David S. Jasmer
Setting the Standard in Personal Injury
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Brain damage, birth injuries may elicit lawsuits from parents

Expecting mothers in Chicago should not have to worry about the possibility of them or their children becoming injured during their deliveries. But medical malpractice occurs on occasion and can cause some serious complications to arise, even in the case of well-known procedures such as the caesarean section.

C-sections are perceived to be rather safe, but mistakes during the delivery of the child and the timing of the procedure can cause issues that may last a lifetime for the mother and her newborn child. Many women have gotten C-sections, either due to a need or a desire to not deliver the child through natural means. Sometimes, health risks can cause women to elect for a C-section over a natural delivery.

But even though the procedure is common, it can be performed incorrectly and result in brain damage to the child being delivered. One of the major ways that a physician can cause such injuries to a newborn is through poor timing. If a doctor waits too long to perform the C-section because she or he missed signs of fetal distress, the delivery of the child may be too late and may result in a lack of oxygen.

Oxygen deprivation is a high-risk cause of brain damage and has left many children with issues for the rest of their lives. When a child shows distress or a mother is delivering slowly, causing the child to spend a prolonged amount of time in the birth canal, doctors may decide that a C-section is the safest route of delivery. But if these signals are missed, the physician may be negligent and could be held liable in court.

One Chicago couple filed such a suit after their child was diagnosed with Erb's palsy, a condition that can result from shoulder dystocia. A C-section was not performed, even though the child was born weighing 11 pounds and 5 ounces. A jury found that the physician was liable and awarded the couple $3 million.

Source: Injury Lawyer News, "C-Section Mistakes Cause Lasting Pain," Elise Kramer, Aug. 14, 2012

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