Your baby is born and it is the most rewarding experience for your family and one that you’ve been anticipating for a long time. But, what if, what should be one of the brightest and happiest moments in your life, has turned to one of the darkest moments.
Such is the case for a mother in Cook County who just won a medical negligence against her obstetrician. In 2008, Evanthia Georgas had a seemingly normal delivery. After only two hours of labor, the doctor decided to use a birth-assisting tool, the vacuum-extractor. At birth, her newborn son showed signs of bruising above his left ear. A CT scan showed hemorrhages between the skull and scalp on the right side. Because of the medical errors made, her son had suffered from traumatic brain injury and a stroke leaving him, at the age of 10, to have left-side paralysis, cerebral palsy and frequent seizures.
Birth-assisting tools, such as the vacuum extractor, can be very beneficial during a difficult delivery, but can also lead to serious birth injuries and permanent medical issues if used improperly.
A vacuum-extractor is typically used when a difficult labor takes too long or the mother is too exhausted to continue pushing. During a contraction, the doctor will apply a soft cup to the top and back of the baby’s head that will help pull the baby out, using a light suction.
Birth injuries vary depending on how the vacuum extractor was misused. However, because a vacuum extraction does relate to the brain and most injuries are head or brain related one very surprising injury for a newborn can lead to a stroke.
The reality that a baby can have a stroke is shocking. Surprisingly, pediatric strokes are common and even have the same chances of experiencing a stroke as an older person. They usually occur in the first month of life in roughly one in every 4,000 births (whether premature or full-term) and are one of the top 10 killers of children.
You might be asking how strokes can even occur in a newborn. Eighty percent of strokes in babies are by clots, which are when a blood vessel carrying oxygen and nutrients to brain eithers bursts or are blocked.
A clot is actually a common risk during delivery. Childbirth is already a tremendous strain on the baby’s head and can often form a clot. Adding a vacuum-extractor can add more stress on the arteries and veins in the baby’s head potentially leading to a clot formation and therefore a stroke.
Several other birth injuries occur from the misuse of the vacuum-extractor. These can include skull fractures, retinal hemorrhages, brachial plexus injuries (also known as shoulder dystocia, Erb’s palsy or Klumpke’s Palsy), brain hemorrhages, nerve damage, neonatal jaundice and cerebral palsy. Untreated, some of these conditions can lead to paralysis, intellectual disability and other life-long conditions or even death.
I sincerely hope that you don’t have to go through this with your child, but if you do, it’s important to know that there are only a handful of law firms that have the experience to protect your family and child and to right this wrong legally speaking. It won’t fix what’s happened, but will provide significant compensation and hopefully prevent it from happening to anyone else again. If you’d like to talk with one of our lawyers about a case, call us for free any time at 312-346-5320 or fill out our contact form and we’ll call you.