The Chicago cerebral palsy attorneys at our firm work with local families whose children have developed CP as a result of the misconduct of medical professionals during their birth. We know that local families file Illinois cerebral palsy lawsuits to ensure that their child will have access to the resources they need for proper care throughout their life as well as to hold the negligent medical professionals accountable for their conduct.
Those same motivations seem to lie at the heart of a new cerebral palsy lawsuit filed by a family on behalf of their soon-to-be three year old daughter. According to the report on the case in the San Luis Obispo Tribune, the case against one of the involved doctors is in the middle of its third week of trial. The trial is expected to continue for several more weeks before being given to the jury. Considering the many different details in these cases and the complexity of the medical issues, these trials often last a significant length of time.
This particular medical malpractice suit hinges on an issue that is common in these cases-the failure of the doctor to act in a timely fashion to expedite the birth. Cerebral palsy is usually caused by oxygen deprivation to the child’s brain during delivery. In normal births, there is never a break in oxygen reaching the brain. However, for a wide range of reasons, a fetus can be in distress and have blood flow restricted to the brain. If that occurs it is of the utmost importance for the medical team to get the baby out of the mother’s womb as soon as possible to provide treatment and restore proper blood flow before permanent damage is done. When the doctor fails to act quickly and damage results, it may be medical malpractice.
In this case, the family is arguing that the defendant doctor should have taken emergency steps to birth the baby when he arrived in the delivery room at roughly 5:30 in the morning during the birth. Various tools were available to make the birth happen quicker, such as use of a vacuum extraction device or forceps. In addition, there are times when it is appropriate to make an incision in the vaginal opening to spur the birth. In the most extreme cases, an emergency C-section could also have been performed to get the baby out quickly.
No expediting procedures were used here, however. The doctor originally planned to deliver the baby at 6:13am. However, the child ultimately was not born until 20 minutes later. A few minutes before her birth the girl’s heart rate dropped to dangerously low levels. The family’s medical malpractice lawyer argued that this heart rate drop should have spurred the doctor to act quickly to get the baby out. Yet, no emergency tools were used. This all delayed the ultimate birth and led to the child suffering the severe brain injury.
For his part, the doctor denies all responsibility. He claims that there were not indicators that the birth needed to be expedited.
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