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.
In this Chicago birth injury case, the plaintiff alleged that the nurse midwife should have performed intrauterine resuscitation just prior to the baby’s birth due to the drop in the fetal heart rate. This is a relatively simple procedure, which involves positioning the pregnant mother on her side while administering oxygen and intravenous fluids.
However, it was not done in this case. Instead the nurse midwife elicited the aid of a back-up obstetrician to assist her in delivering the baby. At this point the baby was in fetal distress and required as much oxygen and blood as he could get. Unfortunately, the procedure that the obstetrician performed did not provide the necessary oxygen and blood. Instead, this procedure actually placed additional pressure on the baby’s umbilical cord, cutting off further oxygen and blood flow.
The plaintiffs alleged that the lack of intrauterine resuscitation, coupled with the pressure placed on the umbilical cord, were the cause of the baby’s brain damage. In response the defendants denied that the procedure was a cause of the Illinois birth injury. The nurse midwife further contended that considering that there was no surgeon available at the time that she used whatever means were reasonable to deliver the baby.
This case settled before going to trial, essentially providing the injured boy and his family with funds to help support his injuries throughout his life. This represents the best case scenario for an Illinois birth injury case. However, an even better scenario would be if there had not been any medical negligence on the part of physicians, midwives, and nurses.
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