Birth Injury Attorneys in Chicago
We Help Victims of Birth Injuries Throughout Illinois
Birth injuries devastate families. Months after the birth of a child, symptoms from a birth injury can appear, leaving parents struggling to understand what happened. Parents soon realize that something is wrong, and may suspect that a medical error during childbirth led to their child's condition. The symptoms may suggest a variety of ailments, and even with the help of medical professionals, a child may initially be misdiagnosed. Even worse, the details of any malpractice due to a mistake on the part of the medical team could be hidden. All too often, parents are left trying to understand the cause of perplexing and persistent symptoms in their child.
Many birth injuries are permanent and require additional care far beyond what families are capable of providing. About 28,000 birth injuries occur each year in the United States, and while advanced medical care has proven helpful in reducing the rate of injuries in recent decades, these injuries have not been eliminated entirely. For those families faced with their child's lifelong and debilitating impairment, the years ahead may be extremely difficult. The medical costs can leave a family ruined financially, and the emotional anguish and stress may make the situation even more difficult.
Whether a child has cerebral palsy, nerve or bone injuries from the use of forceps, is in a coma, or has brain damage due to a birth injury, families facing a medical and financial crisis often need legal advice and assistance. We at Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC want to help you if your child is living with a birth injury due to a medical error. If your family, or someone you know, is dealing with this issue, contact our medical malpractice lawyers in Chicago at (800) 996-4824 for a free consultation.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an average of 1 in 323 children in the United States has cerebral palsy (CP). The symptoms for each victim of CP will vary, ranging from partial mobility to complete immobility, as well as the cognitive effects of brain damage that may occur before, during, or after birth. The medical attendants sometimes make errors that can damage an infant's brain or the brain of a young child, and CP may be the result from those mistakes. If you are concerned that medical mistakes may have caused CP in your child, you will need help from a dedicated birth injury attorney.
Bone, Brain, and Nerve Injuries
Many children suffer bone, brain, or nerve injuries due to medical mistakes made during or after birth. Doctors and other medical staff members may make errors in dispensing medications, giving blood transfusions, or by failing to take the proper steps during childbirth; misdiagnosis of a condition can result in a birth injury, with permanent damage to a child. If any medical professional attending the birth failed to apply the accepted standard of care, medical malpractice may have occurred. Our birth injury lawyers can assist you, and research the facts of your case to determine if a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit should be filed.
Spinal Cord Injuries
There are many important nerves in the spinal cord, and if they are injured, even slightly, permanent neurological issues and paralysis can occur. Injuries to the spinal cord and cranial nerve are the most severe birth injuries, and they are often caused by the improper use of forceps. Signs of spinal cord injury are usually noticeable shortly after they occur.
Perinatal asphyxiation can prevent a baby from receiving an adequate amount of oxygen for a short time, either during or after birth. The longer the child goes without oxygen, the more serious the neurological damage will be. This lack of oxygen can also cause extensive damage to other organs and tissues that depend on oxygen to properly function. When doctors do not monitor the vital signs of a newborn properly, the possibility of perinatal asphyxiation significantly increases.
When bleeding occurs inside of a patient's skull, the patient is said to be suffering from intracranial hemorrhaging. If the brain is injured during childbirth, blood will pool inside the skull, and if the bleeding is not stopped immediately, death and permanent disability can occur. The longer the blood remains inside the skull, the more pressure will build and lower oxygen levels. Intracranial hemorrhages also cause nerves and brain cells to die, lowering the child's level of mental and physical functioning in the future.
Injuries to the Brachial Plexus
Brachial plexus injuries (BPIs) occur when nerves in the upper spine are injured during delivery. These nerves can cause mild to severe, long-lasting injuries, and in roughly 10 % of cases, the child will be permanently disabled. Neuropraxia, which is a mild form of BPI, occurs when the nerves are stretched, and neuroma, the more severe form, occurs when a nerve is torn. The most severe type of BPI, avulsion, usually results in total paralysis. Avulsion occurs when all of the nerves are torn from the upper spine.
Brachial palsy results from injuries to the brachial plexus. Consisting of a group of nerves in the hands and arms, the brachial plexus is a structure that can easily be injured if physicians have difficulty delivering a newborn's shoulder. Most infants recover from this condition within a few months, but if severe nerve damage has occurred, the arm may be permanently damaged.
Cephalohematoma is a condition that causes bleeding below the cranial bones. It commonly results in a raised bump on the head of a newborn, but over time, the body usually reabsorbs the blood within a few months. If the condition is severe, the newborn's red blood cells can deteriorate and cause a condition known as jaundice.
When an immense amount of pressure is placed on the face during delivery, facial nerves can be permanently damaged, resulting in paralysis. Newborns with this condition usually have difficulty closing the eye and moving the face, and for most infants, the condition will improve in a month or less. Forceps often cause this injury, and if a nerve is completely torn, the newborn may need extensive surgery.
Cuts and Bruises Left by Forceps
When babies are born, they often exhibit bruises on the face, body, and head as a result of delivery. These bruises usually disappear on their own and pose little to no health risk; however, if the bruises are deep, more than likely, a medical professional has improperly used forceps to remove the child from the birth canal. If the child was delivered using a vacuum, extensive bruising, and even cuts can occur on the child's delicate skin. These bruises and cuts are usually not life-threatening, but surgical procedures may be needed to repair deep cuts and lacerations.
Contact Our Birth Injury Attorneys in Chicago
Speak with our Chicago personal injury attorrneys about your case – we are here to help you seek justice. Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC can be reached at (800) 996-4824.
- Birth Injury Blogs
- Don’t be Afraid to ask the Right Questions when Pregnant
- History of Forceps During Childbirth
- Birth Injury - Merck Manual
- Childbirth Problems - MedlinePlus
- What Are Some Common Complications During Labor and Delivery?