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The birth of a child should be a joyful time for families. While most babies are born without complication, sometimes medical negligence causes injuries or even the death of a newborn. Lawyers at Levin & Perconti are representing the family of a baby that was stillborn. The family claims that the doctors were negligent by failing to diagnose a serious medical emergency in a timely manner. This resulted in the baby being stillborn. A lawsuit was filed in Cook County against several doctors and medical facilities.

Understanding Stillbirth

Stillbirth is the death and delivery of a baby who has died. A stillbirth differs from a miscarriage in that a miscarriage is the loss of a fetus which is less than 20 weeks into the pregnancy while a stillbirth is the death of an unborn baby who is beyond the 20th week of pregnancy.  About 1 of every 200 pregnancies results in a stillbirth. A stillbirth is usually caused by a problem or a trauma. Most couples can go on to have a healthy child in the future.

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Medical mistakes are never easy to deal with, but when they involve a newborn baby the situation is devastating. Parents are full of joy, expecting to bring home a beautiful new perfect infant. When a mistake at birth causes an injury, the parent’s joy quickly turns to misery. In one recent case, a baby and mother both suffered injuries due to alleged negligent care during labor and delivery. The mother filed a lawsuit in Cook County seeking damages against the doctors, hospital, and healthcare association involved in the error.

Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy

The mother states in the lawsuit that both she and her newborn daughter sustained injuries during childbirth. The baby suffered from hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, HIE, a serious and potentially long-term injury. HIE is a brain injury that occurs when there is reduced blood flow to the baby’s brain. It is estimated that approximately 40 – 60% of infants born with HIE will die before the age of 2. Others may be left with severe disabilities. HIE happens to about 1 to 2 infants out of every 1,000 live births, not including underdeveloped countries.

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One of the most devastating things that can happen to a parent is to learn that their newborn baby was injured during labor or delivery. According to the CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, birth injuries happen to about 1 to 2 infants out of every 1,000 live births in the United States. There are many reasons why an injury may happen. One of the most common reasons is the use of devices to assist in the birth such as forceps and vacuum units.

Birth Injuries Caused by Forceps

Forceps are used to assist with difficult deliveries. The doctor may need to help pull the infant, which may be done with the help of forceps. When used properly, forceps are usually safe. However, they can cause injuries to the baby, especially if excess force is used. Some of the most common birth injuries which could be caused by forceps include:

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It is not only infants that can be injured during the birth process. Mothers can also experience injuries, some of which may be very serious. In some cases the mother may die. Injuries are often preventable and could be caused by mistakes made by the doctor or medical team. When labor or delivery becomes difficult the risks to both the infant and the mother increase.

Injuries during Childbirth

There are a number of different injuries that may occur to mothers while they are giving birth. Potential injuries include:

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The birth of a child is usually a happy experience and parents are overjoyed to bring home their newborn bundle. But when a birth injury occurs, the joy turns to sorrow when the child is hurt. Birth injuries can be serious and may even cause lifelong disabilities. According to the CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, birth injuries occur to approximately 6 to 8 of every 1,000 live births in the U.S. Birth injuries are usually preventable and may be caused by the negligence of the doctor or medical team before, during, or after delivery.

Causes of Birth Injuries

Birth injuries occur because of problems with labor or delivery. Most birth injuries fall into one of several main categories including mechanical stress to the body, lack of oxygen, and utilization of medications. Injuries may range from minor problems that will heal quickly to serious and lifelong medical issues that require long term care.

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Most babies are born in the United States without any injuries or complications. However, there are a number of infants who are not so lucky. In a small number of cases, infants are injured during birth. Some of these injuries may be minor and the infant will make a full recovery, but a portion of infants will sustain long-term or permanent harm. One of the common types of problems that can occur to an infant during delivery is an injury caused by an assisted birth. Vacuum extraction is often used by doctors to assist with difficult deliveries.

How the Vacuum Extractor Works

It is necessary to understand how vacuum extraction works to gain insight into the types of injuries that it can cause. The vacuum extractor uses suction to assist in pulling the baby out during difficult deliveries. According to the FDA, there can be risks in using a vacuum extractor, especially when used incorrectly. The baby cannot be less than 34 weeks gestation and the baby should not be too large for the mother’s pelvis. The mother must be fully dilated and the baby has to be in the correct position. If any of these problems exist, there is a higher likelihood of injury to the baby.
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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 baby is one of the happiest events in the lives of parents. Yet for some, the emotions turn from joy to despair if a baby suffers an injury during birth. Birth injuries occur infrequently but they still happen from time to time. Those that are most at risk for injuries at birth are those where undiagnosed pregnancy complications exist. Complications include a variety of issues and any one of them may increase the chances that a baby will suffer an injury during labor or birth.

Serious Complications
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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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Most babies are born without any complications, however, a small percentage of newborns have medical issues that may have been caused at birth. An injury to the brachial plexus can cause a condition called Erb’s palsy. Babies who suffer from this injury could have lifelong disabilities.

Brachial Plexus

The brachial plexus is a group of nerves located near the shoulder. It basically ties the physical function of the body to the spinal cord and brain and is located on both sides of the body. It can be injured when force is used to assist in the birth of the baby. The doctor may use forceps, a vacuum, or his hands to pull a baby who is stuck. When the neck and shoulders are stretched, damage to the brachial plexus may occur.

Erb’s Palsy

Erb’s palsy is also known by other names such as Erb-duchenne palsy, shoulder dystocia or radial nerve palsy. These are all forms of damage to the brachial plexus nerves. The muscles of the arm on one side of the body are not able to move properly, causing the arm to droop. Some people may have tingling in the hand or arm. In some cases, the entire arm, including the hand and fingers, are affected, while sometimes only a slight reduction in movement is noted.
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