Articles Posted in Birth Injury Treatment

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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.

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The birth of your baby is one of the happiest days of your life. That day could be tarnished if the baby suffers an injury at birth. When a birth injury occurs it is possible that the doctor, nurse, or hospital is to blame. Babies that suffer significant birth injuries may have ongoing medical and developmental problems for a period of months or years. Still others may never fully recover and will require ongoing care for the rest of their lives. Some of the most common serious birth injuries include:

· Brachial Plexus Injuries
· Perinatal Asphyxia
· Brain Hemorrhage
· Spinal Cord Injuries
· Cerebral Palsy

Babies born in United States hospitals are evaluated utilizing the Apgar system.
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The birth of a child is supposed to be a happy event. While in most cases, the birth goes well, sometimes an injury occurs. An injury to the infant can be very difficult for the family and painful for the newborn. One of the most common injuries that can happen during vaginal birth is shoulder dystocia. Shoulder dystocia is an injury that happens when the baby’s shoulders become lodged in the mother during birth. The newborn’s head is delivered; however, the baby gets stuck. This may result in birth injuries to the child. In many cases, the injury could have been prevented and if so, the doctor may have acted in a negligent manner.

Shoulder Dystocia

Shoulder dystocia can cause a prolonged or delayed birth. In situations where the birth is delayed, the child could be deprived of oxygen. If there is a lack of oxygen, brain damage may occur. An attempt by the doctor to assist the birth by using forceps or a vacuum will increase the possibility of nerve injuries to the shoulder which could be severe. For these reasons, doctors need to be aware of the potential for a problem and prepare accordingly.

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Every parent prays for a physically and mentally healthy baby, but for a variety of reasons, infants are often born with disabilities. While it is undeniable that these children are just as precious as their healthy counterparts, managing a child with severe disabilities can prove emotionally, physically and financially challenging for a family. For this reason, many expectant parents want to know about any obvious abnormalities as early as possible in the pregnancy. Regardless of any decisions made by parents upon finding out, knowledge of the situation allows for proper planning and informed choices.

What is a Wrongful Life
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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 Continue reading

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Jaundice is a common condition among newborn babies. It develops when an infant has abnormally high levels of bilirubin present inside of the blood. This substance is created by the body during the process of replacing red blood cells. Normally, the liver works to break down and remove bilirubin from the body. When that is not happening, the bilirubin causes the baby’s skin and eyes to take on a yellowish tinge, which is jaundice. According to the National Institute of Health, jaundice can have serious health consequences if not treated adequately and quickly.

Most cases of mild jaundice are harmless, clearing up on its own within two to four days after birth. However, according to the NIH, any level of jaundice merits strict and regular monitoring as soon as possible. This is accomplished through a skin assessment or a blood test of bilirubin levels. If the testing process show that levels are increasing, instead of decreasing, treatment of the condition should begin while the infant is still in the hospital. The baby should feed often to promote frequent bowel movements. The body can remove excessive bilirubin through the stools.

Treatment of Jaundice

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The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a federal lawsuit against the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, according to a recent article in The New York Times. The suit, which was brought on behalf of a Michigan woman, alleges that the woman received inadequate medical attention from a Michigan Catholic hospital when she sought care 18 weeks into her pregnancy. In suing the bishops rather than the hospital, the ACLU is targeting the bishops’ medical directives and the impact they have on pregnant female patients in Catholic hospitals.

The ACLU’s lawsuit could have important implications for birth injury lawyers and victims of medical negligence during childbirth. If successful, it could pave the way for more actions of its kind.

The Facts

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It’s no secret that childbirth is one of the most painful experiences of a person’s life. With all of the advances in modern medicine, controlling pain seems to still be problematic. A highly popular pain management technique during childbirth is the epidural. For many women, receiving an epidural a given. However, slight mistakes on the part of doctors and nurses can cause severe injuries to mom and baby. What roles do healthcare providers play in these injuries?

What is an epidural?

An epidural is a method of pain relief during labor made from a mixture of local aesthetics and often narcotics or opioids. Further, the epidural often includes medication to prolong the effects of the drugs and stabilize the mother’s blood pressure. The goal of the epidural is to temporarily deaden the nerves in the uterus and cervix that carry pain signals to the brain during childbirth. This provides pain relief but does not provide a total lack of feeling. There are two common types of epidurals, the regular epidural and the combined spinal-epidural. These are administered in the same way.

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If you need a reminder of the incredible work that many community members engage in on a daily basis, you need look no further than medical research striving to improve the lives of injured children. For example, one of the leading areas of medical research these days is aimed at children with cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is actually a term for a range of injuries affected the brain and development. Most children with CP have some physical manifestations of the injury while other also have cognitive challenges.

There is no “cure” for cerebral palsy, but experts continue to hone in on better therapy and other treatments to minimize some of the adverse consequences.

Recently, news has come in quickly about many different on-going research projects aimed at different aspects of the ailment. Upon reading about these projects, it is easy to get the feeling that we are on the cusp of some truly groundbreaking discoveries and advances in the area which may greatly improve the lives of children with cerebral palsy and their families.

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The Pilot Online recently shared a wonderful story about a high school student who is thriving even after being born with Erb’s Palsy. Her story is a testament to the power of perseverance, a positive outlook, and access to necessary medical care and support for those dealing with a birth injury.

As injury attorneys in Chicago, we have worked with many families over the years whose children developed permanent injuries during childbirth. Naturally, family members minds immediately drift into thoughts about limitations and the list of things that their child may never be able to do. But at these times it is most important to consider the opposite, the possibilities. There are examples throughout Chicago, Illinois, and the rest of the country of children with any manner of special conditions or challenges who lead extraordinary lives, impacting everyone around them.

The young woman profiled in the Pilot Online story, Kara Jones, graduated from high school this spring. An athlete, Kara played on the school’s girl’s soccer team. A team captain for three years, she even scored a game winning overtime goal in a local playoff match this season. Excelling in the classroom as well, Kara graduated as salutatorian of her class. She is attending college in the Fall and is hoping to enter the medical field.