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Medical Malpractice Blog

9-year-old awarded $3 million for birth injury

Arizona women who are getting ready to give birth may be interested to learn that a jury awarded $3 million to a child who was injured during the delivery process. According to the lawsuit, an obstetrician forcefully pulled an infant out by his head, causing permanent nerve damage to the right arm.

The lawsuit was filed in 2014 and accused a Delaware obstetrician of causing the damage while attempting to dislodge the infant's shoulder, which had become stuck in the birth canal during the delivery of the child in 2008. However, this caused the infant to suffer damage to the right shoulder, leaving that arm permanently paralyzed. The injury was diagnosed by a pediatric neurologist three months later. It was claimed in the lawsuit that the obstetrician did not disclose the potential risks to the mother.

Jury says obstetrician negligent in birth injury case

Arizona residents may be interested in the details of a medical malpractice case that involved a birth injury. A mother has been awarded $3 million on behalf of her now 9-year-old son after a jury decided that the obstetrician who delivered him is responsible for nerve damage that partially paralyzed the boy's right arm.

The baby was born in 2008 after an induced labor, which the mother had agreed to after she had been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. It was known prior to the birth that the infant's shoulder was trapped behind the mother's pelvis. The lawsuit claimed that the obstetrician tugged too hard on the baby's head during delivery in an attempt to free the shoulder. The baby was born healthy except for his right arm. A few months later he was diagnosed with permanent nerve damage in his shoulder. He has undergone two surgical procedures that have improved his mobility, but he still has difficulty using his right arm, which has interfered with his ability to perform certain tasks and participate in athletics.

Failed back surgery syndrome

Some Arizona patients who undergo back surgery because of pain develop a condition called failed back surgery syndrome. People who suffer from FBSS experience chronic pain that may be more intense than that for which they had surgery.

FBSS may result from one of two primary factors. Some people are not good candidates for back surgery. When surgeons misdiagnose their patients or fail to conduct thorough physical examinations before scheduling back surgeries, patients who are not good candidates may develop FBSS. The other primary factor that can lead to FBSS is when surgeons perform the back surgeries incorrectly. This may include surgeries at the wrong locations, rejections of bone grafts and other issues related to surgical errors.

Disclosure without patient consent may be malpractice

Doctors in Arizona owe their patients the duty of providing the type of care that other doctors in their fields would provide under similar circumstances. In addition, doctors also have a duty of confidentiality to their patients concerning their diagnostic information. In a case in New Jersey, a court found that a doctor's violation of his duty of confidentiality was a type of medical malpractice.

In the case, an HIV-positive man was receiving treatment from a nephrologist after his kidneys failed. The doctor told a third party who was in the room that the man was HIV-positive. The man had not given his consent for his HIV status to be disclosed. He first filed a lawsuit against the doctor for violating HIPAA but amended it to include three other claims since people do not have private rights of action under HIPAA.

Birth injuries: What is preeclampsia?

Preeclampsia is a serious medical condition that can affect pregnant mothers, usually following the 20th week of pregnancy. If left untreated, it can lead to devastating health problems for both the mother and her unborn child.

Mothers who develop a rapid increase in blood pressure may be suffering from preeclampsia and it's important that doctors treat them immediately. If obstetricians detect this condition early enough, it may be possible to take action swiftly to ameliorate the problem.

Surgical residents are often involved in malpractice cases

When Arizona patients enter hospitals for surgical procedures, they trust in teams of medical professionals in the operating room. If just one member of the surgical team makes an error, the results could be disastrous. A study shows that surgical residents and interns, who are still in training, are especially likely to be named in malpractice cases.

A Mayo Clinic review of malpractice cases involving surgical residents for a 10-year period identified 87 cases in which a surgical resident, intern or fellow was directly involved. Almost half of those cases were judged in favor of the plaintiffs. The payouts ranged from $1852 to $32 million.

6-year-old boy dies while using hospital heating blanket

Arizona parents may be saddened to learn that a Pennsylvania hospital has been cited after an investigation was conducted into the death of a 6-year-old boy. The action took place after the health care facility failed to report the incident within 24 hours.

The boy was brought to the emergency department on Jan. 10 at about 2:51 p.m. with a low body temperature. As a result, he was placed under a blanket-like warming device. This device reportedly uses hot air to increase patients' temperatures. The boy's temperature was taken every two hours until about 12:43 a.m. when documentation showed that it was not taken for another 10 hours. He was eventually checked at about 10 a.m. where it was determined that he had no vitals. His temperature at the time of the next check was 107.6 degrees. He was ultimately declared dead at about 5:40 p.m.

Surgeon defends value of surgical nurses to insurance companies

The methods used by insurance companies to control costs can frustrate both patients and medical providers in Arizona. An orthopedic surgeon recently challenged the practice of limiting payments for surgical staff by describing the many ways that nurses add value to medical care.

He wrote that insurance payment denials for surgical nurses made him cringe. After performing surgeries alongside the same assistant for over 24 years, he believed strongly that she enhanced communication among the operating room staff. She aided in the development of a dynamic team and reduced problems associated with miscommunication. Her expertise supplemented the care for every patient because she could bring problems to the surgeon's attention.

Diagnostic failures and delays may be fatal

When Arizona patients are suffering from some types of medical conditions, timely diagnoses may be vital for their chances of recovery. Unfortunately, a correct diagnosis may be delayed because of medical errors that are made by doctors. If you have suffered from a delayed diagnosis and have developed a worsened condition with a poorer prognosis as a result, you may have the legal basis for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Some diseases and illnesses such as cancer, stroke or a heart attack must be diagnosed quickly. A delay in a cancer diagnosis may result in the patient not receiving the care necessary to save his or her life. Stroke and heart attack victims who are not diagnosed correctly may die. Some people may also receive the wrong diagnoses, resulting in them receiving harmful treatments that are unneeded and that result in debilitating injuries or death.

Possible cover up after organ removal, misdiagnosis

New Mexico residents might like to know about a misdiagnosis lawsuit that resulted after a woman had parts of her organs removed. A 46-year-old woman in Kansas filed a suit against the University of Kansas Hospital for negligence, fraud and civil conspiracy.

The suit involves the hospital and former chairwoman of the pathology department, and it alleges that doctors unnecessarily removed parts of the woman's organs because of a misdiagnosis. The incorrect diagnosis was then covered up, and the woman learned about the alleged conspiracy when a hospital physician filed a whistleblower lawsuit.

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