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DuPage County birth injury lawyer medical negligenceIn the United States, we have access to the best healthcare in the world. Sadly, even with this level of care, people are often injured due to medical negligence on the part of doctors, nurses, or hospital staff. Any type of medical malpractice injury can have long-lasting negative effects, but birth injuries are especially devastating, and they can have a huge emotional and financial impact on a family.  

Common Birth Injuries

If the medical personnel in a hospital do not take the proper steps before, during, and after a child’s delivery, serious harm can come to the infant or the mother. Some of the most common birth injuries that occur due to medical negligence include:

  • Hypoxia - An infant who suffers from a lack of oxygen during birth can experience serious injuries, including brain damage or organ failure. Hypoxia can occur if medical staff do not properly monitor fetal heart rate or fail to address issues such as a prolapsed umbilical cord or placental abruption.
  • Infections - Newborns are highly susceptible to communicable diseases, and doctors and nurses should take steps to ensure a child’s safety. Failure to maintain proper hygiene during birth or properly treat infections can lead to serious, life-threatening complications.
  • Cerebral palsy - Injury to the brain during birth can lead to this life-long condition, which affects a person’s ability to control their muscles. Brain damage leading to CP can be caused by improper use of forceps or vacuum extraction, hypoxia, failure to treat jaundice, or certain types of infections.
  • Fractures - A child may experience broken bones if a doctor does not properly monitor the position of the child during delivery or uses too much force when extracting the child. Broken collarbones are the most common type of fracture, but a baby’s arms or legs can also be broken during birth, and skull fractures can also occur, leading to hemorrhaging and brain damage.  
  • Brachial plexus injuries - A child may experience injuries to the brachial plexus nerves which control the arms and hands during delivery. Shoulder dystocia, which occurs when a child’s shoulders are not moved through the birth canal correctly, can lead to conditions such as Erb’s palsy or paralysis.

Contact a Cook County Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Thousands of births happen every day, and mistakes made during these procedures can have serious, life-long effects for a family. At Winters Salzetta O'Brien & Richardson, LLC, we understand how birth injuries can impact a family, and we are highly experienced in helping our clients receive the compensation that addresses the physical, emotional, and financial harm done by medical malpractice. In one notable case, we obtained a $2.9 million verdict for a couple whose baby girl died during delivery when nurses failed to identify signs of uterine rupture.

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DuPage County nursing home negligence attorneyWhen someone reaches an advanced age and is no longer able to care for themselves, a nursing home or assisted living facility is often the best solution for a family. These facilities ensure that our elderly or disabled loved ones receive the medical care they need, as well as providing them with the proper nutrition, physical exercise, and social interaction. However, patients in nursing homes are in a vulnerable position, and sadly, cases of nursing home abuse or neglect, including sexual abuse, are all too common. If you suspect that your family member has been sexually abused while in the care of a nursing facility, you should be sure to understand your legal options.

Elder Abuse Statistics

The elderly population in the United States has increased significantly in recent years, due to the Baby Boomer generation reaching retirement age. As the number of seniors increase, so does the prevalence of elder abuse. It is estimated that around five million seniors are abused each year, and 10% of all elders have experienced some form of abuse. Unfortunately, only one in every 14 cases of abuse are reported.

While all forms of elder abuse are serious, sexual abuse is particularly shocking, yet it is frighteningly common. A 2017 investigation by CNN found that more than 16,000 complaints of sexual abuse were reported in nursing homes across the United States since 2000. In Illinois alone, 386 instances of sexual abuse were reported between 2013 and 2017, and 201 of these cases involved abuse by a caretaker such as a nursing home staff member. CNN also found that between 2013 and 2016, over 1,000 nursing homes were cited by the federal government for failing to prevent sexual abuse or for mishandling reports of abuse, and almost 100 facilities were cited multiple times.

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Cook County toxic chemical exposure lawyer ethylene oxideRecently, people throughout the greater Chicago area were stunned by the revelation that residents of Willowbrook had been exposed to toxic chemical emissions for decades. A report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry stated that a plant operated by Sterigenics International had been releasing ethylene oxide into the surrounding community, potentially exposing tens of thousands of people to chemicals that can have serious health consequences.

Residents of Willowbrook and nearby suburbs such as Burr Ridge should be sure to understand the conditions that can result from ethylene oxide exposure. By working with a personal injury attorney, families may be able to pursue compensation that addresses the damages caused by this toxic substance.

Health Risks Caused by Ethylene Oxide

Ethylene Oxide (EtO) is used to sterilize medical equipment, food products, cosmetics, and drugs, and it can also be used as a pesticide. While workers at facilities such as the plant operated by Sterigenics use safety procedures to limit their exposure to EtO, when the chemical is released into the surrounding area, residents have no defense against breathing it in.

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DuPage County misdiagnosis injury attorneyDuring the month of October, which is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, pink ribbons are a common sight as many people join in the effort to make the dangers of this disease known. Acitivists have spent decades working to increase awareness and encourage women to participate in regular screenings, and as a result, many lives have been saved. However, due to the unfortunate prevalence of misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, many families continue to suffer serious physical, emotional, and financial harm because of breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Statistics and Risks

Every year, more than 250,000 women in the United States contract breast cancer, and the disease results in around 40,000 deaths. More than three million people in the U.S. have a history of breast cancer, including those who are participating in or have completed treatment. While breast cancer is most common in women over the age of 50, it also affects many younger women, with around 10% of newly-diagnosed cases occurring in women under the age of 45.

Some factors that increase the risks of breast cancer include:

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Willowbrook ethylene oxide exposure attorneyIn the United States, we expect to be safe and free from harm as we go about our daily lives. While we may be aware of the risks we face in our daily activities and take steps to protect ourselves from personal injuries, there are times when we are put at risk due to the negligence of others without even being aware of the danger. This was illustrated recently when the news broke that residents of Willowbrook, Illinois have been exposed to toxic chemicals for years, putting them at increased risk of contracting cancer. 

Decades of Ethylene Oxide Emissions

In August 2018, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry released a report which raised the alarm that people in Willowbrook and nearby communities such as Burr Ridge have been exposed to ethylene oxide, a carcinogenic chemical. A plant operated by Sterigenics International, a company that sterilizes medical equipment, food products, and pharmaceutical drugs, was found to be emitting the toxic chemical, and the report concluded that people in the area have an elevated cancer risk and that the emissions constituted a public health hazard.

While Sterigenics took steps to reduce ethylene oxide emissions from their Willowbrook plant in July 2018, this does nothing to address the potential damages caused to Willowbrook residents by years of exposure. Around 20,000 people live in the area surrounding the plant, which has been operating since 1984, and there are four schools and one day care center within one mile of the facility.

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Chicago bus accident attorneyBuses operated by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) are a common sight on the city's roads, but while these vehicles provide an essential service, they also create serious risks for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians. The huge difference in size and weight between buses and cars can result in serious injuries for those involved in a CTA bus accident, and people who have been injured should understand their options for pursuing compensation for their damages.

CTA Bus Accident Statistics

While we expect the CTA to operate its vehicles safely and protect passengers, drivers, and others who use the road, the sobering reality is that CTA buses are regularly involved in motor vehicle collisions. In fact, a 2015 investigation by ABC7 News found that buses are involved in an average of one accident every 36 hours. In addition, a 2017 investigation by the Chicago Sun-Times found that over the previous two years, there were more than 500 CTA bus accidents which resulted in more than 1,000 injuries, five deaths, and a cost to taxpayers of $16 million.

The Personal Impact of Bus Accidents

While the statistics about bus accidents in Chicago can be shocking, it is important to remember that they are not just numbers. Each of these incidents represents someone whose life was drastically affected by a motor vehicle collision. At Winters Salzetta O'Brien & Richardson, LLC, we fight for the rights of those who have been harmed by the negligence of bus drivers or the CTA.

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