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Medical Malpractice Blog

Birth asphyxia and med mal: Are legal remedies available?

Complications can occur during labor and delivery. One complication that can have long-term effects on an infant is birth asphyxia. 

What is birth asphyxia?

Birth asphyxia is a term that refers to deprivation of oxygen to the infant during the labor and delivery process. Depending on the amount of time the infant suffers from deprivation, the infant could suffer from a brain injury called hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). 

Young women and heart attacks: 3 things to know about SCAD

A relatively young and healthy woman is unlikely to be concerned about suffering from a heart attack. She may not think to see a doctor if she experiences unexpected chest pain. If this pain leads her to go in to the Emergency Department (ED), she may agree when a doctor writes it off as stress or heartburn.

That was what happened to a 41-year-old woman while on a trip with her family. She experienced severe chest pain, pain in her arms and shortness of breath. She went to the ED and was told she was healthy. She experienced similar, more severe symptoms the next and returned. This time she pushed for a diagnosis. After various tests doctors confirmed she was suffering from spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD).

Colon cancer misdiagnosis is common for those under 50

Colorectal cancer rates are rising in people under the age of 50—and yet many doctors still believe that this type of cancer doesn’t occur in young people. Indeed, a recent survey suggests that many young people who have colon cancer initially received misdiagnoses and saw multiple doctors before receiving a correct diagnosis.

Since March is colon cancer awareness month, this might be a good time to consider that colorectal diseases are not just for those over 50. Of the 1,195 people involved in the survey:

Maternal emergency management initiative focuses on strokes

Medical emergencies can happen at any time -- including during the labor and delivery of an infant. Patients expect physicians to prepare for and address these complications as they unfold.

A recent publication, however, finds obstetricians may be preparing for the wrong complication.

Consider the long-term effects of Cerebral Palsy

A Cerebral Palsy diagnosis might be hard to accept. And if you do not know what to expect, it can be scary. Throughout your pregnancy, you likely advocated for your healthcare needs, and those of your baby. Yet, even after the healthiest pregnancy, it is possible to suffer from problems caused by a doctor's negligence.

Cerebral Palsy is one of the most common birth injuries in the United States. However, you might consider exercising your options if your medical provider failed to diagnose an infection during your pregnancy or if there were complications during birth, which led to a lack of oxygen to the baby's brain (asphyxia). If your child was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, you might want to think about what his or her future entails as you consider holding your doctor accountable.

Young boy left with cerebral palsy after surgery

A young boy recently settled a lawsuit against a hospital and physician in a negligence suit alleging the boy developed cerebral palsy as a result of the physician's medical negligence. The boy developed cerebral palsy after 25 surgeries, which were an attempt to address a leak in the boy's esophagus that was not life threatening.

What is cerebral palsy?

Cerebral palsy is a medical disorder that results from damage to the brain. The disorder can be the result of a traumatic brain injury during a car accident or fall, injury due to a lack of oxygen during labor and delivery or an infection in or around the brain.

Who is liable when both the obstetrician and radiologist err?

Liability in a medical malpractice case is not always clear. There are situations when multiple parties are responsible for an error and others where although a number of medical professionals were involved only one bears the responsibility of the diagnosis and treatment.

A recent case provides an example.

The changing nature of the definition for sepsis

Sepsis is a public health concern. Sepsis results in approximately 200,000 deaths in the United States every year. Unfortunately, exact data for sepsis is difficult to gather due to discrepancies with the definition.

How can we get better data about sepsis? It is important to have a consistent definition. In order to achieve this goal, a recent publication in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) calls for an update.  

Study finds connection between large head size and birth injury

Injuries to the white matter of the brain increase the risk of cerebral palsy. A recent study, published in Obstetrics and Gynecology International, dug into whether the size of an infant's head would increase the risk of brain damage during labor and delivery and ultimately increase the risk of a cerebral palsy diagnosis.

New study on obstetric med mal cases and high-severity injuries

A recent study analyzed medical malpractice claims against obstetricians. Researchers found that although obstetric liability claims compose a small portion of all med mal lawsuits, the claims are often much greater in severity than other medical liability claims. The financial costs tied to these claims are often astronomical as a claim involving an infant often takes into account the likelihood of a lifetime of future medical care costs.

The research was conducted with a review of 472 obstetric medical malpractice cases. The researchers, part of a company that specializes in liability claims, found that a fatality of mother or infant was present in almost one-fourth of the claims. The study also found claims against infants were much more prevalent compared to claims of injury against the mother.

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