August 31, 2011

Even Short Term Oxygen Deprivation at Birth May Result in Developmental Delays

Our Illinois birth injury attorneys worry about babies that are born with any type of oxygen deprivation, because even if severe brain injury does not result immediately there still may be cognitive and developmental injuries and defects that result later on in the child’s life. According to the American Psychological Association’s study and Science Blog, even slight oxygen deprivation may be dangerous to babies, especially those babies that are born premature because they are typically more susceptible and vulnerable than full term babies. This type of lack of oxygen injury may not present itself until later on, and is not as easy to spot as an immediate injury caused by oxygen deprivation at birth.

When any baby (premature or full term) is born and suffers from oxygen deprivation for a significant amount of time, there may be severe brain damage that results and that is apparent immediately. This type of birth injury is often times preventable, but sometimes the damage to the baby occurs anyway due to the doctor’s negligence and the doctor’s failure to exercise the appropriate level of care. This severe brain injury can lead to a lifetime of medical care and rehabilitation and is often times the subject of a negligence birth injury lawsuit against the doctor or hospital responsible.

However, the type of birth injury that is less obvious, at least immediately, results from a shorter period of oxygen deprivation to babies that may be more vulnerable (such as premature babies). Studies have shown that premature babies that suffered from oxygen deprivation ended up more likely to have language developmental, as well as other cognitive developmental problems, that become apparent over time. This psychological study and finding show that the effects of oxygen deprivation are not just all or nothing and that there may be more of a gray area in terms of what any level of oxygen deprivation may do to a newborn.

Many birth injury lawsuits are filed by parents when their baby suffered a severe birth injury, such as a brain injury, cerebral palsy, or another developmental defect, due to a significant lack of oxygen at birth. However, parents may not realize the long term effects of even a slight oxygen deprivation if the baby seems to be fine, both physical and mentally, shortly after birth. However, if these problems arise later in the child’s development, the family may still have options available to them. If a doctor or other hospital staff member was negligent in causing or delaying the oxygen flow to the baby even for a short period of time, and any injury to the baby did result, please contact a birth injury attorney to discuss the options available to you and your family.

Our personal injury law firm has helped victims of birth injuries all over Illinois, and have helped recover millions of dollars for the medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages sustained as a result of another’s negligence. If you or a loved one gave birth to a baby that suffered a birth injury resulting from a lack of oxygen at birth, and signs of this injury appeared either immediately or later in the child’s development, please contact our birth injury attorneys immediately to discuss what has happened to you or your family and what next steps may be available to you.

August 29, 2011

Hypothermia Treatment for Lack of Oxygen Birth Injuries

Our Illinois birth injury attorneys are very interested in the new technique of therapeutic hypothermia as a method to try to help newborns that suffer from a birth injury due to a lack of oxygen. Unfortunately, as many as one out of every one thousand babies born suffer from some level of oxygen deprivation at birth. While often times this problem is very short lived and the doctor can restore oxygen to the baby immediately, other times due to either the doctor’s negligence or a complication that arises, the baby is without oxygen for a longer period of time and may suffer from serious developmental injuries as a result of being without oxygen.

A newer treatment for birth-related brain injuries has been developed, in which the baby is cooled to levels that induce hypothermia for a period of time, in which the baby has as high as a 50% chance of recovering from the lack of oxygen injury over babies that were not given the cooling treatment. When babies suffer a lack of oxygen for too long and no treatment works, they may have permanent develop cerebral palsy and a permanent brain injury. Because these results can be so devastating to the baby and the family, it is great to find new treatments that may help to eliminate this problem. While the hypothermia treatment does not work in all cases where the baby suffers from a lack of oxygen birth injury the treatment has been shown to work in a number of cases and has helped many babies recover fully and not suffer permanent developmental issues.

While this process seems to work well for treating newborn babies that have suffered from a lack of oxygen, the cooling process is not an easy one, as it takes time and certain facilities to carry it out properly. According to The Los Angeles Times, only very advanced level of neonatal centers are able to do this type of procedure at this time. The long term affects of a birth related brain injury caused by a lack of oxygen could be very severe on the baby and the baby’s family. When the birth injury is the result of the negligence on the part of the doctor or other hospital staff, such as if warning signs were ignored or improper procedures were used in delivering the baby, the family may file a birth injury lawsuit against the person responsible to help them in some way recover for what that person has forced the baby and family to suffer through.

If you or a loved one gave birth to a baby who suffered a permanent birth injury as a result of the way in which the delivery was handled, please do not hesitate to contact our personal injury law firm today to discuss what options you may have available to you and your family and to discuss what next steps should be taken. Our attorneys have helped clients all over Illinois recover damages for the medical bills, as well as for the pain and suffering, that the clients have been forced to deal with as a result of someone else’s negligence.

August 27, 2011

Illinois Birth Injury Lawsuit Settles for Over $15 M

Our Illinois birth injury attorneys were interested to learn about an Illinois birth injury lawsuit settlement in which an Aurora family received over $15 million dollars after filing a lawsuit against the doctor who delivered the family's baby. The birth occurred seven years ago but the medical malpractice lawsuit just settled. The birth injury that the lawsuit was addressing was the result of negligence on the part of the doctor who delivered the baby and his actions left the baby with cerebral palsy and with mental retardation. Cerebral palsy is something that may occur during birth if the baby is without oxygen for too long, and is the term used to describe the conditions suffered by this lack of oxygen and that result is physical or mental developmental problems.

During delivery, the doctor attempted to use a vacuum extractor to help to deliver the baby, and continued to attempt to use this method even after the method failed him multiple times. According to About Cerebral Palsy, even though the mother and the baby were in severe distress at the time of the delivery, the doctor did not intervene or try to reduce the permanent damage to the baby and instead kept trying something that had failed multiple times before. The baby appeared to have been developing with no problems prior to during the delivery and it is very likely that had the doctor performed a C-section when the complications presented themselves, the baby would not have been born with any serious permanent birth related injuries. While the doctor did eventually perform a C-section to deliver the baby, it was not until after multiple failed attempts with the vacuum extraction device.

Because the doctor ignored the signs, the mother and baby were in distress for too long and as a result the baby was born with and will permanently have serious brain and developmental damage as a result. Treatment for these lifelong birth injuries will be very expensive and that is part of the reason that the family was asking for the amount in the lawsuit. Additionally, the amount sought by the family and the amount determined in the settlement not only includes money for the medical bills, but also compensation for all that the young boy and the family has suffered through as a result of the doctor's negligence.

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August 25, 2011

Taking Diflucan During Pregnancy Linked To Birth Injuries

Our Illinois birth injury attorneys learned that the United States Food and Drug Administration recently issued a warning that the drug Diflucan has been linked to birth injuries in a number of cases where the mother was taking the drug while she was pregnant. Diflucan is a drug that is often used to treat yeast infections in patients and sometimes used to treats a certain type of meningitis in patients. The birth defects that have been associated with using Diflucan were found to be present, if at all, if taken during the first trimester of the pregnancy and included physical developmental issues, bone development issues, and heart problems. While the FDA did issue a warning against taking this drug during pregnancy, according to FDA’s website, if the drug was prescribed for a very serious condition that a doctor should be consulted to see if staying on the medicine or coming off the medicine will be best for the mother and baby. The reason that it is important to consult with a doctor is that there does not appear to be risk associated with a single low dose of the medicine, so a doctor may still recommend that a pregnant person take one small dosage if they deem it necessary for the mother for her and the baby’s overall health.

All doctors should be aware of the dangers of prescribing Diflucan, or other drugs that are linked to birth defects, to pregnant patients. If a doctor fails to realize that the drug being prescribed may be dangerous, or if the doctor fails to warn the pregnant mother of the dangers associated with taking the medication during pregnancy, that doctor may be held liable if the baby is born with a birth defect or a birth injury. Often times taking drugs known to be linked with birth defects affect the way in which the baby is developing during the pregnancy and may cause the baby to be born with severe developmental problems.

The reason that our birth injury attorneys want to remind all pregnant women of the importance of the doctor exercising the highest level of care with all patients is because this type of birth injury is completely preventable if the doctor does not act negligently. By either not prescribing certain medications to pregnant patients, or making sure that the patient is completely aware of the risk associated with taking a certain medication, the doctor can help eliminate this type of terrible tragedy.

If you or a loved one was prescribed a drug that has been associated with birth defects, and that drug was prescribed to you by your doctor and the doctor failed to warn you of the dangers associated with the drug, you may have a birth injury lawsuit against the doctor for their negligence. If at the time that the drug was taken, there was no published or known information regarding a connection between the drug and birth injuries, you may have a potential personal injury lawsuit against the manufacturer of the medication. In any case, if you were an expecting mother and were prescribed a drug that led to birth injuries to your baby, please contact our personal injury law firm today to discuss what possible options may be available to you and your family.

August 23, 2011

Birth Injury Lawsuit Against Midwife Settles for $730,000

A birth injury lawsuit was just settled before going to trial in favor of the family of a baby that suffered a severe brain injury during birth. Our Illinois birth injury attorneys found this case interesting because the lawsuit was against a midwife that helped delivery the baby, and alleged that the midwife acted negligently in delivering the baby causing the baby to suffer from permanent brain injuries. The baby was born over two and a half years ago at a wellness center that was founded by the midwife who was named as defendant in the lawsuit. The midwife involved had several complaints that had been filed against her and the complaints led to an investigation of her practice. The lawsuit, as well as the other complaints, alleged that the midwife was not handling her cases in a proper way and was not consulting with the appropriate doctors when it was medically necessary for the mother or the baby.

According to The Concord Monitor, in this specific birth injury case that just settled, the midwife failed to refer the pregnant mother to a doctor and failed to send her to a hospital after she showed multiple risk factors during her pregnancy, including an inability to detect the baby’s heartbeat. After the baby was born showing signs of more serious distress the midwife still failed to immediately send the mother and baby to a hospital. As a result of the midwife’s lack of adequate care during the pregnancy and her lack of adequate care in failing to direct the mother to the appropriate places to help with the issues that presented themselves during the pregnancy, the baby suffered from cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a brain injury that may result when there are complications at birth that are not appropriately addressed. This permanent injury to the baby will require a lifetime of care and the money to fund that care, as well as money to help the family deal with all the pain and suffering they have experienced as a result of the midwife’s negligence, were what the lawsuit was seeking. The total of the settlement was $730,000 dollars and about half of that amount will be placed in a trust fund for the young baby girl, which will be used to help her with her medical costs throughout her lifetime.

This is not the only birth injury lawsuit that has been filed against this particular midwife, and another case also settled recently, in connection with a birth injury that occurred a little over three years ago. In that personal injury case, a mother that had just given birth with the same midwife as the previous lawsuit suffered an infection shortly after she gave birth. The infection was not properly addressed or treated by the midwife, and the woman eventually had to have a hysterectomy because of the infection she suffered shortly after giving birth at the midwife’s wellness center.

Our Chicago personal injury law firm has helped out victims of birth injuries and their families try to recover some of what has been lost as a result of the negligence of a doctor, a nurse or a midwife. Our birth injury attorneys have worked with clients all over the state of Illinois and are here to talk to you about a birth injury that has affected you or a loved one and to discuss what options are available for you and your family.

August 21, 2011

Jury Awards $58 M to Family of Birth Injury Victim

Our Chicago birth injury attorneys were happy to hear that the family of a baby who suffered a birth injury has been awarded $58 million dollars in a birth injury lawsuit. The lawsuit was initially filed following the birth of the family’s only child, who was born back in early 2003 and suffered from cerebral palsy from what they allege to have been the doctor’s negligent choices in handling the pregnancy and the baby’s delivery.

The negligence initially occurred when the baby’s mother went in for her routine check up during her 39th week of pregnancy and the doctor realized that her amniotic fluid was half of what it should have been in a healthy pregnancy. The doctor did not induce labor and instead the mother went into labor on her own a couple days later and the baby was stuck in the breech position and had barely any signs of life once the doctor was finally able to deliver the baby. According to the Connecticut Law Tribune, the family’s birth injury attorneys argued to the jury that the doctor realizing the amniotic fluid levels were low and not choosing to induce labor immediately was his main error, and that in choosing not to do anything he acted extremely negligently. An expert at trial stated that the very low levels of amniotic fluid clearly indicated that the baby was in trouble and that the doctor should have acted immediately and not let the mother go into labor on her own.

Because the baby was not delivered when the problem was discovered and because the baby was breech and took several minutes to be delivered, the baby was barely breathing and developed cerebral palsy. Luckily the baby survived this ordeal but requires a lot of medical attention and treatment and will continue to require this level of care throughout his life. In terms of a diagnosis, cerebral palsy can cover many different types of brain injuries which may be caused by something going wrong during birth, and in this case likely happened because the baby was without oxygen for several minutes during the delivery. Since it is likely that the doctor not acting when he first realized that there was a problem with the baby caused the injury to be so severe and a permanent, the family filed the lawsuit against him. The case first went to trial three years ago and the jury could not agree on what the verdict should be, but after the retrial the jury decided to award the family $58 million dollars for all they have suffered through as a result of the doctor’s negligence. The amount of the verdict was intended to try to compensate the family not only for the medical costs associated with the birth injury, but also for all the emotional damage they have suffered.

If you or a loved one gave birth to a baby and feel that the doctor that delivered the baby acted negligently and their actions resulted in an injury to the baby, please call our personal injury law firm today. Our birth injury attorneys have helped clients all over the state of Illinois recover damages for the negligent actions of another, and are here to help you or your loved one get the justice that you deserve.

August 19, 2011

Newer Anti-Seizure Medications Found to Not be Linked to Birth Injury

Our Illinois birth injury attorneys have unfortunately seen many cases of birth injuries related to the taking of a drug by a mother during pregnancy, that her doctor either did not warn her could cause birth defects or that the company did not warn doctors could cause birth defects. Often times the birth injury that results from taking the drug while pregnant is one that would not have been present if the doctor responsible for the mother and unborn baby's health had not prescribed the drug to the pregnant mother. Two of the most common drugs that have been linked to a high frequency of birth injuries, if the mother is taking the drug during her pregnancy, are Depakote and Topamax, both of which are drugs designed to reduce the number of epileptic seizures for patients taking these drugs. While these drugs do work well for patients with epilepsy in helping to control their seizures, the drugs have been found in many cases be very dangerous to an unborn baby, and as many as one out of every five babies born while the mother was taking one of these anti-seizure medications were born with birth defects.

The birth defects associated with these anti-seizure drugs range from spina bifida (when the baby's spinal cord does not develop properly) to problems with limb development and problems with skull and brain development. Since these drugs have recently been linked to these birth defects many families who had babies while prescribed this medication have filed a birth injury lawsuit against both the manufacturing companies and the doctors who prescribed the drugs to the mothers.

Researchers have found that some of the newer anti-seizure drugs do not seem to cause birth defects in babies if the mother is taking them during pregnancy. According to About Lawsuits, the two newer anti-seizure drugs that were studied in connection with birth defects were Trileptal and Lamictal, and no connection was found between using these drugs during pregnancy and an increase in birth defects. The reason that this news is so important is that epileptic patients that are pregnant may now have a safe alternative that allows them to continue their medication to prevent seizures while also making sure that their baby does not suffer a birth injury while taking the medication.

These newer anti-seizure drugs not causing birth defects are also great news for pregnant epileptic women because the risk of not taking any anti-seizure medication during pregnancy is not only a danger to the mother but could be dangerous to the baby as well. The mother having a seizure during pregnancy could be dangerous to the baby's health and development as well as to the mother, so it would be best if there was an option for the mother to be able to take an anti-seizure medication that would also be safe to her unborn baby.

Most mothers would not have chosen to have taken one of the now known anti-seizure drugs that have been found to have a strong correlation to birth injuries had they known of the dangers. However, most mothers that were prescribed the drugs linked to birth injuries were unaware that there was any danger associated with the drug and trusted their doctors to not prescribe them something that would endanger their baby. Whether it was the doctor or the drug company's negligence that led to these avoidable birth injuries to all of these babies, the families are entitled to compensation for all that they have suffered as a result of another's negligence. If you or a loved one has given birth to a baby that suffered birth defects likely a result of an anti-seizure medication being prescribed during pregnancy, please do not hesitate to contact our personal injury law firm today to see what options are available to you.

August 17, 2011

Illinois Family Files Lawsuit Against Depakote Manufacturers

Our Chicago birth injury attorneys recently read about an injury lawsuit that was filed by an Illinois family in which the family alleges that the health problems that their twin babies were born with were a result of the mother being prescribed Depakote during pregnancy. This is a common drug given to patients to try to reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures, but has been linked to spina bifida birth defects when taken by pregnant patients. Spina bifida is a birth defect in which the baby's spinal cord is not fully formed and stays open and fused. Babies born with this type of birth injury often face a lifetime of disability and suffer through a lot pain throughout their life as a result of this birth injury.

The injury lawsuit was filed on behalf of both of the couple's twin daughters, since both babies were born with spina bifida allegedly caused by the taking of Depakote. The family filed the lawsuit naming the drug manufacturer as defendant for failure to warn the doctors or the patients of the dangers of taking the medication during pregnancy. The mother of the twin girls says that she would not have chosen to take the anti-seizure medication if she had known what the risks to her babies would have been and because there was no warning associated with the drug, she did take the medication and the twin girls suffered birth injuries as a result.

According to About Lawsuits, not only spina bifida has been linked to Depakote as a possible birth injury, but babies have also been born with other birth defects after the mother took this drug such as cleft palates, problems with skull development, problems with limb development, holes in the heart, urinary tract infections, and cognitive impairments. While spina bifida is often times most commonly with this drug, these other birth injuries have been linked to Depakote as well.

The manufacturers of Depakote have faced many injury lawsuits in recent years, and the FDA added a warning in 2006 that as many as 20% of women who were taking the drug while pregnant gave birth to a baby that had either spina bifida or the other birth defects that have been associated with Depakote. More recently researchers have discovered that Depakote can do serious damage early on in the pregnancy and that the first 28 days of the pregnancy are likely when the drug is most dangerous to the baby. Often times a woman may not know they are pregnant early on and because of this severe damage is often already done to the baby before the mother is able to stop using the drug. As a result of this problem, doctors need to be very cautious about prescribing Depakote to women who are trying to become or are in a position to become pregnant.

If you or a loved one gave birth to a baby with birth defects and was prescribed Depakote during your pregnancy without any warnings of the possible dangers to the baby, please contact our Illinois personal injury lawyers today to talk to a birth injury attorney about what the birth injury that has occurred and what options may be available to you or your family.

August 15, 2011

Hospital Settles Birth Injury Case for $1.5 Million Dollars

Our Illinois birth injury attorneys recently read about a settlement in a case where a baby was severely injured at a county hospital, and the county hospital agreed to pay $1.5 million dollars to settle the case. The birth injury lawsuit was brought by the mother of a baby that was severely and permanently injured during delivery. According to Record Net, the reason that the hospital is named as the defendant in the birth injury lawsuit is because the mother of the baby felt that it was the hospital’s negligence during the birthing process that led to the baby’s permanent and severe birth injuries. The medical malpractice lawsuit also notes that the injuries to the newborn baby will require lifetime medical care, and damages for this indefinite care were included in the request for damages as well.

Unfortunately, many babies are injured during childbirth as a result of negligence on the part of the hospital staff or because of procedures in place by the hospital. Whether it is caused by the hospital being overcrowded, the hospital being understaffed, the doctors or nurses not being prepared for anything that could happen, or the staff just making mistakes during delivery, these types of injuries happen far too often. Often times the pregnancy has no complications and the baby is perfectly fine and healthy until delivery, and then because of negligence on the part of the hospital or the doctor or nurse, the baby may suffer a birth injury.

Birth injuries often times occur when the baby stops getting oxygen during birth, whether it is caused by the umbilical cord wrapping around the baby or another complication that stops the oxygen flow to the baby. While oxygen derivation during birth is a terrible issue, if the doctor is aware of the problem or of what is causing the lack of oxygen, often times they can fix the issue quickly and the baby does not suffer any permanent damage. However, if a doctor fails to monitor the mother and baby properly they may miss a serious complication and the baby may be without oxygen for too long of a period of time and could have a serious injury such as cerebral palsy.

Birth injuries are often completely preventable with the right care and preparation. The baby should be closely monitored to make sure that all of the vital signs are good and that the baby is not in distress. If the baby is in distress and the doctor realizes it, often times the doctor is able to act quickly and deliver the baby and the baby will be okay and will not suffer any types of permanent damage.

If you recently gave birth and the baby suffered from a birth injury that occurred during childbirth, and you feel that the doctor or hospital was negligent and their actions caused the birth injury please call our personal injury law firm today. Our birth injury attorneys have helped out injured clients all over the state of Illinois and are here to talk to you about your possible case and the options available to you.

August 13, 2011

Cooling Caps May Help Brain Injuries at Birth

Unfortunately birth injuries are far more frequent than one might realize and often times occur because of negligence on the part of the doctor or the hospital and could be avoided if the proper care was taken. Our birth injury attorneys realize that many of the birth injuries that they see are a result not of the baby having complications during pregnancy but rather there being a problem during delivery. According to Todays THV, two out of every three babies that are born at full-term experience some degree of oxygen loss related to the umbilical cord cutting off their air supply or by another type of problem during the birthing process. If this happens and the problem that is causing the lack of oxygen is taken care of immediately, or if the doctor realizes that the baby in distress as they are delivering the baby and act accordingly, the doctor can hopefully fix the problem before any serious or permanent damage to the newborn baby occurs.

Birth injuries caused by a lack of oxygen to the baby during birth can end up causing serious damage if the baby is without oxygen for a long enough period of time. The lack of oxygen can cause severe brain damage and can seriously impair the baby’s developmental abilities and can even lead to death. Cerebral palsy is condition that babies sometimes develop at birth when they suffer from a lack of oxygen, and this condition often involves a great deal of developmental problems or delays that can last throughout the baby’s lifetime. However, while oxygen deprivation at birth may unfortunately be rather common, a serious injury can often be avoided if the birth doctor realizes the problem and acts immediately to restore oxygen to the baby.

One interesting way in which a birth injury due to a lack of oxygen can be helped is through the use of a “cooling cap” which can be used for babies that suffer from a temporary deprivation of oxygen to the entire brain at birth (as opposed to a lack of oxygen to a portion of the brain). This method requires that either the baby’s entire body or head is kept cool for at least 72 hours and then the baby is taken off of the ventilator and re-warmed. This process may help with damage caused from the temporary lack of oxygen to the entire brain and has been found to work on a number of babies that have suffered from this type of birth injury.

While there are certain things that can be done to try to reduce or protect against severe brain injury after birth, all of the methods require that the doctor is immediately aware that there is a problem and act quickly to try to limit the damage to the baby. If during the birthing process or immediately after the birthing process you feel that the doctor that delivered your baby did not act using the utmost care or in some way acted negligently, please contact our Illinois personal injury attorneys to discuss what options may be available for you and your family.

August 11, 2011

Report Finds Recent Rise in C-Section Births

Chicago birth injury attorneys from our office recently read an article in USA Today, that found that as of 2009, the number of C-sections had grown to 34 percent, up from 27 percent in 2002. A report has shown that there are various reasons for the increase in C-sections including that they are more convenient for both the mothers and the doctors since the time of the birth is planned, they are used for multiple births (which have also increased in recent years), they are often used when the mother has certain risk factors, and that more women have started to request them.

C-sections, which is the nickname that is often given to caesarean deliveries, are a method of delivering a baby in which an incision is made in the mother’s stomach and the baby is removed as opposed to the baby being born vaginally. C-sections are intended to be used when a vaginal delivery would put either mother or baby at risk to reduce the risk of birth injuries in a number of cases. However, many doctors caution that C-sections are only to be used when necessary to protect the mother or the baby, and that they are becoming too much of default procedure because doctors fear birth malpractice lawsuits.

The reason that a C-section may not be the best choice is that they have certain risks that can occur with them as well. The number one reason that doctors worry about performing C-sections for convenience is that they cut the full term of the pregnancy down, and it is very important for a baby to go to full term if there are no serious complications with the pregnancy. In the last month the baby’s lungs, brain and kidneys finish developing and therefore this is not something that short be cut short when it does not need to be.

Additionally, a C-section is a surgical procedure and carries with it the risk for infection, anesthesia errors, and other surgical errors. In order to reduce these risks, a mother should choose vaginal birth if they are low-risk for complications.

If you believe that your physician acted negligently in performing a C-section and these mistakes caused injury to your baby, please do not hesitate to contact our Illinois personal injury attorneys immediately to discuss what possible options are available to you and to your family.

August 9, 2011

Video Cameras Banned in Hospital Room During Delivery?

Our Chicago birth injury attorneys were interested to learn that some hospitals have started banning the use of video cameras in hospital delivery rooms. At this point in time the decision whether or not to allow video cameras in hospital delivery rooms is up to each individual hospital and there is no national standard in place dealing with the issue. Some hospitals that are banning video cameras in the delivery room say that the reason for not allowing the video cameras in the room is strictly to insure the safety of the mother and baby during delivery and to help protect the privacy of the delivery staff. Some of the hospitals that ban video cameras in the room during the birth do allow video cameras to be used shortly after birth when the medical staff gives the family permission to use the camera to the family.

While it is important to ensure the mother and baby’s safety first and foremost, and any videotaping that interferes with safety seems reasonable to restrict, many new parents are upset with these new policies and feel that the whole birthing experience is diminished by not being able to capture it on film. According to the New York Times, one doctor said that with all the current technology and ability to film he feels that the room becomes too overwhelming and that he is unable to fully focus on his job. While a doctor’s full focus and care is a very important part of the birthing process, it seems interesting that this is just starting to become an issue now when video cameras have been used in delivery rooms for many years.

Birth videos have recently started to be used as evidence in medical malpractice cases that have to do with birth injury lawsuits. Because birth videos were taken often times right when a medical mistake or problem occurs it is no surprise that many parents are using them as evidence when alleging that the doctor performing the birth was negligent or failed to give the proper care and attention necessary for the birth of the baby. While it makes since that the video cameras should maybe not be allowed in the room if they are distracting the doctor, it seems interesting that video cameras may not be allowed in order to protect a doctor from liability. All doctors should act with the utmost care and attention during each birth and should not be acting any differently if there is a video camera present.

While understanding every hospital’s decision and reasoning behind choosing to ban video cameras is not something that is completely clear, the most important thing to make sure is that the baby and the mother are given complete attention and the best possible care available, but also weighing the importance of being able to document the baby’s first moments for the families.

Whether it was on video or not, any doctor that acted negligently or irresponsibly during the birth of a child should be held accountable for their actions. If you believe that a negligent healthcare provider is responsible for your child's injury, please do no hesitate to contact our Illinois personal injury law firm today to discuss what type of actions and compensation may be available to you and your family.

August 7, 2011

Court Allows Family to Sue Doctor for Birth Injury

Our Illinois birth injury attorneys found it interesting that a Florida court decided to allow the family of a baby injured during childbirth to sue the doctor and the hospital personally, since the state has a statewide fund set up to compensate families for birth related injuries instead of allowing the injured party to sue the doctors and hospital. According to the American Medical Association, the baby was born nearly ten years ago after the mother was in a car accident, and the baby had no oxygen when it was first born but responded positively to resuscitation. The newborn suffered respiratory distress shortly after birth and was sent to an area of the hospital where she was to receive special care. However, while in this special care area, the baby suffered more health problems and at that point experienced a hemorrhage and actually stopped breathing again. During this time the baby girl suffered both permanent and severe brain injuries. The family believed the hospital staff were responsible, but because of the program implemented by the state, the family was not able to sue the doctor or the hospital individually until very recently.

The reason that the family was unable to sue the doctor and hospital initially is because the state has a statute that requires that any birth injury involving oxygen deprivation during the birthing process be compensated through a fund set up through the state for these types of injuries specifically. This means that the doctors and hospitals are protected and that the families of the injured babies cannot sue them personally for injuries that are caused by a lack of oxygen during child birth. This is not something that has been adopted by all states and in Illinois the family of a newborn who is injured during childbirth may sue the doctor responsible and the hospital responsible for the injury to the newborn. This is an example of how different states may handle personal injury lawsuits and the type of compensation available to the victims of certain types of personal injuries. The reason that this statute was created in this particular state was to try to help with a growing medical liability problem in the state and to try to make the medical world more stable. However, many victims are upset by this law because it often shields the person actually responsible for the injury from any type of liability.

The court in this lawsuit found that the family was able to sue the doctor and the hospital because the injury did not occur during the actual birthing process but rather in the days following the birth. Given the timing of the injury, the court held that the statute was intended to apply to birth related oxygen deprivation injuries only and therefore was not to be used in this particular instance, because the injury to the baby that resulted in the brain damage occurred days after the birth.

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August 5, 2011

Family of Baby that Suffered Birth Injury Receives Million Dollar Verdict

Our Illinois birth injury attorneys recently learned about a case where the parents of a baby that developed cerebral palsy as a result of the delivering doctor’s negligence sued the doctor and recovered over a million dollars in damages. According to a news release on Law Firm News Wire, the doctor failed to miss obvious signs that the baby was in distress and in turn failed to take the appropriate measures necessary to keep the baby from developing a serious birth injury. When the mother went in for a checkup the doctor noticed the baby had a low heart rate and suggested inducing labor. The doctor then chose not to deliver the baby by C-section, as was originally planned, and this is the point at which the baby lost oxygen and developed cerebral palsy as well as other injuries. The doctor claimed that she did not notice anything wrong with the baby and that is the reason she opted against the C-section. Evidence at trial showed that had the baby been delivered by a C-section that the baby may not have been born with cerebral palsy. The medical malpractice lawsuit was brought by the parents of the baby against the doctor responsible for the cerebral palsy birth injury, and the jury found for the parents and found that the doctor was in fact negligent in his care during the birth of the baby.

Cerebral palsy is a disorder that cause brain and nervous system functions to be impaired and can greatly affect a person’s ability to think, hear, learn, see and move. These types of injuries often occur while the baby is in the womb or within the first couple years of life, and unfortunately may occur during childbirth if the baby is not getting oxygen to their brain for too long a period of time. There is no cure for cerebral palsy but treatment is aimed to help the person with cerebral palsy have as independent of a life as possible, and may include physical therapy, special diets, communication tools, and surgeries where necessary.

Certain cases of cerebral palsy may occur within the womb and can usually be avoided by making sure that the mother and baby have the proper prenatal care, as infections in the mother can lead to cerebral palsy in the baby. All doctors that are treating pregnant mothers need to be very aware of the mother and baby’s health at all times during pregnancy to make sure that the baby does not end up with a disorder that could have been avoided. Also, cerebral palsy can occur, such as in this birth injury lawsuit, when the baby does not get enough oxygen during birth. A doctor helping with a birth needs to be carefully monitoring the baby at all times and make sure that if the baby is not getting oxygen that they are able to act fast to try to avoid complications. In cases such as this lawsuit, a doctor’s negligence in being unaware of the warning signs lead to an incurable birth injury and caused the family great distress.

Our Chicago personal injury attorneys have helped out families all over Illinois when their baby was injured during the birthing process by a doctor, nurse, or hospital staff member who acted negligently. If you or a loved one have experienced this type of hardship, please do not hesitate to call us today to discuss the options available to you and your family.

August 3, 2011

Family Receives $1.3 Million Dollars in Brachial Plexus Birth Injury Lawsuit

Our Chicago birth injury attorneys just read about a recent birth injury lawsuit that resulted in an award of $1.3 million dollars for a couple whose baby was injured during birth as a result of the baby’s shoulders getting stuck during the delivery process. The lawsuit alleged that the doctor that delivered the baby negligently failed to notice that the baby’s shoulders were stuck and the doctor then used too much force to get the baby out, which resulted in permanent shoulder injuries to the baby. According to About Lawsuits, at trial evidence was presented which showed that the baby, who is now almost five years old, has limited use of one of her arms as a result of the birth injury. The young girl also has to undergo physical therapy on a regular basis in order to make sure the shoulder injury does not get worse over time. The judgment included damages not only for the medical bills, but also for the young girl’s future lost earnings, the pain and suffering the family has experienced, and the loss of family consortium (which means the loss of the family relationship that would have be expected had it not been for the negligent acts of another person).

This type of injury is a common birth injury and is commonly referred to as a brachial plexus injury, shoulder dystocia or Erb’s palsy. The brachial plexus is a nerve bundle connecting a person’s spinal cord to their shoulder, arm, and hand. During child birth, when a baby’s shoulders are stuck in the wrong position, or against the mother’s pubic bone, the doctor needs to be very careful during delivery and very aware of what is happening with the baby at all times during the delivery so the doctor can adjust the position of the baby so as not to damage the nerves and permanently damage the baby’s shoulder functioning. If proper care is not taken and the doctor tries to pull too forcefully on the baby to get them out, the doctor may case severe damage to the baby’s brachial plexus nerves.

While physical therapy and occupational therapy can help with a brachial plexus injury, the best way to prevent these types of injuries is for a doctor to realize that the baby’s shoulder is stuck and try to adjust the baby’s position before the damage is done. According to the United Brachial Plexus Network, nearly all brachial plexus birth injuries are preventable as long as proper delivery techniques are used. Unfortunately, since doctors do not always take the proper precautions around 2-3 births out of every 1000 result in an injury to a baby’s brachial plexus nerves. Given that this many babies are injured in this manner during child birth and that it is such a preventable injury, it is crucial that all doctors helping out at birth are aware of this problem and are extremely careful during delivery.

If you or a loved one gave birth to a baby who suffered a brachial plexus injury during birth, and you believe that the doctor handling the birth failed to take the necessary precautions, please call our birth injury attorneys today. Our Chicago personal injury law firm has helped families all over Illinois receive the compensation that they deserve for what they have had to suffer through as a result of the birth doctor’s negligence that led to their baby suffering from a brachial plexus injury.

August 1, 2011

Still Birth Believed to Be Caused by Hospital Staff Missing Warning Signs

Our Chicago birth injury attorneys recently reard about a case in which a baby was still born and the mother filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the hospital, alleging that the hospital staff’s negligence contributed to the baby's death. According to Mercury News, an autopsy was done shortly after the baby passed away and the autopsy found that the baby died of an amniotic fluid infection, which alone does not automatically point to hospital staff negligence. However, shortly after the still birth the hospital fired multiple nurses and required several other nurses to undergo additional training suggesting that the hospital new that there had been at least some negligence on their part. Additionally, following the stillbirth the California Department of Health cited the hospital for failure to follow necessary procedures and stated in their report that the hospital staff’s actions did contribute to the baby dying.

Some of the findings of the Department of Health were that the only nurse present during the epidural was not trained to read the fetal heart monitor, that when the heart monitor was not detecting a heart rate the doctor was not notified immediately, and that no other measures were taken to detect a heart rate when the monitor was not finding one. This evidence suggests that had the hospital properly monitored the mother and baby that they would have seen that the baby was in distress because of the infection and hopefully been able to save the baby.

The hospital responded to these findings by the Department of Health by claiming that they would implement measures to make sure that this type of terrible incident does not happen again, but also blamed the nurses for failing to follow the rules the hospital already had in place. Many of the nurses involved in the firings claim that the hospital fired people that were not even involved in order to show the state that they were reacting to what had happened. While it is important that any hospital where something like this happens to make changes, it is crucial that the changes are ones that will actually make sure that this will never happen again and not just fire people to make it look like they are taking action.

Unfortunately, many birth injuries are the result of hospital staff negligence and failure to take the appropriate measures that are required during birth. These procedures are in place to hopefully help quickly detect and fix any problem that could come up during child birth before it becomes a dangerous problem. There is a growing concern that when hospitals become overcrowded that patients may not always receive the care and attention necessary by the hospital staff because of how busy they are. However, terrible incidents such as this serve as a reminder to how important taking the time and following procedure is with each and every patient.

If you or a loved one have given birth and feel that the hospital did not take the necessary and proper precautions to insure that the baby was delivered safely, please contact our birth injury attorneys right away. Our Chicago based law firm has helped out clients all over Illinois with their birth injury lawsuits, and we have helped them receive compensation for all they have suffered through as a result of someone else’s negligent or careless actions.