Birth Injuries After Inappropriate Medication Personal Injury Attorney
Few things are more difficult to cope with and understand than the injury of your child during birth. Knowing that your infant’s impairment may have been caused by medical professional negligence or by medication you were taking during pregnancy can cause overwhelming feelings of despair and anger.
It is in your child’s best interest to take legal action as close to the time you learn of the impairment as possible. The Chicago birth injury lawyers of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC understand how important it is to hold the responsible party accountable for their negligence. Our team of attorneys will tenaciously fight for your family’s rights and pursue the compensation needed to offset the medical costs associated with your child’s care.
Holding the negligent parties responsible can also help prevent similar circumstances from happening to other families in the future. Call the legal team at 312-346-8620 for a confidential consultation. We will discuss the facts in your case and advise you on your next best steps.
Why Choose Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC to Protect Your Rights?
Birth injuries can put your family on an emotional roller coaster without the time and energy necessary to address the consequences with the responsible party.
The experienced and compassionate legal team at Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC understands how difficult this time can be, and we’ll work hard to protect your rights. We have helped many clients just like you and are ready to put our experience and resources to work for you and your family.
Your child may go on to live a fulfilling life, yet the cost associated with treatment may be substantial, and treatment may be necessary throughout your child’s life. The Chicago birth injury attorneys at Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC consider many factors as they negotiate an insurance claim or file a personal injury lawsuit. It is crucial to anticipate the full range of medical care that may be required, including rehabilitation and at-home care.
Our experienced lawyers have the resources needed to address medical professionals and pharmaceutical companies who are potentially responsible for a birth injury. It is vital that you act as soon as you become aware of an impairment after birth. This is because there is a statute of limitations that applies to medical malpractice claims.
This means the law defines a period of time during which a claim can be filed. After that time has passed, you have no other legal recourse for compensation. After a birth injury, a lawsuit must be filed within eight years. Additionally, if the injury results in cognitive impairment or mental disability, there are more laws that apply.
Inappropriate Medication Administration During Pregnancy and Birth
In 2006, there were 4.3 million childbirths. Of those, nearly 157,700 injuries occurred that may have potentially been avoided. Among these are birth injuries that occur from inappropriate medication given during pregnancy or at birth. According to the American Pregnancy Association, more than 50 percent of women who give birth at hospitals use epidural anesthesia. An epidural blocks the nerve sensations from the lower spine, which leads to decreased sensations and some pain relief. These are called local anesthetics and are administered into the epidural space in your spine.
Epidural medications are used to limit the pain associated with childbirth. A similar anesthetic called a “spinal” might also be used during a cesarean section. One complication with spinal anesthesia is low maternal blood pressure. This reduces the amount of oxygenated blood that is delivered to the baby. If the epidural is not placed correctly, it can also result in nerve damage, headaches and dizziness, cardiac arrest, and seizures in the mother.
Physicians may prescribe drugs that will either induce or slow the process of labor, depending on the circumstances. It is vital that medical staff are aware of their patients’ histories and perform proper monitoring to ensure the baby shows no sign of distress. Two common medications used during labor are Pitocin and Cytotec.
Pitocin is a synthetic form of oxytocin. This is a hormone a woman’s body naturally produces that promotes contractions. However, contractions that are started by Pitocin are stronger and last longer. When administered improperly, this substance reduces oxygen delivery to the infant, which can trigger birth injuries.
Cytotec, also called misoprostol, is also used to induce labor. However, it is not approved by the FDA to induce labor and can cause serious side effects. These include a torn uterus that results in the death of the mother and baby. Cytotec is only approved by the FDA for the treatment of stomach ulcers. It can hyperstimulate contractions that prevent oxygen delivery to the infant and significantly increase the risk of an emergency cesarean section.
Medications prescribed during pregnancy can also increase the risk of a congenital defect that is found after birth. These drugs include some anti-seizure medications, such as Topamax and Depakote, and the acne medication Accutane. Additionally, some antibiotics are known to cause birth defects, as well as anticancer drugs.
Common Birth Injuries From Medications
Complications and birth injuries that can occur include:
- Fetal distress
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Bradycardia (slow heart rate), or tachycardia (fast heart rate)
- Heart arrhythmia (disruptions in the normal rhythm)
- Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) (oxygen deprivation to the brain with brain damage)
- Fetal acidemia (blood pH of the infant is too low)
- Neonatal seizures
- Low Apgar scores (measurements taken one minute and five minutes after birth)
- Retinal hemorrhages (bleeding in the retina of the eye, possible vision impairment)
- Head trauma, including brain hemorrhages
- Neonatal jaundice, hyperbilirubinemia (too much bilirubin in the baby’s blood)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Erb’s palsy (paralysis of an arm after damage to the nerves)
- Klumpke’s palsy (partial palsy of the nerves that start in the back of the neck – brachial plexus)
- Brain injuries
- Facial paralysis
- Broken bones
- Cephalohematoma (bleeding between the scalp and the skull)
- Hearing issues
- Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN)
- Caput Succedaneum (swelling of the scalp)
- Intracranial hemorrhage (bleeding in the brain)
- Subconjunctival hemorrhage (bleeding in the whites of the eye)
- Cerebral Palsy
Call Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC Today to Protect Your Family
Parents cannot control a physician’s error, but they can be proactive during pregnancy and birth. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about the method of delivery or any medical risk. Parents have the legal right to ask questions of their physician at any time.
Giving birth is stressful, so planning ahead and learning about birthing techniques and potential challenges with birth defects will help parents make the right decisions for their baby during birth. If your child was born with a birth injury that could have been prevented, you could be entitled to compensation to help care for your child.
It is in your best interest to reach out to a Chicago birth injury attorney as soon as possible. To speak with the experienced and compassionate attorneys at Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC for a confidential consultation, call our offices at 312-346-8620 today.