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Illinois Medical Malpractice Blog

Do you believe your OB ignored the dangers of pitocin?

By the time you reached the end of your pregnancy, you were probably ready for the delivery to take place. You may not have been sleeping well, and walking may have been a feat in and of itself. When you went to see your doctor, the suggestion of inducing labor came up, and you probably (at least somewhat) enthusiastically agreed.

When the big day finally arrived, you settled into your hospital bed and someone came in to set you up with an IV full of Pitocin. Your obstetrician told you that this drug, which is a synthetic form of the hormone oxytocin, will help your labor along. Now all you had to do was wait for the drug to do its job. Right?

Was your baby's hyperbilirubinemia undiagnosed?

Most everyone knows that when a baby has jaundice his or her eyes, tissues and skin turn a yellowish color, but that is often the extent of their knowledge on the subject. The yellow color comes from a substance called bilirubin that results from the breakdown of red blood cells in the body.

Jaundice actually alludes to a potentially dangerous condition called hyperbilirubinemia, which is characterized by the buildup of bilirubin in a baby's tissues and blood. Everyone produces bilirubin and the liver is responsible for excreting it, but some babies' bodies are unable to get rid of it.

Was your C-section too late to prevent injuries to your baby?

Like flying, in which the most dangerous times are during takeoff and landing, labor and delivery is often the most dangerous time for an expectant mother and her unborn child. The nine months leading up to the birth are often complication free, but as you approach your delivery date and once you begin contractions, very real dangers to you and your unborn child may arise.

The doctors and nurses around you during this time owe you a duty to monitor you and your baby's conditions. If signs of danger manifest themselves, you may need a Cesarean section in order to increase the chances of both you and your baby going home happy and healthy. Unfortunately, doctors and nurses sometimes ignore warning signs or make some other costly mistake. The longer you go without a C-section, the greater the risks that you and/or your baby could suffer irreversible and permanent injury.

Did vacuum extraction or forceps delivery harm your baby?

After learning of your pregnancy, you may have felt a variety of emotions. They likely ranged from overjoyed to anxious as having a baby can be both an exciting and nerve-wracking experience. While you likely did all that you could during the months leading up to your child's birth to ensure his or her health, you may still have had worries about the delivery itself.

Unfortunately, birth injuries do happen. The reasons behind these injuries may vary, but in some instances, negligence on the part of the doctor or other medical staff could easily result in your baby suffering trauma. If your baby suffered serious injuries at the time of birth, you may wonder whether tools used during delivery may have contributed to or directly caused the injuries.

How a uterine rupture can tear your life apart

As an expectant mother, you already have a lot on your mind. Preparing for the arrival of your bundle of joy is exciting, to be sure, but it can also be stressful and exhausting, which is only one of the reasons you rely on your health care provider to keep both you and your littlest family member safe and healthy. OB-GYNs are specially trained to recognize and treat complications that arise during pregnancy, labor and delivery, so you trust them for all issues medical-related.

What happens, though, when that trust is misplaced? What happens when dangerous complications arise, but the doctor or nurse is too careless to notice or fails to take appropriate measures to address the issue? Sadly, in these types of situations, such as the rare but frequently life-threatening case of a uterine rupture, the life of both you and your child are at stake. So what, exactly, is a uterine rupture, and just how large of a threat does it pose to you and your baby?

Don't get pushed into unnecessary labor and delivery procedures

Having a baby, for many women, is one of the most joyous experiences of a lifetime. Unfortunately, thanks to the state of the U.S. health care system, it may be one of the most dangerous occasions as well, for both you and your newborn. In fact, terrifyingly, compared to several other leading nations, babies in the United States are over two times as likely to die before they reach the age of one!

Perhaps equally upsetting, America is behind almost every other country in the world when it comes to preventing maternal death from pregnancy and childbirth, with a mortality rate that is rising as opposed to dropping. How is this even possible, and is there anything that expectant mothers can do to protect themselves and their children?

Preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome: dangers of misdiagnosis

A serious birth injury can affect both mothers and children alike. Preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome are two of the deadlier disorders of pregnancy and birth. Unfortunately, a medical care system that focuses more on the well-being of the infant can overlook serious symptoms of the mother.

Preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome kill approximately 70 women in the United States every year. The illness, when appropriately diagnosed, is highly treatable. But if a physician allows the disorder to go unchecked, families may need to find solutions for the damages that can be fatal to both mother and child. In Chicago, this may mean consulting with an attorney.

Hypoxia: What it means for the health and well being of your baby

When medical personnel make mistakes during the process of delivering a baby, innocent babies and their mothers can suffer greatly. It is frightening and overwhelming for Illinois parents to learn that their newborn suffered an injury during the birth process. In many cases, these injuries lead to permanent defects, resulting in a life of complex medical needs and challenges.

One of the issues that occurs often during birth is hypoxia. Hypoxia, or intrauterine hypoxia, is the deprivation of oxygen for the fetus. This can happen before the actual delivery, during the birth process or immediately after. If your child suffered from hypoxia during his or her birth, it could be the result of medical negligence or mistake.

The alarming link between birth injury and developmental delays

While exciting and joyous, childbirth can also be a dangerous time, both for mother and baby. Unfortunately for concerned parents, there are any number of things that can go wrong, leading to complications and health problems immediately or even months or years down the road.

Perhaps the worst, though, is when these injuries to tiny, fragile newborns are preventable through proper care and medical precautions, but occur anyway due to mistakes or negligence on the part of careless medical professionals. Injuries at birth can result in developmental delays that affect the child's growth and brain development. How do these tragic injuries occur, and is there anything you can do?

A missed diagnosis: U.S. maternal mortality rate is unacceptable

As an expectant mother, when you discover that you are pregnant, your focus is likely on the health of your child. You want your child to be healthy and hope for minimal childbirth complications. 

In the past decade, however, the focus on infant well-being has drawn attention away from maternal health. The story of neonatal intensive care nurse Lauren Bloomstein was recently featured in an in-depth analysis of maternal mortality rates in the United States. While most of the developed world is experiencing a decline in maternal mortality, maternal mortality rates in the U.S. continue to rise at an unacceptable rate.

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