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Articles Posted in Birth Injuries

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Parents anticipating the birth of their children typically do not expect problems to arise during their delivery. Tragically, however, some infants die shortly after they are born due to errors made by medical professionals. While parents who lose their children due to birth injuries have the right to seek compensation for their losses, when the paternity of a deceased child is not clear, it may impact the father’s right to pursue claims against negligent healthcare providers. This was demonstrated in a recent Maryland ruling, in which the court affirmed the dismissal of the putative father’s claims. If your child sustained an injury at birth, it is prudent to speak to a Maryland birth injury attorney about your rights as soon as possible.

The History of the Case

It is reported that the mother, how was expecting twins, was treated by the defendant obstetricians throughout her pregnancy. The twins were delivered by the defendants, and sadly, one twin died shortly thereafter. The paternity of the twins was disputed, and the plaintiff filed an action to establish paternity. A DNA test revealed him to be the father, but the court did not issue an order to that effect.

Allegedly, the mother explored the option of filing a medical malpractice lawsuit and entered into a stipulation with the defendant in which the defendant agreed to toll the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim. The mother later filed claims against the defendant. The plaintiff moved to intervene, but the mother objected to the motion on the grounds that it was untimely. His motion was denied, and he appealed. Continue Reading

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Frequently, there are multiple healthcare providers involved with the care of expectant mothers. For example, they may be treated by doctors, nurses, and in hospital settings. As such, if a child suffers a birth injury due to negligent prenatal care, the infant’s parents may be able to pursue malpractice claims against multiple entities. As shown in a recent Maryland case, though, plaintiffs must prove that each practitioner violated the applicable standard of care, and if they do not, some or all of their claims may be dismissed. If your child sustained an injury at birth because of incompetent medical care, it is wise to meet with a trusted Maryland birth injury lawyer to discuss your possible claims.

The Mother’s Care and Subsequent Claims

It is reported that the plaintiff mother was pregnant with the plaintiff infant and was treated by the defendant doctor throughout her pregnancy. She visited the defendant doctor when she was 37 weeks pregnant, which was considered full term, and reported reduced fetal movement. Her blood pressure was elevated, and a urinalysis revealed protein in her urine. She was then sent to the defendant hospital for further evaluation. After she was admitted, the defendant nurse took her blood pressure four times and noted it was increasing, and additional testing indicated she had protein in her urine.

Allegedly, the plaintiff mother was discharged that day. Four days later, she again visited the defendant doctor due to reduced fetal movement. Her blood pressure was elevated, and there was protein in her urine. As such, the defendant doctor proceeded with an emergency Caesarean section. The plaintiff infant was diagnosed with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, which was caused by insufficient oxygen during birth. The plaintiffs then filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants, asserting their negligence caused the plaintiff infant to suffer birth injuries. The defendants moved for summary judgment, arguing the plaintiff failed to establish they breached the applicable standard of care. The court granted the motion as to the defendant hospital, and defendant nurse and the plaintiffs appealed. Continue Reading

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Doctors tending to expectant mothers have a duty to advise them of treatment risks and alternatives. If they do not, and a mother makes an uninformed decision during delivery, it can result in a tragic birth injury that causes permanent impairment. If a mother is adequately advised of the potential harm a course of care poses but chooses to proceed with that plan regardless, though, the mother may be denied damages. This was demonstrated in a recent Maryland ruling in which an appellate court reversed a jury’s award in a birth injury case, which was the largest medical malpractice award in the United States to date. If your child sustained harm at birth, it is advisable to meet with an experienced Maryland birth injury attorney about your rights.

The Plaintiff’s Care

It is reported that the plaintiff mother, who was 16-years-old and 25 weeks pregnant, presented to the defendant hospital with severe eclampsia and other complications. She met with a team of doctors who advised her of treatment options and their potential risks. Specifically, they told her she could terminate her pregnancy, undergo cesarean delivery, or an induction for a vaginal delivery. She advised the doctors that she did not want to undergo a cesarean delivery to save the baby, even if there were signs of distress, but was otherwise unsure of how to proceed. She ultimately chose to undergo induction.

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In Maryland medical malpractice cases, the plaintiff must show that the defendant care provider deviated from the applicable standard of care. Generally, this requires the introduction of an expert opinion. It is not uncommon for both parties in a medical malpractice case to attempt to introduce evidence to impair the credibility of the other side, but not all character evidence is relevant or admissible. Recently, the United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, discussed whether information regarding a defendant’s reputation or an expert’s potential bias should be admitted into evidence in a birth injury case. If your child suffered harm during birth, it is advisable to speak with a seasoned Maryland birth injury attorney regarding what recourse may be available for your harm.

Factual Background

Reportedly, the plaintiff mother was treated by the defendant ob-gyn during her pregnancy. During the course of her treatment, it was noted the plaintiff infant measured large and a C-section was scheduled in case one became necessary. However, the plaintiff mother wished to proceed with a natural delivery. During the infant’s birth, his shoulders were caught above the plaintiff mother’s pubic bone. An advanced procedure and traction were then used to deliver the infant. Following his birth, the nfant was diagnosed with Erb’s palsy, a condition that causes paralysis due to a nerve injury. The mother subsequently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant on her own behalf and on behalf of her child. A trial was held, after which a jury found in favor of the defendant. The plaintiffs appealed on several grounds.

Relevance of Reputation Evidence

First, plaintiffs argued that the trial court erred in excluding evidence of the defendant’s reputation that was garnered from internet websites. On appeal, the court found that the evidence was properly excluded as irrelevant. The court stated that evidence is relevant if it tends to make a material fact more or less likely than it would be absent the evidence. The court noted, despite the issues of hearsay and the qualifications of the witnesses making the statements on the internet, evidence regarding the defendant’s general reputation did not speak to the issue of whether the defendant deviated from the standard of care in delivering the infant. Continue Reading

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There is nothing more devastating than realizing your newborn has suffered a preventable birth injury. Aside from the stress of dealing with such an injury, you probably have a lot of questions. If your child has sustained a serious birth injury because of a medical professional’s neglect or mistake, you might be able to obtain compensation. Birth injury cases are among the most complex areas of medical malpractice law, but you can rest assured that our hard-working Baltimore birth injury lawyers know how to effectively advocate for your rights.

Recently, a Baltimore jury ruled in favor of the plaintiff in a medical malpractice case in which the defendant was accused of causing a severe birth injury in 2014. The lawsuit arose from allegations that medical professionals provided a 16-year-old mother with inaccurate dire predictions about the possible outcome of the birth after she began experiencing preeclampsia. Facing that prognosis, which the mother’s lawyers say was incorrect; the teen underwent an unmonitored vaginal delivery when she should have instead had a C-section. This led to the newborn daughter suffering long lasting brain injuries from a lack of oxygen. In fact, the baby was born with a hypoxic brain injury, which caused cerebral palsy. She cannot walk, must rely on a feeding tube, and requires round-the-clock care.

Birth injuries can happen for a variety of reasons, but when these injuries are caused by medical negligence or careless errors made by a medical professional, you have the legal right to hold that medical professional accountable through a medical malpractice claim. Medical malpractice happens when a medical professional injures a patient by failing to act in accordance with the standard of care. The standard of care denotes the level of care that a reasonably competent doctor would have used in the same situation. You should be aware that the standard of care differs in each situation based on a number of factors including the patient’s medical history, age, condition being treated and more.

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Birth injuries can have lifelong consequences for a child. If you believe that your child has suffered a birth injury and you want to speak to a reputable Baltimore birth injury attorney, please contact the Arfaa Law Group. We take great pride in providing nuanced and personalized legal representation to each and every client, and you will be no exception.

The Study

While the birth of a child is meant to be an extremely joyous day in a parent’s life, it can quickly become a tragedy if something goes wrong. In such instances, doctors, lawyers and patients tend to focus on what happened during the labor and delivery that led to a negative outcome. However, a new study suggests that when you give birth may also matter. The report found that when compared to a weekday delivery during the daytime, the risk of delivery complications at nighttime were 21 percent higher; on weekends complications were 9 percent higher and on holidays 29 percent higher. In addition, the study found that education levels affect the rate of complications. For instance, teaching hospitals experienced a 28 percent increase in risk of complications in July when students first begin their training. By the following June, the was no statistical difference in risk. This implies that it takes students almost a year to get up to speed. Doctors and hospitals should take these insights seriously and create procedures and protocol around the findings.

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Having a baby is supposed to be one of life’s most joyous moments, but it can quickly become devastating if anything goes wrong. If you or someone close to you has suffered a fertility issue that you believe was caused by a doctor’s negligence, you need to reach out to a skilled Baltimore birth injury attorney who can help.

Recently, a couple in their 30s was having difficulty conceiving a child. They consulted an obstetrician and infertility doctor. The couple and the doctor agreed to use a gestational carrier. The couple picked a surrogate and sent the candidate to the fertility doctor for medical screening. The doctor informed the couple that everything was clear and did not indicate that the surrogate had any kind of condition in her medical history that would interfere with the pregnancy.

The surrogate gave birth to the couple’s child 25 weeks after developing preeclampsia during the pregnancy. The newborn child developed sepsis and died just three weeks after birth. The couple filed a malpractice claim against the fertility doctor, stating that the doctor failed to scrutinize the surrogate’s medical records prior to clearing her.

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If you suspect that your newborn’s death was a result of a medical professional’s error, carelessness, or wrongdoing, you need to reach out to a seasoned Baltimore wrongful death attorney without delay. At Arfaa Law Group, we are committed to helping our clients pursue the compensation they need to move on with their lives.

According to a new study published in the journal Health Affairs, American babies are 76 percent more likely to die before they turn a year old than babies in other rich countries such as Japan, Singapore, and Iceland. The risk of dying as a newborn in America is only slightly lower than the risk for babies in Sri Lanka and Ukraine. In addition, American children who survive infancy are 57 percent more likely to die before adulthood. When compared to 19 similar Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nations, the study found that U.S. babies were three times more likely to die from extreme immaturity and 2.3 times more likely to experience sudden death syndrome between 2001 and 2010.

The report found that one reason infant mortality rate is lower is due to higher poverty rates relative to other developed countries and a relatively weak social safety net. Approximately 21 percent of American children live in poverty, one of the highest rates in the developed world. In short, the poorer the children, the worse their health outcomes tend to be.

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During childbirth, physicians have a duty to care for the mother and the child. Unfortunately, doctors and nurses sometimes fail to focus on a mother’s health during delivery, leading to serious injuries and even death. If you believe that a medical professional’s negligence caused your loved one’s death, it is important to reach out to a Baltimore medical malpractice attorney who can investigate your case.

According to the National Institute of Health, maternal mortality is increasing instead of decreasing in the United States. In fact, the maternal mortality rate in the U.S. is higher than in 40 other countries. In 1982, the maternal death ratio in the U.S. was 7.5 per 100,000 live births, and by 2005 that number had risen to 15.1 deaths per 100,000 live births.

Some conditions that can lead to maternal death include preeclampsia, antepartum hemorrhage, postpartum hemorrhage, post-delivery infections, and cardiac arrest. If these conditions are not treated properly and in a timely manner, the mother can die.

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Twins and multiple births are inherently riskier than single births. A variety of complications may arise that could lead to birth injuries. In some cases, these injuries are caused by medical negligence. If you suspect that your children or you were injured by a physician’s carelessness, we can help. At Arfaa Law Group, our Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys can assess the merits of your case and determine the viability of your claim.

There are a number of complications that may arise when a woman is carrying multiple children, including pre-term labor, umbilical cord prolapse, facial nerve injuries, brachial plexus injuries, placenta previa, preeclampsia, post-partum hemorrhage, congenital abnormalities, or twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome. These complications can have a number of causes, including medical negligence.

When a woman carrying more than one baby experiences medical complications, it is not necessarily because of medical malpractice. Some birth injuries may be unavoidable, no matter how much care the physician takes. Instead, medical malpractice claims intend to hold medical professionals accountable for negligent conduct. As a result, medical malpractice occurs when a physician fails to exercise the level of care that another reasonably prudent physician in the same specialty would have exercised in the same or similar circumstances, thereby causing harm to the patient. For example, a physician may be liable for a birth injury if that injury was caused by the improper usage of a vacuum extractor or forceps. This is because a reasonably prudent physician would know how to use a vacuum extractor or forceps properly in order not to cause harm to the baby.

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