Part 1: What are birth injuries and how do these injuries happen?

A birth injury can occur when a mother experiences a complicated pregnancy or delivery. Sometimes these complications cannot be avoided. And even when Joliet doctors do properly monitor a woman’s pregnancy, labor and delivery, a baby could still suffer an injury at birth when unexpected complications arise.

A birth injury can also occur when Illinois doctors fail to provide adequate medical care and treatment. Birth injuries may include the following: breathing problems, fractured bones, brain damage and skin problems. These injuries to babies can cause temporary health problems or permanent disabilities. Sadly, many birth injuries in the U.S. are the result of medical malpractice.

Are there certain medical mistakes that are commonly associated with birth injuries and brain injuries in babies?

One doctor says that a common mistake that can lead to birth and brain injuries is not properly monitoring an unborn baby during labor in order to determine whether the baby is in distress. When doctors notice that a baby is in distress, they can take immediate action and perform an emergency Cesarean section in order to deliver the baby before he or she suffers further complications.

When doctors fail to notice that a baby is in distress, the baby could suffer brain damage from a lack of oxygen or blood flow. In extreme cases, a baby could die if he or she is not delivered safely.

A simple way for medical professionals to monitor an unborn baby during labor is to use a fetal heart monitor strip. Although many hospitals and doctors do use these devices already, the devices are not always used correctly. This can be very problematic. In some cases, nurses might even ignore warning signs that should be checked by a doctor when the monitors detect something abnormal or a sudden change in the baby’s heart rate.

We will continue this discussion later this week on our Joliet medical malpractice law blog, particularly focusing on some ways in which babies could be affected permanently or temporarily by birth injuries.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, “Birth injuries from medical malpractice a serious issue according to Dr. Bruce Fagel,” Oct. 16, 2012

Brain Injuries


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