Articles Posted in Birth Injury Trial

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The birth of a child should be a happy experience for parents. Unfortunately, that was not the case for the mother of a baby who was injured at birth. The mother has filed a lawsuit in Cook County on behalf of her daughter, who suffered serious birth injuries. The lawsuit alleges negligence and states that insufficient measures were taken to prevent injuries. The suit is seeking damages of more than $50,000 and is filed against two doctors and medical facilities.

Birth Injuries

The number of birth injuries in the United States has dropped considerably over the last 100 years. Hospitals and medical technology have improved through the years and this has helped reduce the number of infant deaths and birth injuries. However, there are still some infants who suffer birth injuries. An injury at birth is one that is caused by a mistake the doctor makes or by other negligent actions of the doctor or medical team. There are a number of different injuries that can be caused at birth.
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The birth of a child should be one of the most joyful days in the life of a parent. Yet for some parents, the joy turns tragic when the baby suffers a serious injury during birth. There are a number of different types of injuries that may occur due to the negligence of the doctor, nurse, or other medical professionals attending to labor and delivery. Of the injuries that could happen, spinal cord injuries are among the most severe. A spinal cord injury could cause a permanent disability and the child may require lifelong care.

Spinal Cord Injuries

A spinal cord injury can happen during the birth process. A breech or transverse position is likely the most common reason that a spinal cord injury may occur. Traction on the baby’s trunk or twisting the trunk can put stress on the spinal cord and can injure it. The doctor must try to manually manipulate the baby’s position which can cause injuries. The best way to avoid these types of injuries is to properly evaluate the baby’s position prior to labor and delivery.
A spinal cord injury can range in severity depending on the circumstances of occurrence. A minor pull or stretch injury may heal over time and the symptoms may not be painful. If the spinal cord is severely pulled or twisted it could cause paralysis. Varying degrees of injury could allow movement but the limb may be painful or may have reduced feeling or a tingling sensation. These problems may or may not improve.
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The birth of a baby should be a happy day for parents. However, for one family, the joy of birth quickly turned to despair when their newborn infant died just minutes after she was born. The infant’s mother filed a lawsuit in Cook County alleging the doctor and hospital failure to provide proper obstetrical care. According to the lawsuit, the medical team did not take steps necessary to ensure a safe birth and therefore, the baby died. The lawsuit seeks damages of more than the jurisdictional limits and is requesting a trial by jury.

Proper Procedures Not Followed

The newborn death rate in the United States is lower than in many other countries, however, there are still mistakes that may occur during labor or delivery. Hospitals should follow the proper procedures during labor to reduce the risk of complications during birth. One of the procedures that was not followed in this case, according to court documents, was monitoring of the baby’s heartbeat through ultrasound. The baby apparently experienced some trauma which would have been quickly detected through monitoring. The baby should have been delivered immediately, possibly through cesarean section.

Medical Negligence
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A couple has filed a lawsuit in Cook County alleging the doctors and hospital are guilty of malpractice in the treatment of their infant son. The woman gave birth to a premature baby at Advocate Christ Hospital and Medical Center as well as two doctors. The lawsuit alleges that the doctors failed to diagnose and treat a neonatal infection. The infection then spread to the baby’s blood and nervous systems causing irreversible brain damage as well as damage to other vital organs. The lawsuit seeks damages to cover medical expenses as well as compensation for loss of a normal life.

Premature Birth Complications
Premature birth is defined as a birth that occurs more than three weeks before the scheduled due date. Babies who are born early are more likely to suffer from a variety of premature birth complications. Some of the most common problems include breathing and lung problems, heart problems, problems with the brain, issues with the ability to control their temperatures, and gastrointestinal problems. These and other problems may be short or long term. Not all preemie babies have issues. Those infants with higher birth weights and those born closest to their due dates are less likely to have serious conditions. Since premature babies are at a high risk, doctors must take special care in diagnosing and treating complications.
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A recent ruling by a Wisconsin Appeals Court means that a $900,000 birth injury award will stand. As reported by the Wisconsin Bar, the defendant physician appealed on the grounds that expert testimony presented at trial should have been excluded. The appeals court did not agree.

The underlying case stems from a delivery where the newborn received extensive nerve damage, which left her left arm permanently impaired. The parents filed a negligence lawsuit against the OBGYN and called another physician to give expert testimony during trial. The witness doctor gave the following testimony:
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Home births are becoming increasingly popular among expecting parents. Opting for a less sterile atmosphere than a hospital, these parents work with midwives throughout the pregnancy and then deliver the baby inside of their home. Unfortunately, the lack of available emergency services can make these procedures unreasonably dangerous. If the responsible midwife did not act with acceptable standards of care, she may be held criminally liable by the state. But the family is also left to deal with the emotional, physical and financial consequences. With the assistance of an experienced attorney, you can hold the midwife financially responsible for her actions.

A FOX News affiliate is reporting about a North Carolina midwife who was recently charged with several offenses stemming from a failed home birth. The charges reportedly included obstruction of justice, obtaining property by false pretenses, assault inflicting serious bodily injury and the murder of an unborn child. According to the report, the delivery was allegedly mishandled, resulting in a stillborn delivery.
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Across the United States on May 10th children young and old celebrate the women who gave them life on Mother’s Day. This tradition sometimes consists of a heart-warming greeting card, a brunch served in bed, or a bouquet of flowers to show mom a small token of appreciation for her years of dedication. But it is important to keep this spirit alive throughout the year. It is worth remembering that their trials as parents began long before your memory.

Even in this day and age in the U.S. not all childbirths are perfectly safe. The risk of medical error even in our country occurs at a higher rate than should be acceptable. In fact, obstetrician gynecologists are commonly sued for their failure to safely deliver newborns. The challenge presented to an OBGYN is to care for the well being of two human beings at once; this can certainly be a daunting task. Recently, one of the nation’s largest insurance companies set out to discover where the errors in obstetrics were commonly occurring.

The Study
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A Georgia jury recently awarded a couple more than $4 million in damages over the death of their infant son during a premature birthing injury. With only a short deliberation of 2 ½ hours, the jurors concluded that the medical staff failed to provide adequate treatment and did not act in a reasonable manner to prevent the mother from going into premature labor, which they determined to cause the death of the infant.

According to court papers, the mother entered the hospital for an evaluation after experiencing discharge. An ultrasound additionally revealed that her cervix was abnormally shortened. The parents claimed that, after her admission, the medical staff failed to properly monitor and treat the situation. As a result, the mother went into early labor at around 23 weeks of gestation. According to reports, it was revealed at trial that the expectant mother had a history of miscarriages, as well as a surgical history that led to the shortened cervix. The plaintiffs argued that this information should have alerted the doctor to the need for a heightened sense of urgency and monitoring.

A Cerclage Procedure

Part of the plaintiff’s complaint centered on a medical procedure that could possibly prevent the premature labor. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), premature births affected one in every nine U.S. births in 2012. It is defined as birth prior to 37 weeks of gestation. The potential harm of preterm birth is significant due to the cycle of development that occurs in the womb. When infants are born prematurely, they may suffer from a variety of health problems, including:

***Impaired hearing of sight
***Difficulty breathing
***Delayed developmental milestones
***Feeding difficulties
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Water births are a type of birthing process where the mother delivers the newborn in a pool or tub of warm water. The infant is delivered under the water, which supporters assert is less traumatic than a traditional delivery environment. Though the concept is relatively new in modern American society, gaining popularity in the 1980s, women have reportedly engaged in water births for hundreds of years. In Japan, women delivered in the sea, while expectant mothers in Finland gave birth inside of saunas.

Supporters argue that it is a natural method of birth, with minimal risk for healthy mothers. The warm water reportedly eases the pain and discomfort of delivery, decreasing the need for medication and anesthesia. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) states that water births are useful for pain management during the first stages of birth. However, the organization warns about the risks involved in completing the actual delivery under water.

The Birth Injury Lawsuit
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In the delivery room, soon-to-be mothers and fathers expect a high level of care and professionalism from their treating physician and hospital staff. Injuries and death can result when that standard is not met, leaving families with a lifetime of mental, emotional and financial challenges. With the assistance of the courts and an experienced attorney, negligent doctors and hospitals may be found liable and held responsible for their actions. That was the outcome of a recent case where a jury ruled that a negligent hospital should compensate a child and his mother.
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