Articles Posted in Birth Injury

Medical Groups Race to Identify COVID-19 Risks to Mom and Baby

Many expectant parents are now facing a new reality and uncertainty about the health care risks related to coronavirus exposure. So far, According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, current data on COVID-19 does not suggest pregnant women are at greater risk of getting the virus but similar to other respiratory infections, they are at higher risk of harm due to a slightly compromised immune system caused by pregnancy. A respiratory infection that is left undiagnosed or untreated can lead to more injury and damage to a mother and her baby.

Doctors Are Changing Prenatal Care

In a feature article titled, Pregnant in a time of coronavirus—the changing risks and what you need to know and published by The Conversation, the author suggests prenatal care in a time of coronavirus will continue to look much different in the months ahead.

mother dies in childbirth

New CDC Report Shows U.S. Maternal Death Rate is Still Terrible

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Vital Statistics System, for the first time in more than a decade, has released a new estimate of the maternal death rate in the U.S., and the numbers aren’t good. After a plea from medical researchers and women’s advocate groups surged in 2016 regarding huge problems with how maternal deaths were being inaccurately reported or not reported, the new data published on January 30, 2020, shows that the U.S. maternal mortality rate was 17.4 maternal deaths per 100,000 live birth in 2018.

According to the report, in 2018:

levin perconti newborn illness

Ongoing Bacterial Infection Kills 3 Pennsylvania Preemies

At Geisinger Medical Center in Pennsylvania, three infants have died, and five others have become ill in the neonatal intensive care (NICU) unit since July 2019. A waterborne bacterial infection, which is preventable, is to blame. The children were born prematurely with weakened immune systems. They all became ill once infected by the pseudomonas bacteria, a common strain found in hospital settings when the hands of healthcare workers or contaminated equipment are not adequately cleaned. Patients, such as those infants in the NICU who require breathing machines, are potentially at risk for serious, life-threatening infections related to the bacteria.

A hospital official said that Geisinger has taken “extensive measures” to stop the infection from spreading, including “achieving optimal chlorination in water lines, improving and maintaining vigilance in donor breast milk processing, routine tap water cultures, increased deep cleaning of our neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and many others.”

birth injury lawyers

New Survey Shows Women Deserve Better Treatment While in Labor 

After the review of a recent survey of American women, Giving Voice to Mothers (GVtM), conducted by both clinicians and researchers using World Health Organization frameworks, it is now known that one out of six women surveyed reported being mistreated while in labor.

Examples of their mistreatment included:

blood pressure diagnosis

Blood Pressure Disorders in Pregnant and Postpartum Women Should Be Detected and Treated  

Emerging data by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention Maternal Mortality Study Group continues to prove that too many mothers are dying or suffering from preventative or treatable pregnancy complications. Specifically, disorders related to hypertension (high blood pressure) in pregnancy and postpartum timeframes remain common and a leading cause of maternal mortality and infant morbidity worldwide.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has identified four major types of hypertensive pregnancy disorders, which can range from less to more severe, and typically occur after 20 weeks gestation.

medical malpractice

Terrifying Conclusions Stem from U.S. Maternal Mortality Reports & Investigations

Expecting moms are now 50 percent more likely to die in childbirth than their own mothers, according to Harvard Medical School. This staggering realization was proven by more than 50,000 cases of women who have suffered severe complications from childbirth and pregnancy-related illnesses or under-treated diseases and the 700+ more who are dying each year from them, a majority of deaths experts now say could have been avoided. These numbers rank the U.S. as the most dangerous place to give birth in the developed world, positioning health care providers to blame for their failures and carelessness in keeping mothers and babies safe during pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum stages.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Boston University researchers, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the U.S. Public Health Service recently released an outpour of data showing just how scary it is for American women to experience childbirth today. Here is a closer look at three recent reports to show the desperate need for a drastically different approach in providing better care to women before and beyond their pregnancies.

Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy

What to Do If You Suspect Your Baby’s Brain Injury Was Caused by Oxygen Deprivation at Birth 

Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), sometimes called neonatal asphyxia, is a very serious birth complication created by an obstruction in blood flow in the brain during the prenatal, intrapartum or postnatal period. In shorter words, it happens when the fetus or infant’s brain is injured because of a lack of oxygen-rich blood.

HIE requires immediate medical intervention and can lead to the death of the child. For those that survive, mental disabilities and intellectual impairment, will occur in the first two years of age. These babies are also at greater risk of cerebral palsy, epilepsy, vision and hearing loss. Advanced research on HIE published in the American Journal of Perinatology has tied oxygen deprivation complications at birth to autism spectrum disorders and a range of other neurodevelopmental abnormalities.

“Safety advocates said that without access to public data, it has been too easy for hospitals to excuse poor outcomes by blaming mothers’ health problems.”

-USA Today

Hospitals Blame Mothers When Things Go Wrong

“To know that this happens is our country, that’s unacceptable.” 

-Sue Sheridan, patient safety advocate, in To Err Is Human

The medical malpractice attorneys of Levin & Perconti recently watched To Err Is Human, a newly released documentary showing the frequency and impact of medical errors upon American families. To see the facts relating to the frequency and severity of medical errors combined with the heart wrenching story of a family forever changed by these mistakes has left a lasting impression on all of us.

The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit group dedicated to hospital safety, has released their biannual Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade report, showing an overall improvement in Illinois hospitals since the spring. According to Leapfrog, the survey measures hospital patient safety by the number of “errors, injuries, accidents, and infections.” Participation by hospitals is optional and this fall, 110 Illinois hospitals agreed to take part. According to the data collected, Leapfrog rated Illinois hospitals as #13 overall, an improvement from #15 this past spring.

In a time where the increasing problem of medical errors is finally being given the platform it deserves, the survey is more relevant now than ever. The Leapfrog Group, citing an often quoted 2016 Johns Hopkins study, notes that medical errors are now the third leading cause of death in the United States. Patient safety and healthcare provider accountability is essential for all hospitals and healthcare organizations. Below is our analysis of the Fall 2018 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade report for participating Illinois hospitals.


Illinois & Metro Chicago Hospital Results

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