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Joliet birth injury lawyer

When you see headlines about babies weighing 10, 12, or even 14 pounds at birth, you might wonder how common this really is and whether such large babies are at a greater risk for some type of birth injury

An estimated 7 percent of babies born in the US weigh more than 8 pounds, 13 ounces at birth, qualifying them for the medical term macrosomia, which means “large for its age.” Just 1 percent of all babies weigh in at 9 ½ pounds or more, the weight at which obstetrical best practices suggest a baby should be delivered by cesarean section. 

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Tinley Park birth injury lawyer hypoxiaOxygen deprivation (hypoxia) during the labor and delivery process is a common cause of birth injuries. When an infant’s brain and other organs are deprived of oxygen, the child can end up with permanent brain damage and conditions such as cerebral palsy, a disorder characterized by muscle weakness, spasticity, and lack of coordination. In some cases, the damage may be so severe that the child will require costly, life-long care.

Oxygen Deprivation May Be Attributed to Medical Malpractice

Birth injuries due to hypoxia are often preventable. Labor and delivery staff are expected to closely monitor the baby’s heart rate and take swift action if there are signs that the baby’s health is in danger. If labor and delivery professionals are negligent and fail to meet the medical standard of care, causing significant injury and damages to a baby, they can be sued for medical malpractice.

Birth Injury Claims Are More Complicated Than Adult Injury Claims

When a child suffers oxygen deprivation during birth, the full extent of the damages may not be evident for years. This raises two important legal questions:

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Tinley Park birth injury lawyer maternal deathYou may be shocked to learn that the number of U.S. women who died while giving birth has risen over the past 15 years, from 700 deaths in 2000 to 1,063 in 2015. Over the same 15-year period, the U.S. maternal mortality ratio rose from 17.5 to 26.4 deaths per 100,000 live births. Of course, not all of those deaths are attributable to medical malpractice. But these statistics do raise questions. Why has the maternal mortality ratio in the U.S. gone up? Why are maternal death rates are so much higher in some states than others? Are some of these deaths preventable?

California, for example, has a maternal death ratio of just 4.5, while Illinois has a reported ratio of 14.7. An Illinois study published in 2014 suggested that roughly one-third of maternal deaths in Illinois could have been prevented. 

Preventable Maternal Deaths During Childbirth

Some birth injuries leading to maternal death are blamed on poverty, lack of access to health care services, and untreated chronic conditions such as obesity, smoking, substance abuse, diabetes, cardiovascular issues, and mental health disorders.

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Tinley Park birth injury lawyer oxygen deprivationOxygen deprivation during the birth process is a common cause of brain damage in newborns. While some cases of oxygen deprivation are unforeseeable, invisible, and unpreventable, other cases can be attributed to medical malpractice. It is crucial that hospitals and birthing centers respond quickly to provide treatment if there is any indication that a baby is suffering or has suffered oxygen deprivation during birth.

Brain Damage Due to Oxygen Deprivation in Cook County 

One of the most common causes of brain-related birth injuries is delayed delivery of the baby. A baby that stays in the birth canal too long can suffer permanent brain damage due to lack of blood flow and oxygen. Oxygen deprivation can also result from umbilical cord problems or other complications during birth. The technical term for oxygen deprivation at or near the time of birth is birth asphyxia

As a result of oxygen deprivation during birth, two to three out of every 1,000 babies born in the US are diagnosed with a condition known as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). Breaking down this term: hypoxic = lack of oxygen, ischemic = restricting blood flow, and encephalopathy = affecting the brain. Children with HIE can have cognitive impairments as well as deficits in motor skills.

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