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 chicago malpractice lawyerStrokes are a biological event most often associated with older individuals who struggle with conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease. When the brain seizes to receive proper blood flow, a stroke can occur. Though less common, children can also suffer from strokes. Both ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes are seen in cases with infant children, most often occurring during or shortly after labor. While it is often difficult to identify a fetal stroke’s cause, there may be signs that indicate that the stroke was preventable. It is possible that your infant’s stroke may have been prevented had you and your child received better medical care. 

Causes, Types, and Symptoms of Fetal Strokes

Fetal strokes occur when the infant’s brain is deprived of oxygen. Oxygen deprivation occurs due to clots reducing the flow of oxygenated blood or a hemorrhage disrupting normal blood circulation. Infant strokes tend to occur between the 28th week of pregnancy and one month after the child’s birth. Due to a lack of air in the birth canal, the strokes most often occur during or immediately after the delivery process. 

The most common type of stroke seen among infants is an ischemic stroke. Along with lacking oxygen at birth, other possible causes of an ischemic stroke include a heart defect present at birth, blood disorders, injured arteries, and dehydration. Though it is less common, newborns may also suffer a hemorrhagic stroke. Hemorrhagic strokes are often linked to damaged blood vessels due to head injuries, aneurysms, and blood clotting diseases.

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rockford medical malpractice lawyerProviding medical care and treatment to a patient in need is a task that requires not only extensive knowledge and skills, but also attention to detail. Even minor deviations from a patient’s treatment plan can cause serious harm. When those deviations result from negligence on the part of a treatment provider, the patient can claim medical malpractice and pursue damages from the at-fault party. One common form of medical negligence is an error related to the patient’s medication.

Negligent Parties in a Medical Malpractice Claim

Depending on the situation, many different parties may be responsible for ensuring that a patient gets the appropriate medication for their condition. An error by any of these parties could be grounds for a medical malpractice claim. Some potentially negligent parties include:

  • A doctor who prescribes the medication - There are many opportunities for error when writing a prescription. For example, a doctor could prescribe the wrong dosage or the wrong medication altogether, perhaps due to a misdiagnosis or a careless mistake.

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Rockford personal injury attorneysNobody ever goes into their doctor’s office expecting them to make a mistake or harm you. However, that is exactly what happens to hundreds of thousands of people each year. There is no single reliable source that is used to gather medical malpractice statistics. However, one study from Johns Hopkins found that an estimated 250,000 people die every year because of medical mistakes. Other studies cite that number being as high as nearly double that. If you have been injured because of the negligence of your doctor, you might be eligible to file a medical malpractice case to help recoup some of your losses. In many cases, your attorney will utilize expert witnesses in various ways to gather information for the case and to help prove your point in court.

Requirements for Expert Witnesses

If you want to call an expert witness to testify during parts of your case, you will have to make sure that they are credible. You cannot just call up any person to testify for you -- they must meet certain requirements. According to the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure, in any case that brings into question the standard of care of a medical professional, there are a specific set of criteria that must be met before a witness qualifies as an expert witness and can testify as such in court.

When determining whether or not a person can testify in court as an expert witness, the court must consider:

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Rockford birth injury attorneysThe birth of a new baby should be one of the most joyous days of a parent’s life. Unfortunately, some births are wrought with anxiety. If your baby suffered a birth injury during pregnancy, labor, or delivery, it is possible that this birth injury will cause lifelong medical concerns. Cerebral palsy is a condition that has been linked to substandard medical care during a child’s birth. If your child has cerebral palsy, it is possible that an avoidable birth injury may be to blame.

What Causes Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy can lead to profound physical and cognitive limitations. Muscle spasticity and rigidity, involuntary movements, difficulty walking, problems eating, and hearing and vision impairments are all known symptoms of this condition. There is still much about cerebral palsy that doctors do not understand. The condition is caused by abnormal development of the brain. Some children are born with the condition while others acquire the condition after suffering damage to the brain.

What Types of Medical Mistakes Can Lead to Cerebral Palsy?

Fetal stroke and lack of oxygen to an infant’s brain are two birth injuries that may cause a child to develop cerebral palsy. Fetal stroke occurs when blood vessels in the baby’s brain are blocked or damaged. This results in reduced blood flow to the baby’s brain tissue. Birth trauma and lack of proper medical care during pregnancy and birth may result in an avoidable fetal or perinatal stroke.

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Rockford misdiagnosis attorneysMedical professionals attend years of rigorous schooling before they are licensed to practice medicine. They learn about thousands of medical conditions and the signs and symptoms of those conditions so that they can properly diagnose patients. However, doctors cannot always provide an immediate diagnosis. If a doctor fails to provide a diagnosis or misdiagnoses a patient, is he or she guilty of medical negligence? Does the patient have a right to compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit? As with most personal injury matters, the answer depends on a variety of factors.

Delayed Diagnosis or Misdiagnosis of an Illness, Disease, or Other Medical Condition  

When we visit a doctor or medical specialist, we expect to receive answers. We need to know what condition is ailing us so that we can get the proper treatment. In many cases, the sooner a patient can start receiving treatment, the greater his or her chance of recovery. This is especially true of illnesses like cancer and heart disease. If a doctor does not diagnose a patient or diagnoses the patient with the wrong condition, that patient will not receive the potentially life-save medical care he or she needs.

Elements of Medical Malpractice

A doctor or other medical worker is not automatically guilty of medical malpractice if he or she fails to diagnose a patient’s condition properly. Malpractice occurs when the following components are present:

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