Last week our Chicago brain injury lawyers read about a new lawsuit alleging that a newborn suffered a birth injury that may result in long-term brain damage. The suit essentially argues that the medical team at the hospital failed to properly take into the account the fact that a child is more likely to be born with a larger birth weight to a mother who has gestational diabetes.
According to Injury Lawyer News, the mother in this case was diagnosed with gestational diabetes in the middle of the pregnancy. This is usually caused by pregnancy hormones that interfere with the ability of insulin to work properly. The result is higher glucose levels in the mother’s blood. The expectant mother’s symptoms are often mild and can usually be controlled. However, there are some risks for the child, including the fact that the baby is more likely to be larger than normal at birth.
Large children are born all the time without complications, but they do present increased risk of complications during the pregnancy. Their bodies have a somewhat harder time exiting the birth canal because of their size. Doctors must account for these risks and make appropriate accommodations when planning for the pregnancy.
Unfortunately, the family in this case claims that the medical team did not make those necessary accommodations. As a result, the child’s shoulder became stuck on the mother’s pelvic bone. The medical team was forced to use very aggressive measures to free the child. They were able to get the child out, but not before the infant suffered serious injury. The shoulder dystocia lead to a brachial plexus injury, with the child’s nerve bundle damaged as the medical team tried to pull her out.
In addition, the complaint filed in the suit claims that the infant suffered a brain injury as a result of fetal hypoxia.
Each Illinois brain injury lawyer at our firm knows that many infants in our area are struck with permanent brain damage as a result of hypoxia. When the brain is deprived of oxygen when the child is still in the womb-as appears to be what happened in this case-the condition is known as “intrauterine hypoxia.” This often occurs just prior to delivery or just after delivery.
One of the challenges of these brain injuries is that many families never fully learn about the long-term effect of the injury until a significant time after the birth. Often it is only when the child grow into toddlers and the parents notice certain abnormalities that they discover the full scope of the damage caused by the brain injury.
Local families should know, however, that statute of limitations rules are slightly altered when it comes to these injuries for that very reason. Our Chicago brain injury lawyers have worked with many families whose loved ones have filed suit years after the birth when the extent of the injury was fully discovered. That does not mean that it is best to wait before seeking out legal help. But it does mean that families should still visit with attorneys to learn about their legal options even if the injury might have occurred a significant time in the past.
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