Articles Posted in Birth Injury Treatment

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 ›

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

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

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.

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.

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.

There is still no “cure” for the many forms of cerebral palsy. While stem cell therapies offer hope that one day damaged parts of the body which create cerebral palsy can actually be re-grown properly, scientists are still in the early stages of understanding this option. In fact, some scientists are warning against buying into some scams where the unscrupulous convince families to pay tens of thousands of dollars for stem cell “therapies” that may serve no purpose. There is no still no guaranteed right or wrong answers for families when deciding what treatment options to consider. But at the very least it is important to receive advice from trusted, experienced medical professionals.

Also, recognition that some options, like stem cell therapies, are still in their early stages, does not mean that families are without recourse to help their loved one who has cerebral palsy recover. In fact, research is now coming in regarding the long-term benefit of certain surgical methods which offer hope for all those battling CP.

Surgical Benefits Hold Up

We often explain how birth injury lawsuits are critical to ensuring those affected have access to as many resources as necessary for the rest of their lives to recover as much as possible from the injury. For example, when it comes to cerebral palsy, those who are able to purchase specialized equipment, have close nursing care (if necessary), and access of extensive rehabilitation services have far better outcomes than those that do not.

However, it is also important to reiterate that many birth injuries, including cerebral palsy, have no actual cure. Most advancement has to do with better dealing with the consequences or adapting to them. Actually curing the underlying injury is not possible.

For now.

Cerebral palsy is perhaps the most recognized birth injury. There are many different types of this harm that usually affects children during the birthing process itself. Most Illinois community members are affected by cerebral palsy at some point, perhaps with their own child developing it or with friends or family members whose child has cerebral palsy.

The widespread awareness of the condition comes with one benefit: a growing number of residents are working hard to ensure that children with cerebral palsy are accommodated whenever possible so that they do not miss out on any aspect of childhood or community living in general. Combined with advances in the design and manufacture of technologies and tools to help account for challenges, those with cerebral palsy have a good a chance as ever before to live full lives with minimal adaptations as a result of physical or cognitive impairments.

None of this is to say that the injury is sometimes not debilitating. But it is important to recognize the progress that has been made in recent decades to bring all community members into the fold, including those who suffer birth injuries like CP.

It is encouraging that so many professionals are working on all aspects of understanding and treating medical conditions like cerebral palsy. For a variety of reasons, children continue to be born in our area and throughout the country who suffer from cerebral palsy with various consequences on the rest of their lives. Until we get that number down to zero, it is incumbent upon all of us to do what we can to make the lives of those affected as full as possible.

As Chicago birth injury lawyers, our firm is intimately aware of the serious challenges facing families after a youngster is born with cerebral palsy. Because the term refers to a range of injuries, the consequences for those harmed vary considerably. Some show only mild symptoms, often with movement. However, others face serious challenges, without the ability to walk, talk, or process information clearly. Those with more far-reaching harm are those who need more support, therapy, and access to equipment to help in their development. Cerebral palsy lawsuits often focus on providing the resources for that extra support when the injury itself was caused by mistakes made during a birth.

Research Improving Lives for Those with Cerebral Palsy

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