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New State Review Finds Birth Injury Deaths Are Often Preventable

A new study reported on late this week by the Journal Democrat has found troubling new information which reveals that nearly 20% of deadly birth injuries could have been prevented in the area. The statistic was produced following the review of a study conducted by the state’s Child Death Review Team. The body examined death records of 551 deaths that occurred in 2007 and 2008. The medical professionals on the review panel found that nearly 165 of those deaths were preventable.

Overall, the review found that nearly one-third of all deaths of children of all ages are related to birth injuries and complications. Premature birth was the leading cause of death among this group. Premature births can occur in many contexts, from separation of the placenta from the wall of the uterus (placental abruption) and infections of the placental tissue to a weakening of the cervix. Birth injuries were also a significant cause of death according to the survey. The most common include chromosome abnormalities, neural tube defects, and heart defects.

The medical professionals involved in the review found that a wide range of factors can prevent these deaths. For example, neural tube defects can almost always be prevented if the mother takes folic acid sufficiently. Also, medical professionals must be sure to act appropriately during complex births, as failure to take reasonable medical action often results in deadly injuries that could have been prevented. As the chair of the review team explained, “the education of parents and the involvement of communities and health care providers can make a big difference in reducing the number of preventable deaths.”

The team suggests that pregnant women, their health providers, and the community at large should engage in a comprehensive prevention program to ensure safer deliveries. That includes analysis of the signs and symptoms of preterm labor. Our Illinois birth injury lawyers fully support better integration of inclusive communication between pregnant women and their doctors. In many cases, if patients and doctors had better communication regarding potential problems and symptoms, then more mistakes are caught ahead of time, before they develop into serious injury.

Sadly, in some situations there is nothing that the expecting mother can do to prevent the harm. For example, in the middle of childbirth, it is obviously appropriate for the family to rely on the professional advice of their medical professional on major decisions-such as whether or not a C-section need be performed. When the family’s reliance on the medical professional is misplaced, resulting in harm, then the justice system allows the family to receive compensation for that harm. If you or your family is in this situation, please get in touch with our Chicago injury lawyers to share your story and see how we can help. We have decades of experience helping families in this situation. You can learn about the law in this area by visiting our office for a free consultation. We work on a contingency basis with all families, so that you do not have to pay anything to have our professional assistance guiding your case to a timely, fair resolution.

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