April 28, 2016

What to Do After a Birth Injury

by Levin & Perconti

The birth of your child is one of the happiest times in your life. Bringing home a healthy baby is the hope of every family. Yet sometimes something goes wrong and the infant suffers an injury. Even with today’s modern technology, birth injuries still occur. When an infant suffers a birth injury it may be the result of a mistake made by the doctor or medical staff. Birth injuries are not only emotionally difficult; they can also be financially overwhelming.

Birth Injuries

There are a number of different birth injuries that may occur. Some of them are relatively minor and the child will have a full recovery while others may be permanently disabling. Some of the most common types of birth injuries include broken bones, bruises, brachial plexus injuries, perinatal asphyxia, facial paralysis, spinal cord injuries, and cerebral palsy. Many of these injuries are preventable and when they occur they are likely due to negligence – also known as medical malpractice.

Common risk factors and conditions that occur at birth that may make birth injury more likely are:

· Large Baby
· Low Apgar Score
· Vacuum Assisted Birth
· Use of Forceps
· Preterm Baby
· Fetal Distress
· Breech Birth

When a baby suffers an injury at birth, parents are focused on the health of the child and on the medical treatment and recovery of the baby. Parents may not be aware of how the birth injury occurred in the first place. If your child was injured it is important to keep medical records of every detail of medical care and treatment. You may want to seek help from an experienced birth injury attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer understands how to research and review medical records to determine exactly what happened and why. If the birth injury was caused by the negligence of the doctor you may be entitled to financial compensation.

Questions to Ask

Parents of a child who suffered a birth injury will have many questions. Keep a notebook to record the information that you receive so it can be more easily communicated later. Some of the many important questions to ask include:

· What Injury Occurred?
· Was the Injury Preventable?
· What Tests are Needed?
· Does My Child Require Surgery?
· What is the Treatment for the Injury?
· What is the Prognosis for Recovery?
· What Medical Treatment Will Be Needed?
· How Long with Recovery Take?
· What Should We Expect as Parents?
· What Should We Look For As Our Child Grows?

As with any medical condition, it may be wise to get another medical opinion regarding the birth injury. This is especially important if the injury may have been caused by the doctor who is currently treating the baby. Some injuries are apparent immediately while others may not surface for weeks, months, or even years.

Get Legal Help

When a birth injury happens to your child legal assistance may not be the first thing on your mind. Yet, a preventable birth injury will take its toll on the entire family and will especially impact finances. Medical treatment will be expensive – in some cases treatment and care will be required for the child’s entire life. There may be some limitations on filing a claim so it is necessary to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer will gather the information required to proceed and will advise you as to your options every step of the way. You deserve compensation to cover the needs of your child. If your baby suffered an injury at birth contact Levin & Perconti to discuss your case today.

See Related Posts:

Mother Blames Doctor and Hospital for Infant’s Birth Injury

Cerebral Palsy Can Be Caused by Injury During Birth

April 20, 2016

Cerebral Palsy May Be Caused by Birth Trauma

by Levin & Perconti

Cerebral palsy, CP, is a disorder that impacts muscle movement, muscle tone, and brain function. According to the United Cerebral Palsy Foundation (UCP), about 800,000 people in the United States have cerebral palsy. This number includes both children and adults. Cerebral palsy is a very serious condition that has no known cure. There are some treatments that can be helpful for some. There are many CP symptoms which may range from mild to severe.

Causes of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy typically occurs either during a baby’s development before birth or due to a complication during labor or delivery. CP is triggered by a disruption or abnormality in brain development, however, there is still much for doctors to learn about it. An infection of the mother or fetus during development could cause the onset of CP. A fetal stroke is also thought to be a possible cause. During labor or delivery a lack of oxygen to the brain, called asphyxia, could cause CP. A traumatic head injury to the infant during birth or shortly thereafter could also trigger CP.

Birth Complications Could Cause CP

Cerebral palsy could be caused by a mistake made during labor or delivery. Complications arise that could cause serious injuries to the infant. The baby could be oxygen deprived because of a delayed or difficult labor. The doctor may need to utilize instruments such as forceps or a vacuum to assist in the birth and the improper use of these could cause injury to the baby. If a doctor was negligent when delivering the baby it may be a case of medical malpractice.

Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy

Sometimes the signs of CP are apparent immediately after birth while other times the symptoms are not revealed until the child begins to develop. Those with severe CP may have limp limbs or neck, a droopy eye, or may have tremors. Other symptoms include drooling or difficulty swallowing, slow movements, and stiff muscles. As children develop they may have delayed development in both speech and motor skills. They may have problems trying to crawl or walk and they are usually behind in the major milestones of development. Sometimes one side of the body is primarily affected. For children with mostly brain developmental difficulties, cerebral palsy may not be diagnosed for several or more years after birth.

Treatment of CP

The severity of CP will not change over time because the damage has already occurred. Therefore, treatment is the only option for children or adults suffering from cerebral palsy. It is important to have the child examined by a neurological specialist a soon as possible. Symptoms may appear differently over time and as the child grows. Intellectual disabilities may not be completely determined until the child is old enough to speak and learn. Those with CP will require continual medical care and treatment. The costs of this ongoing care can be astronomical and may take a financial and emotional toll on the parents and family.

If CP was caused by a medical mistake, families need to take legal action to get the compensation necessary to cover the medical expenses and other damages due to the negligence. If your child suffered may have suffered cerebral palsy because of medical malpractice, contact the experienced legal team at Levin & Perconti to discuss your case.

See Related Posts:

Family of Disabled Child Receive Settlement Award in Malpractice Case

Low Apgar Score Could Indicate Birth Injury

April 13, 2016

Facial Nerve Palsy May Be Caused by Birth Trauma

by Levin & Perconti

The birth of your child is the happiest day in a parent’s life, unless there is a problem. While most births happen without any complications, sometimes a mistake occurs that can cause a birth injury. Facial nerve palsy is one type of injury that can happen during the birth of a newborn. Facial nerve palsy is the loss of voluntary muscle control of the face. While it can be serious, the condition often goes away over time. The injury is caused by pressure put on the baby’s seventh cranial nerve during birth.

Seventh Cranial Nerve Damage

The seventh cranial nerve is located in the face or neck area. In infants, this nerve can be more easily damaged. Damage may occur when forceps are used to assist in extracting the baby. Some factors that could increase the likelihood of facial nerve palsy include a large birth weight baby, long labor, the use of an epidural, and the use of medication to hasten labor. These situations could make the birth more difficult and create a need for medical intervention during delivery. This could increase the possibility of a birth injury.

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April 6, 2016

New Study Links Premature Birth to Air Pollution

by Levin & Perconti

Premature birth is a serious problem for newborns. A premature birth can be the cause of many medical conditions and could be dangerous. Premature births can also create complications during the labor and delivery, making it more likely that a birth injury could occur. A recent study published by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH, concludes that there is a link between premature births and harmful particulates in the air. This new finding shows that those living in the most polluted areas have the highest incidence of preterm deliveries.

Premature Births

The standard pregnancy term is about 40 weeks and any babies born after week 37 are counted as full-term. Preemies born prior to 37 weeks may have very significant medical issues due to underdevelopment. Those infants closer to full term are usually more likely to survive and have fewer medical and developmental problems than those younger infants. Some of the problems that can occur with premature babies include breathing or lung function problems, digestion problems, impaired hearing or vision, and delayed growth including behavioral development. Premature infants are also at higher risk for birth injuries.

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March 31, 2016

Misdiagnosis of Pregnancy Condition Leads to Abortion, Lawsuit

by Levin & Perconti

Pregnancy is supposed to be a happy time for couples as they begin to plan for their future families. For one couple, however, the pregnancy took a tragic turn when the doctor diagnosed an ectopic pregnancy and the pregnancy was ended. Later it was learned that the pregnancy was normal after all and the abortion was not necessary. The couple has filed a lawsuit in Cook County alleging negligence against MetroSouth Medical Center, Pronger Smith Medical Care, and the doctor. The lawsuit seeks damages of more than $50,000.

Ectopic Pregnancy

Most pregnancies develop normally, inside the uterus. Unfortunately sometimes the woman experiences an ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy is one where the fetus attaches inside the fallopian tubes or somewhere else other than inside the uterus. The fetus cannot survive in this position and if left alone the mother can experience serious physical harm and possibly even death. Therefore, when a woman has an ectopic pregnancy it should be ended quickly before any damage occurs. This is typically done with a chemical injection or with a procedure called a dilation and curettage (D&C).

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March 24, 2016

Mother Blames Doctor and Hospital for Infant’s Birth Injury

by Levin & Perconti

The birth of a child is usually one of the most joyful times in a parent’s life. Yet sometimes something goes wrong and the happiness turns to dismay and sorrow. A woman from Riverdale recently filed a lawsuit in Cook County for negligence in the severe injuries her child sustained during birth. The lawsuit alleges that the doctor and hospital were negligent and the child suffered distress and injury as a result. The lawsuit seeks damages in excess of $50,000.

Birth Injury Negligence

Birth injuries can happen from time to time because of the negligence of the doctor or other medical staff. Doctors are expected to provide a high standard of care because of their education, training, and experience. When this does not occur it may be due to a mistake. Mistake made by doctors are also considered cases of medical malpractice. Serious injuries that happen during labor or childbirth can cause serious permanent injuries including brain damage. In this case, the mother states that the doctor failed to perform a C-section in a timely manner and waited too long, allowing the baby to suffer distress.

Common Birth Injuries

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March 17, 2016

Family of Disabled Child Receive Settlement Award in Malpractice Case

by Levin & Perconti

The family of a child who was disabled after numerous botched surgeries has received a settlement in the case. The child was born with a birth defect that required surgery. However, according to the lawsuit, the doctors did not exercise due care when performing the operation and as a result, caused additional medical problems. The botched surgery led to other surgeries and even some procedures that were considered experimental. The boy was left permanently disabled and will require lifelong care.

Esophageal Atresia

The baby in this case was born with a birth defect called esophageal atresia. This is a congenital condition, meaning that that the baby had the defect in the womb. However, according to doctors, this type of medical condition is usually corrected with surgery. In this case, the baby underwent surgery which was supposed to fix the problem. Esophageal atresia occurs when the esophagus is not completely attached to the stomach. Surgery is done to attach the esophagus properly. When surgery is done correctly there should be no further problems and the baby will develop normally.

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March 10, 2016

Cerebral Palsy Can Be Caused by Injury during Birth

by Levin & Perconti

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a non-progressive brain disorder that causes impaired movement and development. CP is one of the most common causes of childhood disability. An estimated 10,000 infants are diagnosed with CP each year in the United States. Although the disorder is non-progressive the symptoms of brain damage may change over time. About half of the children diagnosed with CP also have seizures and some degree of mental retardation.

Causes of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a result of either a congenital defect or an injury at birth. An infection during pregnancy could damage the developing fetus, causing congenital brain damage. Infants who are severely jaundiced at birth may be susceptible to possible brain damage if the jaundice is not effectively treated. In some cases, the mother and baby have Rh incompatibility, which can cause jaundice leading to brain damage. In cases of birth injury, oxygen deprivation is a major factor that leads to cerebral palsy.

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March 3, 2016

Zika Virus Poses Threat to Unborn Babies

by Levin & Perconti

The latest serious disease that has begun making the rounds is called the Zika virus. The Zika virus is particularly dangerous to unborn babies, making it a very serious threat to pregnant women. The Zika virus is currently being experienced in Central America, the Caribbean, Mexico, South America, the Pacific Islands, and Cape Verde. However, it is spreading and is expected to continue spreading. The Zika virus is spread through the bite of a mosquito and possibly through tick and tsetse fly bites.

About the Zika Virus
According to the Centers for Disease Control, CDC, the source of the Zika virus is currently only located in countries outside the United States. However, there have already been a number of patients here in the U.S. who have been diagnosed with the Zika virus. These individuals have visited one of the countries where there is a Zika outbreak. Additionally, doctors are trying to confirm whether a patient contracted the virus through sexual contact with someone who has the virus.

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February 25, 2016

Cesarean Sections May Prevent Birth Injuries

by Levin & Perconti

A Cesarean birth, also called a c-section, is a procedure done to surgically remove a baby from the uterus. It may be done instead of a vaginal birth for a number of reasons. For a time, c-sections were becoming quite common and were utilized for a number of reasons, many of which were not medically necessary. Today, there is concern regarding the overuse of c-sections. While they may sometimes be used improperly, c-sections are still necessary in a number of medical situations. C-sections can sometimes prevent some dangerous problems that could cause birth injuries.

Medical Reasons for C-Sections

There are a number of reasons that a c-section should be utilized during the birth of a child. According to the March of Dimes, pregnancy complications may indicate that a c-section should be considered. Some complications include:

· Placenta Problems
· Infection
· Multiple Births
· Previous C-Section
· High Blood Pressure
· Diabetes

These are all situations that are known in advance of the delivery and therefore a planned c-section may be scheduled. There are also some complications that may occur during labor and delivery that indicate the need for a c-section. Some of these include:

· Large Baby
· Baby in Incorrect Position
· Slowed or Prolonged Labor
· Umbilical Cord Prolapsed
· Fetal Distress

These can cause your labor and delivery to become difficult and can therefore increase the associated risk of birth injuries.

Birth Injuries

Birth injuries can occur during the childbirth process and may be harmful or fatal. Some of the most serious injuries happen when there is distress to the baby during birth. For example, when there is oxygen deprivation to the fetus, even for a brief period of time, it can result in brain damage and cerebral palsy. Other injuries can occur when the baby becomes stuck during birth. Pulling the baby or using forceps or a vacuum can increase the risk of damage to the baby’s shoulders and neck, which can cause permanent harm.

The doctor must be able to monitor the labor and delivery properly in order to determine whether a c-section is appropriate. The doctor should quickly evaluate the changing situation and explain the options to the parents during labor and delivery. When a c-section was not performed when it should have been and a birth injury resulted, the doctor may have been negligent.

Medical Malpractice and Birth Injuries

Birth injuries are a very unfortunate circumstance and one that can quickly cause a happy birth to turn traumatic. As parents, we look to our doctors to provide the best possible care and utilize the appropriate treatments necessary to ensure a safe birth. When that does not occur, the result can be devastating. Some birth injuries can be mild and the child will recover after a few days, weeks, or months. Other times, the injuries are severe and permanent. A serious brain injury could leave the child disabled for life.

The parents of children injured at birth will face a difficult road of emotional and financial problems. Parents may be entitled to money for medical expenses, pain and suffering of the child, loss of enjoyment of life, and future medical costs. If your baby was injured at birth due to the negligence of the doctor or hospital, contact the experienced attorneys at Levin & Perconti to discuss your case today.

See Related Posts:

Birth Trauma Poses Serious Consequences

Some Common Birth Injuries Are Preventable

February 16, 2016

Newborn Fractures May Be Serious

by Levin & Perconti

The birth of a baby is one of the happiest days in a parent’s life. Yet, there are times when problems happen that overshadow the happiness of the day. One of the most common types of birth injuries is a fracture. Thousands of children and adults are treated every year for bone fractures or breaks. Most of these injuries heal within weeks and do not cause permanent damage. However, when an infant sustains a fracture the outcome may be quite different. Many fractures can be severe and dangerous in newborns and sometimes they may result in lifelong damage. When an infant suffers a fracture during birth the injury may be due to the careless or negligent actions of the doctor.

Types of Newborn Fractures

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February 10, 2016

Surgery Performed on Wrong Infant in Tennessee

by Levin & Perconti

The birth of a baby soon turned from joy to dismay when a doctor performed surgery on the wrong newborn. The incident happened recently at a Tennessee hospital. A doctor was supposed to perform surgery on a newborn but incorrectly asked for the wrong infant. The babies were in the nursery when the infant was sent for what was supposed to be a routine exam just hours after his birth. Instead of a simple exam, the nurse returned to the parents a couple of hours later to explain the procedure that was completed. The parents were in shock and were upset by the information. As it turns out, the doctor performed surgery on a completely healthy newborn rather than on the baby who required it.

Doctor Performed Frenotomy

Sometimes an infant is born with a tied tongue. This means that the tongue is connected to the mouth floor with a small tissue called a lingual frenulum. It is usually recommended that babies with tied-tongue have surgery, called a frenotomy, to remove the tissue. During the procedure the doctor clips the tissue to allow the tongue to move properly in the mouth. When the condition is noted the surgery is completed on a newborn because the incision should heal quickly and the baby will not have future problems with eating or speaking. However, the procedure should not be performed on an infant with a normal mouth. In this case, the doctor performed the frenotomy on a baby that was healthy.

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