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The High Cost of Treating Birth Injuries

Most parents are not prepared for the ongoing, lifelong financial costs of medical malpractice birth injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control, hospitalization for birth disabilities alone costs the U.S. over $2.6 billion annually. This is in addition to the costs of diagnostic testing, physical therapy, special schooling, caregiver support, and treatments needed for their children. For example, a study published by The National Center for Biotechnology Information studied the ongoing costs for children with cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is the most common type of birth injury diagnosed, with about 4 out of every 1000 babies born suffering from the condition. Cerebral palsy can be the result of a doctor’s mistake or abnormal development during or after pregnancy. It can be caused by infection, fetal or pediatric stroke, undiagnosed maternal health problems, premature birth, and asphyxia, allowing brain damage to occur before, during, or after childbirth.

“Children with cerebral palsy (CP) and co-occurring ID incurred costs that were $41,664 higher” than children without cerebral palsy. Considering how common it is for intellectual disability to occur with cerebral palsy, this number represents a significant number of kids with the disability. On average, costs for “children with both cerebral palsy and intellectual disability were 26 times higher than for children without CP or intellectual disability.”

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Is Premature Infant Death Preventable?

As many as 1 million deaths are the cause of preterm birth complications each year, making it the leading cause of death among children under five years of age in the United States. One of the most common causes of neonatal death is premature birth, as are low birth weight and congenital disabilities. Unfortunately, medical providers can contribute to premature birth injuries and infant deaths due to malpractice and negligence, especially in the case of a physician failing to diagnose and treat prenatal problems, misdiagnosing the distress symptoms of either mom or the fetus, and failing to prevent an unnecessary premature birth. And some untreated problems in pregnancy, such as preeclampsia, problems with the placenta, umbilical cord, and amniotic sac (bag of waters), and asphyxia, are sometimes caused by a woman’s doctor not doing their job.

During the moments before and after a premature baby is born, specific attention and medical care are needed to ensure the infant will not suffer. Both prompt and correct support must create outcomes for a quality life for your child. During these steps, if a physician or medical professional failure occurs, irreversible and heartbreaking outcomes do happen. These injuries suffered at birth can be severely life-altering for both the child and the mother and may even lead to neonatal death.

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Black Infant Mortality Rate Has Remained Unchanged Since 2008

Each year in Illinois, approximately 145,000 live-born infants, and 950 infants die before their first birthday. While the overall infant mortality rate for Illinois infants decreased almost 25% between 2000 and 2018, approximately two-thirds of all infant deaths still occurred during the neonatal period and disproportionally impacted Black babies.

  • Infant mortality: the death of an infant before their first birthday
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