Birth injuries including cerebral palsy, paralysis, bone fractures and others have the potential to cause lifelong disabilities. Physicians have a duty of care to their patients and their unborn children to protect them from these injuries. When an injury occurs, a birth injury lawyer in Chicago can help recover compensation that can help offset the costs of correcting the injury, and for the long-term care and treatment of the child when the injury results in permanent disability.
Causes of Birth Injuries in Illinois
There are many causes of birth injuries in Illinois. These can include the size of the baby, the position of the baby within the womb, the mother’s health, and whether the baby was born prematurely. Other causes can include the obstetrician’s lack of training, the improper use of medical equipment, or malfunctioning equipment.
Common Types of Birth Injuries
Brachial palsy can occur when nerves within the arms and hands are injured during birth. This often occurs when the baby’s shoulders are pinched within the birth canal. If the nerve is torn, it can result in permanent nerve damage and loss of limb function. This type of common birth injury occurs in up to 3 per 1,000 live births each year.
Cerebral palsy can occur during premature birth and when the fetus doesn’t receive enough blood, oxygen, or nutrients during the delivery process. This brain injury is permanent and affects approximately 10,000 children in the United States each year.
Fractures are common during delivery. The clavicle is the most commonly broken bone. It can be broken when the physician uses too much force, forceps, or a vacuum to remove the fetus from the womb during delivery.
Caput succedaneum can occur when the baby passes through the birth canal. This often results in bruising and swelling and is most common with vacuum extractions.
Subconjunctival hemorrhaging can occur when blood vessels within the eye rupture during delivery. In most cases, this injury resolves itself within the first few weeks after birth.
Prompt Recognition and Treatment is Vital
Prompt recognition and treatment of a birth injury is vital. It can significantly influence the long-term prognosis of the child’s health. Properly identified and treated, many birth injuries can be corrected and their long-term effects minimized. However, even with prompt identification and the application of the appropriate treatment regimen, it can be a long, and difficult journey.