Birth Injury Lawyer

When doctors and the attending medical team behave negligently, it can have consequences that last throughout the child’s lifetime. While a baby’s birth is supposed to be a time full of joy and happiness, roughly 28,000 births every year result in a serious birth injury. That’s more than 2,300 children per month that can face a lifetime of struggle for what happens in the moments before they enter this world.

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    Chicago Fractured Bones Lawyer

    Clavicle, or collarbone fractures are the most common infant fracture that can occur during labor and delivery. It frequently occurs when there is a breech delivery or there is difficulty delivering the baby’s shoulders. Although there is rarely a noticeable deformity, a clavicle fracture is usually evidenced by lack of movement of the arm on the side of the body with the fracture or pain when the newborn is picked up or carried.

    The Chicago area birth injuries attorneys at Ankin Law Offices can help you determine whether your child’s bone fractures were the result of medical malpractice.

    Tests such as bone tomography, magnetic resonance imaging scans and x-rays may be used to confirm a diagnosis of infant fracture. A clavicle fracture is usually treated by immobilizing the arm for a few weeks and allowing the injury to heal. There is a risk that during the healing process, however, that when new bone forms, a firm lump will develop on the clavicle.

    Another fracture that can occur during labor and delivery, but is much less common, is a femur (thigh bone) fracture. This type of fracture typically occurs when the leg is twisted during delivery. A femur fracture is usually evidenced by pain when a child is moved or has his or her diaper changed. If a newborn suffers from a femur fracture, he or she will use a Pavlik harness for a few weeks to allow the bone to heal.

    If your child suffered a fractured bone during the birthing process, you may have a claim for medical malpractice. Contact Ankin Law Offices today and one of our experienced personal injury attorneys will help you determine your legal rights and remedies.

    Vacuum Extraction Lawyer in Illinois

    When labor and delivery becomes stalled, a doctor may advise the use of medical tools, such as forceps or vacuum extraction, to assist with the delivery. There are 2 types of vacuum extraction used today – the soft cup method and the metal cup method. Although soft cup vacuum extraction has a greater risk of becoming detached during the procedure, it is gentler on the baby and mother. Conversely, metal cup vacuum extraction rarely becomes detached from the newborn but it carries a greater risk of injury to the newborn. If your child has been injured as a result of a vacuum extraction delivery, the Chicago area birth injury attorneys at Ankin Law Offices can help determine whether medical malpractice was the cause.

    Because a newborn’s scalp is soft and the bones not yet fully fused, the newborn’s head highly susceptible to bruising and disfigurement if the pressure and suction of the vacuum is not properly administered and monitored. Moreover, incorrect insertion of the vacuum can also injure the mother.

    Both methods of vacuum extraction methods carry a risk of a subgaleal hemorrhage, in which there is bleeding between the newborn’s scalp and skull. This type of hemorrhage can result in a swelling of the newborn’s head that must be treated immediately or the condition can result in anemia, seizures, shock or death.

    Vacuum extractions also carry a risk of retinal birth injuries in which the newborn’s eyes have red rings or small amounts of blood. Retinal birth injuries may clear up quickly without treatment but, in some cases, the child may suffer lasting vision problems as a result.

    If you or your child has been injured as a result of vacuum extraction, you may wish to consult a Chicago medical malpractice attorney. Ankin Law Offices has years of experience helping clients to pursue their medical malpractice claims and recover for their medical expenses and pain and suffering.

    Illinois Forceps Injuries Attorneys

    Despite every parent’s expectations, sometimes childbirth does not go as expected. Frequently, labor and delivery can become stalled and the use of medical tools may become necessary to remove the child from the birth canal. There are two main techniques that medical professionals use to assist with the final stages of delivery: (1) forceps and (2) vacuum extraction.

    Both techniques involve gently pulling the newborn through the birth canal. Because a baby’s skull is extremely soft and the skull bones have not yet fused together completely, babies are susceptible to bruising and disfigurement when forceps or vacuum extraction are used to assist with delivery. If your baby has been injured as a result of a forceps-assisted delivery, the Chicago area birth injury attorneys at Ankin Law Offices can help you determine whether medical malpractice was the cause of these injuries.

    Forceps are a pair of curved metal tongs that grasp the baby’s head on each side and allow the doctor to gently pull the baby through the birth canal. Bruising and abrasions are the most frequent injury that a newborn can suffer as a result of the use of forceps. Fortunately, the bruises and abrasions usually fade over the first few days and weeks of the newborn’s life, but in severe cases, the marks may not disappear and they may become a permanent disfigurement. In addition, if too much pressure is placed on the sides of the skull when the forceps are used, indentations can appear on the baby’s head.

    Before labor and delivery, a doctor should explain to the mother the circumstances under which a delivery assistance technique, such as forceps or vacuum extraction, might be necessary. If the use of forceps or vacuum extraction becomes necessary, the doctor must use the utmost care to ensure that there are no birth injuries as a result of the assistance technique. If your child has suffered a birth injury as a result of a delivery assistance technique, you should promptly consult a medical malpractice attorney. The Chicago area attorneys at Ankin Law Offices are highly skilled personal injury attorneys with extensive experience handling a variety of medical malpractice claims involving birth injuries such as forceps and vacuum extraction injuries, cerebral palsy and bone fractures.

    Illinois Facial Paralysis Lawyers

    Every parent hopes for a healthy child without birthing complications. Unfortunately, sometimes problems during labor and delivery arise and a baby is born with a birth injury. For instance, in some cases, the pressure placed on a newborn’s facial nerve during labor and delivery can cause facial paralysis in the infant. Although the cause of the paralysis is usually unknown, it can be caused by a prolonged difficult delivery or the use of forceps during delivery. In some cases, medical malpractice and negligence can cause facial paralysis. The Chicago area birth injuries attorneys at Ankin Law Offices can help you determine whether your child’s facial paralysis was the result of medical malpractice.

    A newborn experiencing facial paralysis usually displays muscle weakness around his or her lips when he or she cries, but facial paralysis may also be evidenced by an eyelid that does not close, uneven lower facial structure or mouth movements when crying, or in severe cases, no movement at all on the affected side of the face.

    In most cases, facial paralysis will resolve itself on its own but in some cases, physical therapy may be needed. In any event, a newborn with facial paralysis should be closely monitored.

    If your child has suffered facial paralysis that you believe may be the result of medical malpractice, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney.

    Ankin Law Offices has extensive knowledge of Illinois personal injury law, including medical malpractice claims, and we have experience handling matters involving a wide range of birth injuries, such as facial paralysis, cerebral palsy and bone fractures. If you or your child has suffered from facial paralysis, contact our office today to discuss your legal rights and remedies.

    Illinois Cerebral Palsy Lawyers

    Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that can affect sensation, muscle control, head control, walking, muscle tone, coordination, balance and cognitive functioning. Cerebral palsy is typically the result of a brain injury suffered during childbirth.

    Cerebral palsy may be caused by mistakes made during the baby’s delivery and birth, such as misuse of forceps or vacuum extraction. Although it is not a genetic disorder or disease and is not easily predicted, many of the causes of cerebral palsy are preventable with proper medical care. Unfortunately, mistakes made by negligent doctors, nurses or other medical professionals can affect a family for life. The Chicago area cerebral palsy attorneys at Ankin Law Offices can help you determine whether negligence was the cause of your child’s injuries.

    Decreased oxygen or blood flow to the baby’s brain prior to birth can also cause brain injury. Because brain injuries during delivery are rare, it is usually the result of medical negligence.

    Some of the possible causes of cerebral palsy include:

    • Failure to adequately monitor the mother or infant before, during and after childbirth
    • Failure to take prompt action when signs of fetal distress are present
    • Inattentive medical personnel
    • Failure to properly administer Pitocin
    • Failure to perform a timely c-section when necessary


    Symptoms of cerebral palsy include poor motor skills, balance problems, poor coordination, seizures and hypertonic or hypotonic muscle control. If your child displays some or all of these symptoms, you should consult a medical professional to obtain a diagnosis.

    You may also wish to consult with an experienced Chicago area medical malpractice attorney regarding your child’s cerebral palsy. Ankin Law Offices specializes in handling medical malpractice matters, including those causing birth injuries such as cerebral palsy. We work with medical professionals to review pertinent medical records including ultrasounds, fetal heart rate monitoring tapes, fetal PH scalp sampling and prenatal and delivery room records to determine whether the child’s cerebral palsy could have been prevented.

    Brain Injuries

    The most serious types of injuries are trauma to the brain and the spinal cord. These are often the result of oxygen deprivation while they pass through the birth canal. When the baby’s brain is deprived of the oxygen it needs to survive, it can respond in a variety of ways. First, the body may flood the brain with blood attempting to give it the oxygen it needs. This can cause severe hemorrhaging. The body’s organ systems may also begin to shut down. When either of these occur, it can lead to the development of cerebral palsy.

    Cerebral palsy causes severe movement and coordination problems, lack of muscle development, and difficulty breathing. These problems severely diminish an individual’s quality of life, and often result in a shortened lifespan. Indeed, most individuals with cerebral palsy pass away before they reach their 70th birthday. It’s estimated that up to 800,000 Americans live with cerebral palsy as a result of injuries they sustained at birth.

    Infections

    A newborn’s immune system is far from developed at birth. Improper sterilization techniques, or handling of the child during birth can expose them to viruses and bacteria. When these contagions take hold, they can cause serious infections including meningitis, strep. These infections negatively impact the electrical signals sent throughout the nervous system.

    Bacteria and viruses may enter the newborn’s body via punctures in the skin or from contact with fluids encountered within the deliver room. For this reason, physicians and nurses are required to follow strict testing and sterilization procedures to ensure that a minimum risk of contact is present during the delivery process.

    Physical Injuries

    A child’s arms or legs may also be injured during birth. When the upper arm is injured, it can cause Brachial Plexus, Klumpke’s Palsy or Erb’s Palsy. These conditions are caused by damaging the nerves in the arms and can lead to muscle weakness, and in some cases, total loss of the ability to move the arm. These conditions may also cause considerable pain in the form of burning sensations that can strike without warning.

    Fractured bones may also occur during delivery. The clavicle is the most commonly fractured bone and is often caused when a physician pulls too strongly on the infant as it passes through the birth canal.

    If the nerves in the face are damaged during delivery, it may lead to permanent facial paralysis. Often, this type of paralysis affects only one side of the face. This can significantly impact a child’s appearance and quality of life as they grow older.

    Causes of Birth Injuries

    Birth injuries may be caused by the use of tools during the delivery. A common and dangerous tool used by obstetricians are vacuum extractors. These are frequently utilized during difficult labor in order to speed up the deliver process. Improper application of the suction cups to the baby’s head can easily cause skull fractures. If too much suction is used, it can severely damage nerves and create paralysis.

    Forceps are another tool commonly responsible for inflicting birth injuries. Used to pull the child through the birth canal or from the c-section opening, the forceps can fracture bones and rip muscles. They may also damage nerves and cause long-term pain and suffering for the child.

    Planning for Care

    Planning for long-term care is one of the greatest challenges new parents face in the wake of a birth injury. The long-term care costs associated with the injury can vary significantly, and it is important for these parents to meet with a Chicago medical malpractice attorney to better understand the lifelong cost of care that will be required.

    These costs include frequent testing and monitoring, appointments with specialists, medical supplies, assisted living aids, or even renovation of the home environment. The annual cost of these can reach into the millions of dollars over the course of a lifetime. For this reason, it is crucial to take these into consideration so that parent’s won’t be left shouldering the cost of care down the road. In addition to the costs associated with care, it may also be possible to seek damages for the resulting impact that the birth injury will have on the child’s quality of life, shortened lifespan, and other issues they may face as the condition evolves and changes throughout their lifetime.

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