According to the Director of Obstetric Services at the University of Pennsylvania, there are steps that can be taken by hospitals that would prevent birth injuries from occurring. In part, this involves employing staff members that can help in the coverage of obstetrics and various birth issues. Hospitals that employed such individuals saw as much as a 15 percent decrease in preterm deliveries or circumstances that led to the inducing of labor.
Wherever birth injury cases are held involving the accusation of medical mistake, it will likely be sometime before the matter is finally resolved. In a neighboring state of Pennsylvania, a verdict of $13.9 million dollars was returned, the verdict was later reduced to $9.7 million by the court, and the attorney for the doctor expected to pay the verdict is now attempting to have the judge replaced from the case as pertains to a variety of post-verdict issues that still require sorting out.
Though the headlines tell a story about a Catholic hospital attempting to reduce liability in a medical malpractice lawsuit by arguing that the fetuses that died could not be legally considered people, the real tragedy occurred in the operating room where the mother and the two fetuses died.
While waiting for the outcome of medical malpractice cases, patients and family members may be facing medical bills in excess of $100,000. Because these individuals simply do not have the funds to pay such bills, they may apply for Medicare or Medicaid relief to help pay the bills. Such a scenario is now the subject of a United States Supreme Court case.
In one hospital alone, it has been alleged that negligent medical care caused the death of three separate infants during a 60 day period. In one lawsuit, the physician and medical providers are accused of not recognizing the symptoms of early labor. In another, cesarean delivery was delayed. And a failure to recognize fetal distress led to the brain injury of a newborn child that died four days later.
Medical caps seem to be part of the discussion anytime a medical malpractice case is filed. Though the claimed intent of these caps is to compensate only legitimate medical malpractice claims, what it has instead often led to is confusion as to how much such legitimate claims should be awarded.
When a medical emergency comes up while a mother is in labor, doctors and staff must act promptly to prevent injuries to the mother and the baby. A failure to act decisively is one of the most common reasons for why birth injuries occur.
A young girl's delivery by cesarean section ended disastrously. The birth injuries she suffered have resulted in the girl being blind and deaf, and unable to walk or crawl. Because the girl now suffers from mental retardation and seizure disorders, she requires 12 to 18 hours of nursing care on a daily basis.
In fetal distress or birth asphyxia cases resulting in cerebral palsy, the argument in the case is always over whether the doctor moved quickly enough to perform a emergency C-section once there were signs that the baby was experiencing problems during the labor process.
There is a concern that pregnant women may be prescribed antihypertensive drugs without doctors taking into account possible consequences. Though such medications obviously can prevent hypertension in pregnant women, the risks of birth injuries and pregnancy complications such as placental abruption, fetal demise, superimposed preeclampsia, preterm birth or maternal morbidity by taking such medications have not been studied.