Childbirth is supposed to be one of the most exciting experiences for a family to go through. Unfortunately, parents’ worst nightmares far too often come true when they give birth to a child who has passed away.

Sometimes, these complications are unavoidable and no one’s fault—they just happen. Other times, the negligence of a medical professional has caused the unborn baby’s death.

In cases involving negligence, parents have the opportunity to pursue a medical malpractice claim against the people responsible for the stillbirth. Continue reading to learn more about when you can bring a claim for compensation for a stillbirth.

What Is Medical Negligence?

To pursue a medical malpractice claim for a stillbirth, we must first establish that the medical professional providing your prenatal care or care during labor and childbirth was negligent in some way.

Negligence in medicine is a mistake that another medical professional of similar training, resources, and education would not have made. The obstetrician, midwife, or nurse must have made an error or not exercised an appropriate level of care.

Because stillbirth can sometimes happen without apparent cause, establishing this liability and negligence can be a challenge. Some of the types of negligent errors that might have caused your child’s death in the womb include the following:

  • Failure to treat or diagnose an infection in the mother
  • Inadequate prenatal care, including sonograms and other antenatal monitoring
  • Failure to provide treatment for high-risk conditions like gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, or obesity
  • Failure to adequately interpret anatomy and growth scans

Parents who receive poor prenatal care often lose their babies to a stillbirth. To make matters even worse, when the mother is beyond a certain number of weeks pregnant and the baby has reached nearly full term, the mother will need to go through the additional trauma of labor and delivery of a stillborn baby. That kind of suffering calls for maximum compensation from the at-fault party.

Damages You Could Recover for a Stillbirth

The medical professional responsible for your child’s stillbirth should be held accountable and compensate you appropriately for the devastation his or her negligence has inflicted upon your family. Knowing that your child’s death could have been avoided if it weren’t for this medical professional’s irresponsible decisions is devastating.

Once we establish negligence, you can recover compensation for a wide range of damages, including pain and suffering, lost wages, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of companionship and love, and damage to your potential future earnings, among others.

The Illinois Supreme Court declared caps on damages in medical malpractice claims unconstitutional in 2010. Your attorney will stop at nothing to obtain every dollar you’ll need to pick up the pieces of your life.

Although your monetary award will do little to heal the emotional devastation you and your family are most certainly feeling, knowing that you’ve gotten some measure justice for your stillborn baby can make the fight for compensation feel worthwhile.

Call a Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you believe that your stillborn child’s death could have been prevented if it weren’t for the negligent actions of your medical caregivers, get in touch with a compassionate Chicago medical malpractice lawyer at Lane Brown, LLC.

We offer prospective clients a free, no-obligation claim assessment. You can take advantage of yours by completing the contact form below or giving our office a call at 312-332-1400.

Were You or Your Child Infected With Group B Strep During Pregnancy or Birth?

One of the most serious and deadly infections that a newborn baby can contract during his or her first hours and days is group B strep. This infection, which can quickly lead to sepsis, meningitis, and permanent injury, is sometimes passed from mother to child during the birth process. Here are some important things you should know about this potentially fatal birth infection and your rights if your baby has been affected.

What Is a Group B Strep Infection?

Group B Streptococcus (GBS or “group B strep”) is a bacterium. Infection with GBS is often harmless in healthy adults, but it can be deadly to newborn babies. Frequently found in the intestinal tract, GBS can migrate to the vagina and transfer to a baby during the labor and delivery process.

Although many babies who are born to GBS-positive mothers remain healthy, between 2 and 3 out of 1,000 babies suffer serious and life-threatening infections after contracting the bacteria. These newborns can develop sepsis, pneumonia, and meningitis—and many are left with permanent injuries like hearing loss, blindness, cerebral palsy, and developmental issues. In some cases, the infection is fatal.

About 20 percent of women test positive for GBS during a vaginal swab-test in the third trimester of their pregnancy. These women are usually placed on antibiotics either before or during the birth of their child to prevent the infection spreading to their child. If a GBS infection exists but goes undetected in the mother at this time, or if an existing GBS infection is not detected in the baby, the consequences can be extremely serious.

The Signs of a Group B Strep Infection

GBS should be a concern of every doctor, midwife, and OB/Gyn. Group B strep can affect a baby a few hours or days after birth, or it can appear weeks or months into an infant’s life. While all care providers should be on the lookout for a group B strep infection, especially if the mother tested positive for the infection, it is important for all parents and caregivers to be familiar with the signs and symptoms of the condition:

  • Early-onset group B strep disease. The symptoms of early-onset GBS infection usually appear within 12 hours of birth and include fever, lethargy, and difficulty feeding. Your doctor should test your baby for an infection, especially if you tested positive during the third trimester of pregnancy.
  • Late-onset group B strep disease. The signs and symptoms of a GBS infection include cold symptoms, such as coughing and congestion, fever, difficulty feeding, lethargy, and seizures. While the late onset form of this medical condition is often less serious than early-onset GBS, it is still important to treat immediately.

Group B Strep, Birth Injury, and Medical Malpractice

Doctors and medical professionals guard against this disease—which affects about 2 out of 1,000 births—by testing the mother’s birth canal for a group B strep infection during her last weeks of pregnancy. Those with positive test results—about one in five women—usually receive antibiotics during labor that will often prevent the infection from harming the child. Babies with any signs or symptoms of the disease should also be tested for the infection and may be given precautionary antibiotics to stop an infection from progressing.

However, not all group B strep infections are caught and stopped. In fact, group B strep is known for how quickly and insidiously it can infect and harm newborn babies. However, your doctor and hospital should take reasonable steps at a certain standard of care to prevent, diagnose, and treat group B strep in a newborn baby. While some medical professionals and medical centers do their best to keep both mother and baby healthy and unharmed, some children are left with permanent injuries or lose their lives because of carelessness, medical malpractice, and negligence.

Should Your Baby’s Group B Strep Infection Have Been Prevented?

In some cases, infections and serious diseases can’t be prevented. In some cases, a serious infection can’t be successfully treated or cured. But there are other cases in which an infection should have been prevented, should have been diagnosed earlier, or should have been treated differently. In this last set of cases, the doctor or hospital that failed to respond properly to the infection may be responsible for damages.

If your baby suffered an injury or died due to a group B strep infection, you have a right to know exactly why this happened and whether your doctor or hospital should have prevented what happened. You need to investigate the answers to questions like:

  • Were you properly screened for group B strep during your pregnancy?
  • Was your baby properly screened after his or her birth?
  • Was group B strep diagnosed in a timely manner?
  • Was group B strep treated quickly and correctly?

If your child has been harmed by a GBS infection, it is important to understand why the infection was not detected in the mother and whether your baby was treated for the infection in a reasonable manner.

Your doctors should take reasonable steps toward preventing, diagnosing, and treating group B strep in your baby. If your baby has been harmed by a GBS infection, you can speak with an attorney who has experience with these kinds of cases about your experience and its legal implications. In some cases, families affected by preventable birth infection can recover compensation to help support the baby’s recovery and the family’s losses. To request a free case evaluation with our Chicago legal team, you can call the Law Offices of Lane Brown, LLC, today at 312-332-1400.

Cerebral Palsy May Require Treatment and Care for the Rest of a Baby’s Life

Children with cerebral palsy may have difficulty with every aspect of their daily lives, including walking, talking, moving, eating, socializing, and more. There is no cure for cerebral palsy, but there are a number of treatments and care programs that can help people live more full and engaging lives with fewer limitations from their condition. Because they still have their entire lives ahead of them, these considerations are an especially important part of planning for the care of infants with newly diagnosed cerebral palsy. Although parents may have a difficult time adjusting to all the changes, getting a baby care for cerebral palsy as soon as possible can give the child the best chance to cope with the life-long effects.

Cerebral Palsy Treatments and a Child’s Ongoing Needs Throughout Life

Each child affected by cerebral palsy will have unique challenges, so individualized care is key at each stage of life. From measures to increase mobility to therapy for increasing self-esteem and confidence, multiple therapies from a large care team may be necessary. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, there are a number of potential treatments that can help children with cerebral palsy throughout their lives. Depending on the child’s needs as he or she matures, these might include:

  • Physical and occupational therapy
  • Speech and language therapy
  • Pain management
  • Use of assistive devices
  • Help with eating, grooming, and other activities of daily living
  • Social and recreational therapies
  • Oral medication
  • Surgeries
  • Other specialized treatments

The goals of treatment throughout the child’s life are focused on managing difficulties, preventing further issues, increasing mobility, reducing pain, and building a better quality of life. However, while these kinds of treatments can have a priceless benefit for an affected child, the financial strain of treating cerebral palsy over a child’s lifetime can quickly overwhelm a family. This is why parents need to take action when they learn about their child’s diagnosis. Learn more about the steps parents should take after learning about a birth injury.

Getting Help With the Costs of Treating Cerebral Palsy Due to a Medical Mistake at Birth

When medical negligence causes a serious and costly condition like cerebral palsy in a newborn child, the child’s family may have the right to hold the doctors, nurses, or hospital financially responsible for what happened. However, many families are unaware that they have rights—or even that their child’s condition may have been preventable. If you believe your child may have developed cerebral palsy because of a doctor’s mistake, don’t wait any longer to start investigating your questions. You can reach our experienced legal team at 312-332-1400 to schedule a free case review, or you can use the live chat on this page to speak with someone right away.

Sudden Stillbirths Can Be the Tragic Result of Medical Malpractice

When a baby dies during the late stages of pregnancy, it is a tragedy for the expectant mother and her family. Despite accepted safety procedures and medical technology, late-term fetal deaths and stillbirths still happen every year. And, although it may be difficult to think about if you have recently experienced a loss, the truth is that some of these deaths are caused by medical mistakes.

When Is a Stillbirth Medical Malpractice?

Sometimes, sudden stillbirths happen even though a doctor did everything right. However, that’s a fairly rare occurrence. There are almost always signs earlier in pregnancy or during delivery that indicate a need for further evaluation to ensure the safety of the baby. Although other risk factors play a part in fetal deaths, potential cases of medical malpractice might include situations where:

  • A doctor failed to address risk factors associated with previous medical difficulties.
  • A doctor or hospital did not adhere to regulations and procedures that help prevent infection.
  • A doctor failed to screen for or address possible fetal abnormalities or risks.
  • A doctor failed to diagnose or follow-up on signs of fetal distress.
  • A doctor failed to diagnose disorders in the mother before birth.
  • A doctor or medical professional failed to verify the safety of prescription medications during pregnancy.

How Can I Find Out If a Doctor’s Negligence Contributed to a Stillbirth?

In order to move forward with a birth injury case, you need to have evidence that the doctor was negligent and that the negligence caused the loss of your baby. Without medical experts and a knowledgeable legal representative, it can be very difficult to get this information or understand what it really means for your case. This is why it is crucial for families that have experienced a sudden stillbirth to reach out for help.

If you have concerns and want our attorneys to review your case, contact our Chicago-based law office at 312-332-1400. There is absolutely no cost or obligation just for giving us a call, and we would be happy to listen to what you have to say and answer your questions.

Birth injuries in Chicago happen frequently, with several potential causes and results that can have lifelong effects on mothers and babies. Some of these injuries are unnecessary and can be avoided through proper medical care and preventative steps. One such health condition that is growing more prevalent is autism spectrum disorder.

Recent findings from a study conducted by the Duke University Medical Center have suggested a possible link between birth induction procedures and autism diagnoses during childhood. Although researchers concluded the study with a disclaimer that the findings were not yet sufficient to recommend any permanent changes in obstetricians’ current practices, the results have opened up many questions surrounding the safety of birth induction procedures and any potential links to childhood autism.

The study published in JAMA Pediatrics examined both birth induction and augmentation procedures; it analyzed over 625,000 live births and their subsequent school records once the children had reached school age. The results showed that 5,500 children were later diagnosed within the Autism Disorder Spectrum. This indicated that mothers who had one of the two types of assisted labors were more likely to have a child diagnosed with autism.

The study’s researchers also took notice to other, previously known, external factors that could impact a child’s risk for autism. These include:

  • Health of the mother
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Other pregnancy-related events
  • Birth year

One other interesting finding from this study showed that autism was more prevalent in male children than in female children.

Currently, 1 in 88 U.S. children is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, a number that has been on the rise over the last several years. Due to these statistics, understanding the external factors that could contribute to its cause is very important. One potential connection between birth induction procedures and autism spectrum disorder is the exposure to oxytocin, the hormone used to induce between 50-70% of birth-assisted deliveries.

If you have questions concerning your child’s birth injury accident, and had a birth induction procedure, you may have been the victim of medical malpractice. Our skilled Chicago birth injury attorneys at Lane Brown, LLC are here to listen to your case and examine the details, and may be able to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Call our personal injury law offices today at 312-332-1400 to arrange a free consultation to discuss your case.

Diabetes, heart conditions, cancer, seizure disorders, and bipolar disorders are all common conditions that affect hundreds and thousands of women across the United States. For many, taking prescription medication is a daily occurrence—necessary for normal function.

Some of the medication prescribed for these pre-existing medical conditions is extremely dangerous for the development of an unborn child—even though it is medically necessary for the health of the mother. Pregnant women, who are taking prescription medicine, must work with their doctor to come up with the best possible solution to support their own health and prevent injury to the unborn child.

Your doctor has a responsibility to keep you and your unborn child as safe as possible and offer a reasonable standard of care. Following are some drugs that may cause birth defects:

  • High dosages of Vitamin A
  • Certain antibiotics
  • Cancer fighting medications
  • Isotretinoin (acne medication)
  • ACE inhibitors (blood pressure medication)
  • Warfarin (blood thinning medication)
  • Anticonvulsants (anti-seizure medication)

Studies show that taking prescription drugs during pregnancy could cause fetal death. This is especially true for anticonvulsant drugs. Unborn babies exposed to these drugs are at a high risk of experiencing severe and irreversible birth defects or fetal death.

If you are currently taking these medications, talk to your physician right away if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. If your doctor prescribed the medications listed above while you were pregnant, and your baby suffered irreversible damage, talk to a veteran Chicago birth injury attorney at Lane Brown, LLC right away. Call our office at 312-332-1400 today for your free consultation.

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