August 16, 2016

Complications That Go Undiagnosed Can Pose Threat for Birth Injuries

by Levin & Perconti

The birth of a baby is one of the happiest events in the lives of parents. Yet for some, the emotions turn from joy to despair if a baby suffers an injury during birth. Birth injuries occur infrequently but they still happen from time to time. Those that are most at risk for injuries at birth are those where undiagnosed pregnancy complications exist. Complications include a variety of issues and any one of them may increase the chances that a baby will suffer an injury during labor or birth.

Serious Complications

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August 9, 2016

Spinal Cord Birth Injury Causes Lifelong Disability

by Levin & Perconti

The birth of a child should be one of the most joyful days in the life of a parent. Yet for some parents, the joy turns tragic when the baby suffers a serious injury during birth. There are a number of different types of injuries that may occur due to the negligence of the doctor, nurse, or other medical professionals attending to labor and delivery. Of the injuries that could happen, spinal cord injuries are among the most severe. A spinal cord injury could cause a permanent disability and the child may require lifelong care.

Spinal Cord Injuries

A spinal cord injury can happen during the birth process. A breech or transverse position is likely the most common reason that a spinal cord injury may occur. Traction on the baby’s trunk or twisting the trunk can put stress on the spinal cord and can injure it. The doctor must try to manually manipulate the baby’s position which can cause injuries. The best way to avoid these types of injuries is to properly evaluate the baby’s position prior to labor and delivery.
A spinal cord injury can range in severity depending on the circumstances of occurrence. A minor pull or stretch injury may heal over time and the symptoms may not be painful. If the spinal cord is severely pulled or twisted it could cause paralysis. Varying degrees of injury could allow movement but the limb may be painful or may have reduced feeling or a tingling sensation. These problems may or may not improve.

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August 2, 2016

Erb’s Palsy in Newborns

by Levin & Perconti

Most babies are born without any complications, however, a small percentage of newborns have medical issues that may have been caused at birth. An injury to the brachial plexus can cause a condition called Erb’s palsy. Babies who suffer from this injury could have lifelong disabilities.

Brachial Plexus

The brachial plexus is a group of nerves located near the shoulder. It basically ties the physical function of the body to the spinal cord and brain and is located on both sides of the body. It can be injured when force is used to assist in the birth of the baby. The doctor may use forceps, a vacuum, or his hands to pull a baby who is stuck. When the neck and shoulders are stretched, damage to the brachial plexus may occur.

Erb’s Palsy

Erb’s palsy is also known by other names such as Erb-duchenne palsy, shoulder dystocia or radial nerve palsy. These are all forms of damage to the brachial plexus nerves. The muscles of the arm on one side of the body are not able to move properly, causing the arm to droop. Some people may have tingling in the hand or arm. In some cases, the entire arm, including the hand and fingers, are affected, while sometimes only a slight reduction in movement is noted.

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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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