A medical malpractice lawsuit filed against a military hospital reportedly settled earlier this week in Hawaii, with final approval of its terms still forthcoming from the United States Department of Justice.
In November 2009, a Pennsylvania woman giving birth at St. Luke’s University hospital in the borough of Fountain Hill in Lehigh County began experiencing delivery-related problems.
For Pittsburgh parents who are unfamiliar with the condition, cerebral palsy may at first seem like a genetic or inherited condition, but it is most often caused by brain damage, negligence or trauma. There is no avoiding the fact that cerebral palsy is most often a birth injury, not a birth defect. What that means, then, is that parents can fight on behalf of their children with cerebral palsy for a medical malpractice award.
Assertions made by medical officials and their advocates in malpractice cases across the country, including in Pennsylvania, are often subjected to challenge, even withering scrutiny, when they seem to stray from logic or common sense.
The problems that developed during a baby’s delivery in a Michigan hospital in early 2008 are far from singular. In fact, similar instances of doctors’ failures to perform cesarean section deliveries or deliver using alternative methods to reduce birth injury risks have occurred in Pennsylvania hospitals and other medical facilities across the country.
A medical malpractice lawsuit against the Philadelphia-based drug company GlaxoSmithKline illustrates well the procedural and jurisdictional intricacies that can play out in a legal filing involving parties from different states. It also points to the important role that an experienced trial and appellate attorney can assume in matters relating to forum, case removal and the venue in which a legal matter will ultimately be resolved.
Imagine being in a doctor's office as a pregnant woman and having what should be a relatively straight-forward procedure performed to monitor the health of a fetus. The doctor inserts a needle into the umbilical vein, but something happens. The doctor reinserts the needle over and over, not recognizing that the fetus is in distress. Shortly after, the baby is delivered but she has suffered serious and permanent birth injuries as a result of the botched procedure.
The March of Dimes Foundation states that complications arising from shoulder dystocia, a birth injury, most commonly occur with singularly large babies. Because it is patently difficult to render an accurate prediction of when shoulder dystocia might occur, health experts do not commonly recommend that a C-section delivery be performed as a preventative strategy.
In some instances of babies being born with birth injuries, there is no clear evidence that medical negligence on the part of a doctor or delivery team contributed to an adverse outcome.
A so-called "never event" involving wrong-side surgery has once again come back to haunt a family. The recent botched operation further underscores the fact that, despite lip service being paid to patient safety and the advent of safety-enhancing assists such as surgery checklists and "timeouts," sheer preventable medical error continues to exist in hospitals across the country, with serious and sometimes deadly consequences.