Articles Posted in Birth Injury

One woman and her daughter were recently awarded $300,000 in a medical malpractice case. According to the suit, the child suffered fetal depression and hypoxia during her birth, which caused her to have permanent loss of hearing. Similar birth injury cases are presented in courts Maryland each year.

When the mother filed her case, she claimed that the defendants, a couple of doctors, were guilty of negligence during her daughter’s birth. She alleges that the doctors delayed in delivering the baby when it was clear that the child was experiencing distress. The victim has had to undergo speech therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy because of the events that occurred when she was born. She will likely need more care, therapies and surgeries throughout her life.

The complaint was filed in 2002, but the defendants moved for a mistrial three different times. Once the case finally went before a jury, it did not take long for a decision to be reached. The trial only lasted for four days, and jurors deliberated for approximately seven hours. Their decision awarded the mother and daughter $100,000 for emotional distress, $100,000 for pain and suffering, and another $100,000 for loss of a normal life.

The impending birth of a child is a time of great excitement. Crossing off the items on the baby registry, planning the nursery and picking out names are just a few things that many new Maryland parents do to help pass the time and prepare for the newest member of the family. It is also a time of great worry, hoping and questioning if the baby is okay. When concerns arise and the family seeks medical advice and hospital evaluation, they worry about possibly delivering a child who may suffer from multiple birth injuries, but don’t expect medical staff to delay care and possibly cause some of those injuries, which may have been preventable.

A woman from another state was 37 weeks pregnant at the time she noticed less movement from her unborn baby and was seen by her chosen obstetrician. The obstetrician was concerned enough to send the woman over to labor and delivery for evaluation, as he had confirmed the worries of the mom-to-be regarding decreased fetal movement. Upon arrival, the woman was checked over by nurses, who were also extremely worried about the lack of movement by the child.

Nurses informed the attending physician in labor and delivery of the unborn child’s decreased movement and worrisome fetal results. The doctor did not physically see the patient for another three hours. Upon his examination, it was then necessary for an emergency C-section to retrieve the distressed child. The baby was born with multiple permanent injuries.

When a doctor informs expecting parents in Maryland that their child has suffered an injury or defect, their worst fears may have been realized. Yet, that startling announcement may really only be the beginning of a sometimes very long ordeal. Attempting to determine whether or not a birth injury resulted from medical negligence often requires an extensive investigation.

An out-of-state judge handed down one of the biggest birth injury verdicts in that state’s history. The family received a $4.2 million award. The jury determined that the injury was due to the midwife’s failure to deliver the child correctly.

The child was apparently incorrectly taken from the womb, which caused a permanent shoulder injury. The suit, which was filed in New London, Connecticut, also included complaints against both the delivering midwife, as well as her employer. The most serious of the complaints was that the midwife failed to ensure that proper medical care was given to the child, as well as the mother. This apparently caused the infant to suffer over a dozen injuries.

Regardless of where one lives — whether in Maryland or elsewhere — there are various birth injuries that may be experienced during the process of labor and delivery. One such potential injury that may be suffered is called shoulder dystocia. Sadly, this type of injury can result in a child experiencing permanent damages, such as pain and paralysis — among others. A mother’s health can also be negatively affected when shoulder dystocia occurs.

What exactly is shoulder dystocia? Shoulder dystocia occurs when a baby’s shoulders become lodged inside his or her mother’s pelvis during a vaginal delivery. It is a complication that medical providers cannot generally prevent or predict. However, by taking swift and appropriate actions when this type of event does occur, most major complications can be avoided.

Shoulder dystocia may occur in any labor and delivery situation. However, the medical community has identified several factors that may put one at higher risk of having a baby experience shoulder dystocia. These include:

When an individual is involved in an accident in Maryland that was caused by someone else, he or she may choose to consult an attorney. During this first meeting, the personal injury attorney will ask what happened and will typically collect a significant amount of information. The length of the first interview may vary, depending on what exact circumstances led to an individual’s injuries.

If the matter involves a car accident, the first meeting may not take too long. This type of meeting can move very quickly if the individual is prepared. For other situations, such as a defective product or medical malpractice claim, the initial meeting may take longer.

As an individual describes the details that led to the accident, the attorney may have a number of questions. Some may seem difficult to bear — or answer — but the answers can help the lawyer determine the most appropriate solution for the case. Besides exploring the facts surrounding the case, the attorney will also likely explain more practical aspects of the case, including the representation agreement, differing types of legal fees and the litigation costs that pertain to the case at hand.

Out of all the different types of medical malpractice claims, those involving a birth injury are often the most tragic. Most injured individuals in Maryland find a way to overcome their injuries that they themselves suffer, but when it happens to a child, it can be much more difficult. If a child suffers a birth injury during the childbirth process, it can place a tragic tone on an otherwise very positive experience.

An out-of-state resident accused a midwife, who was a certified nurse, of negligence which allegedly caused the woman’s child to suffer a birth injury. According to the lawsuit, the healthcare providers did not properly manage the birthing process of what what considered a high risk pregnancy. The midwife is accused of several omissions and transgressions during the time of the woman’s delivery, which were allegedly below medical standards.

According to details of the suit, the transgressions began when the nurse failed to make a fetal weight estimation. Then, according to the delivery record, the baby suffered from shoulder dystocia, which is considered a medical emergency. Though the baby was eventually delivered, it suffered facial bruising, limited movement of its right arm, no movement of the other arm, and overriding sutures. A follow up examination concluded that the baby’s brachial plexus nerves, which control the hands’ movements, had been injured during the delivery.

Most of the medical personnel in Maryland are highly-trained professionals who seek to ensure that patients in their trust receive the highest levels of care and attention. Unfortunately, due to the sometimes complicated nature of healthcare, when missteps occur, they can have serious consequences. One doctor in Alabama is now facing a medical malpractice suit as a result of a serious injury that was caused by his alleged actions.  

According to court documents, the doctor was caring for a woman at the time she went into labor. Due to delivery complications, an infection resulted that required the patient to be given a treatment regimen. One of the antibiotics she was prescribed was Gentamicin. The doctor ordered a home health company to administer this as well as another antibiotic.

According to the lawsuit, a nurse for the home health company allegedly instructed the patient’s spouse on how to administer the antibiotics through an IV so that he could perform this care instead of the nurse, as the doctor had originally ordered. Additionally, no testing was done for the patient’s Gentamicin levels. This oversight and alleged negligence on the doctor’s part resulted in the patient suffering from Gentamicin toxicity, a condition that caused her not only severe pain but mental anguish, and it required additional medical evaluation and further treatment. According to the lawsuit, she was permanently injured.

An expecting mother’s worst fears may be realized when a doctor informs her of a birth injury or defect. Yet that announcement may be only the beginning of a long ordeal. Trying to determine whether a birth defect resulted from medical negligence may require an extensive investigation.

One of the difficulties in determining whether medical negligence contributed to a birth injury or defect is that advisories are constantly changing. In a recent example, a jury awarded $15 million to a woman who alleged that her daughter’s birth defect was caused by the anti-seizure drug Depakote. In 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning against pregnant women taking drugs containing valproate sodium, which is the main component in Depakote. However, that warning came years too late for the woman in the lawsuit, whose daughter is now 12 years old.

The lawsuit ultimately centered on a defective drug allegation. However, the story reminds us that a doctor’s duty of care begins long before the actual delivery. During a patient’s pregnancy, a doctor should perform routine testing, monitoring and provide advice for healthy practices.

In many ways, normal labor and delivery might be regarded as a low risk procedure. Yet despite the assurances of a hospital’s high statistical rate of safe deliveries, expecting parents may not be able to rid themselves of some fears regarding potential birth injuries

Since worrying is often part of a parent’s role, news of a recent legalization may surprise readers. Specifically, Maryland recently passed a law allowing midwives to obtain licensure and attend to home births. Previously, state law only permitted midwives who were also nurses to help mothers with home births. The licensure procedure may ensure some safety controls over home deliveries. 

The new law may reflect a change in societal attitudes about whether a hospital or home is a preferable setting for deliveries. Between 2004 and 2012, data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that births outside of hospitals increased by 60 percent. In Maryland, however, the number of non-hospital births remains relatively low, at slightly over 1 percent.

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