Articles Posted in Birth Injuries

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Pregnant_woman2Arguments for and against a birth injury fund in Maryland are heating up. The fund, modeled after those already in place in Florida and Virginia, is aimed at protecting families of babies who have been born with birth injuries. Monies from the fund would eliminate the need for families to participate in litigation against medical professionals and hospitals.

State legislatures across the country are keeping an eye on the debate. If the bill passes, Maryland will be the third state in the nation with such a fund. Although its purpose is to protect mothers and babies, the bill has malpractice attorneys and hospitals pitted against one another.

Those who support the bill say that its passage would help to ensure continued access to obstetrical care. It would also offer families an alternative to expensive and lengthy lawsuit battles. Those who are against the bill say that it effectively takes away a family’s constitutional right to have a trial by jury. It also allows hospitals and doctors avoid legal responsibility.

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hqdefaultExpecting a baby is one of the most exciting times a couple can experience. The world becomes full of hope and promise. A newborn is a definite lifestyle change, but it is a change that many welcome with open arms. Unfortunately for some, what was months of excited anticipation becomes years of stress and anxiety. Birth injuries are all too common given today’s modern medical environment.

Newborns are particularly vulnerable to injury and, at the hands of negligent medical staff, can suffer a variety of maladies during and immediately after the birthing process. Both the newborn and its mother are in the hands of medical professionals. In many cases, the birth is without incident. In some, the birth results in injuries that impact the lives of the the newborn and the entire family for years.

A variety of things can happen during labor that can turn a relatively routine situation into a complicated one. Typically, one of two things happen that cause birth injury. The first is that the doctor does not respond properly to a situation. The second is that there are complications that arise from prescription drug use.

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Cry-babyWhen a doctor decides to perform a cesarean section it is often after much deliberation. A cesarean section is a serious medical procedure that is not performed lightly. When a vaginal birth is considered too dangerous for the infant of the mother, a doctor will determine that a cesarean section is the best decision for all involved.

A cesarean section can have many impacts on the future health of the mother and child. It is therefor recommended that the surgery only be performed when absolutely necessary and under the safest conditions possible. A C-section should only be performed when medically appropriate or when requested by a well-informed patient.

Unfortunately, cesarean sections are performed incorrectly on an all too frequent basis. When this occurs, the medical provider can be held accountable for any injuries or conditions that arise as a result of the surgery. Cesareans have saved millions of lives around the world since they were first performed. They have also harmed countless numbers. According to some doctors and other medical professionals, C-sections are being performed too routinely and for the wrong reasons.

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383476178_8fe0f5e767_o_dA family in Massachusetts was awarded nearly $30 million in a medical malpractice claim after they filed a civil suit claiming their baby suffered permanent injury at the hands of negligent medical staff.

According to the suit, Dr. David Seubert was negligent in the care he provided to Jeniah Gallego, now 11 years old, the child of Jeanette Guitierrez and Luis Gallego. The suite was filed in 2011, 7 years after the birth of the girl who now does not walk or talk, is fed through a tube, and cannot see.

In the suit, one of the six doctors originally named was removed and four were found to not have been negligent. Only one doctor was found to be responsible for the lasting injuries suffered by the child.  According to the suit, the medical team failed to do several things correctly, including assessing test results properly and performing a cesarean section when needed.

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Newborn_baby_(May_7,_2005)Birth injuries are not as uncommon as people may think. In fact, they are often a part of the normal birthing process. A great number of newborns have minor injuries at birth and many of those injuries resolve without treatment. What is more uncommon, though, is for infants to have severe or traumatic injuries at birth. In these cases, a medical malpractice suit is often filed. Here are four birth injuries that are considered to be severe in nature.

Brain Injury

In most births, the baby enters the canal head first. Swelling of the scalp is not uncommon. What is unusual is when one of the skull bones fracture or there is bleeding on the brain. These injuries are incredibly serious and must be taken so.

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260912724_5a9cfe4a33_o_dEvery expectant parent hopes to have a healthy baby. Wondering if your baby has cerebral palsy is not something that any new parent wants to do. Unfortunately for thousands of parents each year, this is exactly what happens. Typically caused by a lack of oxygen during the birthing process, cerebral palsy is a lifelong illness that causes mobility and cognitive issues. Here are signs that your child may be dealing with CP.

Lack of Muscle Coordination

When your baby is moving its arms, legs and head on his or her own, you may notice that they appear to lack coordination. Your baby may reach for things and fall short. He or she may try to walk and be unable to do so correctly. Ataxia can be a sign of CP and your doctor should be alerted.

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downloadWhen malpractice claims get mixed up with the military, the rules get very tricky. There is a legal concept called the Feres doctrine. This is a doctrine that bars claims against the federal government by members of the military and their families for injuries they receive “incident to military service.” It’s what prevents wounded soldiers from filing claims against the government for getting injured in war. It also often prevents them from filing malpractice claims for the treatment they get in military hospitals.

But what if the victim was a new baby? That’s a question the Supreme Court may consider taking up. An Air Force captain gave birth at a military hospital via c-section. She was administered a drug that she had a known allergy to and was listed as such in her medical records. When she was given anti-allergy medication her blood pressure dropped and deprived her child of oxygen in the womb. The girl, now six, suffered brain and nerve damage as a result and requires weekly therapy treatments.

The captain filed suit against the hospital, but the district court dismissed the case citing the Feres doctrine. She appealed to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals and they upheld the ruling because the injuries sustained to the child were directly related to her mother’s injuries, using the so-called “genesis test”. Now the captain is appealing to the Supreme Court, and several groups have filed briefs supporting the captain and her family.

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Newborn BabyIt is an incredibly emotional situation for a parent when their child is injured during the birthing process. While not every birth injury stems from negligence, a good number of these injuries could have been prevented with reasonable and diligent medical care. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are some birth injuries that are more common than others.

Facial Paralysis

There are times during the birthing process that too much pressure is applied to the baby’s face. When this happens, the facial nerves can be damaged. This type of injury is most common when doctors use vacuum extraction or forceps to remove the baby. If the injury is not severe, it may clear on its own. When it is severe, however, the child may have lifelong consequences.

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