embolism. However, according to the report, the medical examiner found no evidence of the condition during the autopsy. The Florida Supreme Court's decision to grant a new trial was reportedly based on the exclusion of two pieces of evidence during the trial. One was alleged witness tampering and the other involved the alleged misdiagnosis.

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November 18, 2014

The Risk of Injury from Gestational Diabetes

by Levin & Perconti

Diabetes is an extremely serious health concern that affects the way cells handle glucose, or sugar, within the body. The condition can lead to serious injury, and even death, if not treated properly. When a woman develops the disease during her pregnancy, it is called gestational diabetes, and adequate care is necessary for the health of the mother, as well as the baby. Physicians are responsible for the timely diagnosis and treatment of gestational diabetes. When this responsibility is not met, the consequences are devastating. With the assistance of an experienced attorney, an injured mother and child can secure the compensation that is warranted by this type of pregnancy error.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Though the exact cause of gestational diabetes is unknown, experts do know that pregnancy affects the way your body processes glucose. According to the Mayo Clinic, the body develops sugar from the foods you digest. This sugar is sent to the bloodstream and your pancreas produces insulin. This is a hormone that helps the body's cells convert the glucose into energy for the body. When pregnant, the placenta connects the fetus to the blood stream. It is constantly producing a variety of hormones and some of them stop the work of the insulin in the blood. This causes the blood sugar to elevate. Many pregnant women are able to balance these periodic elevations. However, some women reportedly produce too many of these insulin blocking hormones, causing the blood sugar levels to reach dangerous highs.

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November 12, 2014

Jury Awards $8.4 Million in Breathing Tub Injury

by Levin & Perconti

The actions of a hospital staff during the labor and delivery of a baby can result in lasting medical consequences for the child, as well as the mother and family. A moment of hesitation or inaction may lead to serious injuries that will forever effect the newborn's quality of life. When these incidents occur, physicians and the medical center should take responsibility for their role in the injury. However, if they don't, an experienced attorney can assist victims in securing the financial compensation to which they are entitled.

Northwest Georgia News is reporting about a five-year-old boy who was recently awarded an $8.4 million settlement from a Georgia jury. He lives with cerebral palsy and, according to the court documents, the medical staff that handled his birth is responsible for his condition. As stated in reports, the young boy's mother trusted the medical staff of a Georgia medical center with the delivery of her child. The fetal monitor reportedly showed that the baby was in distress from a lack of oxygen. This information should have prompted a cesarean section, according to court documents, but medical staff never notified a physician about the risky situation.

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