It doesn’t take much following of birth injury news before one gets a pretty clear idea of certain trends. Unfortunately, time and again the same or similar circumstances are at the root of most preventable injuries during childbirth. Often a child shows some signs of fetal distress, those signs are missed or not acted upon quickly, and the child is born following prolonged oxygen deprivation. The oxygen deprivation often leads to permanent brain injuries, such as cerebral palsy. This is perhaps the most common occurrence seen by our Chicago birth injury lawyers, leading to Illinois medical malpractice lawsuits.
Of course, many other birth injuries occur as well. For example, This Is Plymouth News reported this week on the death of an infant caused by a misplaced oxygen tube. The child was two-months old at the time of his passing. An investigation into the situation was recently concluded by public officials, and the group determined that medical errors were the main cause of the death.
The child had a problematic birth and development from the start. The birth itself took place at a specialty hospital, because doctors discovered earlier that some of the child’s organs were growing outside of his body. Just a few days after his birth he underwent a successful operation to correct the problem. The surgery went well. In fact, his condition continued to improve and his medical situation was eventually upgraded to stable instead of life-threatening. About two months after his birth he was transferred to a different hospital. He was on a ventilator, but doctors expected him to recover.
At the new hospital the neonatal intensive care unit was charged with giving the child close attention. However, in the middle of the child’s very first night at the facility, a problem developed. The child’s breathing tube became dislodged, moving from his windpipe into his esophagus. The medical team tried to correct the problem, but they did not use appropriate measures to make sure that the tube was properly put into place. The tube was eventually removed. A specialist was called, but by the time he arrived the damage was too severe. The lack of oxygen had caused permanent brain damage to the child. The boy died shortly after.
According to the article the lead investigator in this case explained that “individually competent people failed collectively in this critical situation.” Our Illinois medical malpractice lawyers appreciate this statement as a good explanation for what happens in many of these situations. Most medical professionals are incredibly competent, hard-working individuals who do their best to help those in need of their services each and every day. However, even competent individuals can make mistakes. The chance of those errors are even higher when the mistake is a “collective” mistake-one that involves several members of a medical team failing to act together in a way which would have provided the best care and have prevented the harm that befell the patient. Filing a lawsuit or simply seeking basic recourse in these circumstances is not a condemnation of the overall competency of each individual involved. Instead it is a basic legal assessment about the rights of an individual victim in an individual case to seek compensation for the losses sustained as a result of unreasonable care in a particular instance.
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