Articles Posted in Cerebral Palsy

It is no secret that thousands of American patients die or are permanently and seriously injured by medical providers. More than 250,000 Americans die in hospitals every year due to medical errors. That staggering number makes deaths in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and long-term care centers the third most common cause of death in the United States. The number of Americans who die because of the negligent errors made by medical providers is higher than those who die because of respiratory disease, accidents, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.

According to the study by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the causes of the deaths are not isolated to one common medical practice area.

The Johns Hopkins research involves a comprehensive analysis of four large studies. According to a report a year ago by the Washington Post, the Johns Hopkins report took into account studies from the U.S. Health and Human Services Department’s Office of the Inspector General and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality between 2000 to 2008. The calculation of 251,000 deaths in a year amounts to nearly 700 deaths a day — about 9.5 percent of all deaths annually in the United States.
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In June 1991, Amanda Eckstein was born at Good Samaritan Hospital and delivered by defendant and obstetrician, Martin Gallo, M.D. In the plaintiff’s complaint, it was alleged that Dr. Gallo should have ordered a Cesarean section rather than a vaginal delivery with forceps. Ms. Eckstein alleged that there was evidence of her fetal distress on the fetal monitor strips, which should have prompted Dr. Gallo to order the C-section.

However, with the vaginal delivery, Amanda’s shoulder was hung up and caused shoulder dystocia, which lasted for approximately 5 minutes. Shoulder dystocia occurs in the delivery room when a child’s head is delivered, but the shoulder gets caught on the mother’s pelvis. Amanda was born without a heart rate and no respiratory rate for more than 5 minutes.

It was contended by Amanda that she had been without oxygen and suffered a permanent brachial plexus injury/Erb’s palsy to her left shoulder because of the doctor’s negligence. Erb’s palsy is nerve damage or resulting weakness to the baby’s upper group of the arm’s nerves.

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A hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit is the triumph of modern medicine’s investment in technology, pharmacy and know-how, says Dr. Rahul K. Parikh, a pediatrician in Walnut Creek, Calif. Dr. Parikh wrote an essay published in a recent edition of the New York Times.

Dr. Parikh points out that babies born somewhere between 23 and 26 weeks of gestation, or what’s called the limit of viability, are placed in the NICU. In the 1960s, when the first NICUs opened, premature infants had a 95 percent chance of dying. Today, they have a 95 percent chance of survival.

Now we face a difficult choice, Dr. Parikh says, one not unlike that facing physicians who take care of adults near the end of their life: whom to fight for and whom to let go. The decision says volumes about how we have come to regard the tiniest, frailest of patients.

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The use of medications to induce labor has become increasingly common over the last 50 years. Pitocin is one of the most well-known medications given to mothers to try and speed labor along. However, this drug does not come without its risks, which can include uterine rupture, more intense contractions, and fetal stress.

The Cook County birth injury lawsuit of Louis Montes, a minor, et al. v. West Suburban Hospital Medical Center, Inc., 05 L 14157, involves the use of Pitocin during a 2005 delivery. The baby’s mother was given Pitocin in order to promote labor. However, she was given too much of the drug, which led to a hyperstimulated uterus and to fetal distress.

A review of the fetal heart tracings taken during this period clearly demonstrate that the baby was in distress. However, the West Suburban Medical Center nurses failed to alert the obstetrician of the baby’s fetal distress. Because he was not aware of the problem, the doctor did not order a timely c-section to avoid injury to the baby.

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Decisions made during labor and delivery can change your life forever. For example, your baby’s heart rate may drop during labor, which is often a sign of distress. The way your doctor and nurses respond to this sign directly impacts the final result. If they respond right away and everything goes smoothly then chances are you will leave the delivery room with a healthy baby. But if the medical team does not respond and fails to appreciate the gravity of the situation, then you might have a drastically different outcome.

Unfortunately, Illinois birth injury attorneys only hear about the second outcome, when things do not go well and some form of Illinois medical malpractice occurs during labor and delivery. And because of the nature of these cases, birth injury lawsuits are oftentimes the most heartbreaking of any type of medical malpractice.

Consider a recent Illinois birth injury case against a nurse midwife, a sponsoring obstetrician, and a Chicago-area hospital that was recently settled with the now 13 year-old boy’s family. The boy sustained a brain injury as a result of hypoxia (low noxygen levels) at birth which resulted in cerebral palsy.

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A recent Illinois medical malpractice lawsuit involving a Chicago boy’s brain injury demonstrates the importance of timely medical care and treatment in order to avoid disastrous outcomes. In this case several treaters and physicians failed to recognize the baby boy’s signs and symptoms of severe dehydration, which caused the boy to develop cerebral palsy.

Ten days after the Chicago boy’s delivery his parents brought him to his pediatrician for a follow-up exam. The pediatrician was practicing at the Chicago Family Health Center, a federally funded community health clinic. At the time of the baby’s visit his body weight was noted to have dropped by 23% from his birth weight.

At that visit the pediatrician also detected a heart murmur on exam, so referred the baby to a pediatric cardiologist. This appointment was made for a month later and the boy and his parents were sent home.

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