Archive for the ‘Birth Injuries’ Category

Pennsylvania Wrongful Death Birth Injury Case Settles for $1.5 Million

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Late last month the family of a 3 days old infant and Lehigh Valley Hospital settled a wrongful death case for $1.5 million.  The family filed the lawsuit alleging that their daughter, Mackenzie, suffered a birth injury during her May 2008 birth and that the medical staff failed to recognize that she had suffered the injury which resulted in her death. 

According to the family’s lawsuit, the obstetrician applied a vacuum to the baby’s head during delivery to assist with delivery and the vacuum caused bleeding in the baby’s brain.  However, the lawsuit alleged that the hospital staff did not recognize the symptoms of the bleeding quickly enough to prevent her death.

We express our condolences to this family following the loss of their infant daughter.

Could a Birth Injury Cause Autism?

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

A recent study published in the Journal Pediatrics found that oxygen deprivation during pregnancy, during labor or during birth could be a potential cause of Autism.  The study which examined 40 previous studies found that a birth injury alone could increase the risk of Autism fivefold.  The study also found that neonatal anemia, meconium aspiration, umbilical cord complications and other issues which may sometimes be identified and treated with proper medical care may significantly increase a child’s chances of being diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

While researchers believe that oxygen deprivation during birth or prior to birth may be a potential cause of Autism, they caution parents and caregivers to remember that further research is necessary and this is potentially only one cause of this complex syndrome.

Do you have a child with Autism?  Did your child suffer a birth injury?  Please leave a comment and let others know what happened.

Rise in Home Births Leads to Safety Questions

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Mothers in the United States have choices when it comes to childbirth.  While the majority of moms still decide to give birth in a hospital, the prevalence of home births has risen significantly in recent years.  According to the CDC, there was a 20% rise in home births between 2004 and 2008.  Some homebirths are attended by lay midwives and some are attended by obstetricians or other doctors.

Still, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecology is warning mothers that home births can be unsafe.  Some reasons why home births may be unsafe include the lack of emergency equipment and the fact that the professionals attending the birth may not have adequate training.

If you or your child have been hurt in a home birth and have pursued a legal recovery, please leave a comment and let others know your story.  Women have the choice about where to give birth and they also have the choice to pursue justice when they are harmed.  Your story may provide courage to other women to do just that.

Erie County Jury Awards Record Breaking $21.6 Million in Birth Injury Case

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

Last week, an Erie County jury returned the largest civil verdict ever recorded in the County. The verdict of $21.6 million dollars was awarded in a Pennsylvania birth injury medical malpractice case.

In November 2006, Ja’Kareon Graham was born with cerebral palsy after suffering oxygen deprivation at birth.  Ja’Kareon was delivered via emergency C-section, but as the jury concluded, that C-section came too late.  The jury found that the nursing staff at Hamot Medical Center failed to properly monitor the fetal heart rate and other vital signs and that as a result Ja’Kareon was injured.

The vast majority of the jury verdict was for the past and future medical care that Ja’Kareon is expected to need.  A small part of the award was for loss of future earning capacity.  The jury did not include any award for pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life in this Pennsylvania birth injury case.

Can You Bring a Camera Into the Delivery Room?

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Last month we talked about the ban on capturing a baby’s birth on video that is currently in place in many hospitals.  According to recent media reports, it appears that is not only videos that are being limited. Now, still cameras (and cell phone pictures) are also being limited in many hospitals, allegedly out of fear that parents will document evidence of birth injury medical malpractice.

Many parents are upset about this development, not because they wish to have evidence to use against the doctors whom they’ve entrusted to deliver their babies, but because they will be missing photographic evidence of an important part of their lives.

Before doctors, and hospitals, rush to judgment about allowing parents to photograph – or not – it is important to remember that pictures can just as easily show that no medical malpractice was committed and can document a very special time in the life of a family.