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Birth Injuries Archives

Jury awards family $55 million in birth malpractice case

Massachusetts residents may be interested in the recent judgment in a case involving a boy who suffered medical trauma during his birth in November 2009. According to a lawsuit filed by the boy's parents, the delivering doctor and other staff at St. Luke's University Hospital in Pennsylvania disregarded signs that the boy wasn't getting enough oxygen. The parents contended that the doctor did not perform a cesarean section even though signs indicated that the boy could suffer a birth injury without one.

Parents get millions for baby's injury

Parents from Massachusetts agreed on a $4.25 million settlement to a medical malpractice case that concluded in early December 2013. The parents claimed that a birth injury during delivery caused the brain damage that lead their newborn to develop cerebral palsy. The parents sued three doctors at UMass Memorial Center after suffering complications in their child's birth during August 2010. The child is now 4-years-old.

Inducing labor may increase chances of autism

Massachusetts infants who are born as a result of induced or augmented labor have a significantly increased incidence of autism. While giving birth is not in itself a risk-free endeavor, there are many instances where the actions taken by medical staff may increase the chance of birth injury. A recent study revealed that in a very small but nevertheless statistically significant number of cases, an autism diagnosis could have been prevented had the doctor not induced or augmented labor.

C SAFE device may reduce fetal lacerations in C-sections

Massachusetts parents-to-be may be interested to hear about a new technology designed to make C-sections safer for newborns. The technology, called C SAFE, is expected to reduce the number of fetal lacerations, a typical birth injury that occurs during C-sections.

Newborn care standards for at-home births

Massachusetts residents might be interested to hear that planned at-home births should also follow newborn care standards just like in-hospital ones do. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics' policy, planned at-home delivery babies should receive the same level of care as those born in birthing centers or hospitals. The academy also advises that there should be pre-established arrangements for newborns to be transported to hospitals if need be during such birthings. The AAP also states that planned at-home births should have certified midwives or physicians present.

Low-tech innovation enhances birth injury prevention

Doctors in poverty-stricken areas have a new option for reducing the risk of brain damage in oxygen-deprived children. The condition is referred to as hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. Though placental problems and umbilical knotting can happen during any child delivery, the risks of birth injury and brain damage are compounded in developing areas by malnutrition, anemia and lack of trained delivery personnel. Risks are also greater in developing regions of the world due to lack of expensive medical devices commonly found in Massachusetts and other developed world hospitals.To get around this problem, undergraduate students with the Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design at Johns Hopkins designed a $40 instrument capable of performing similarly to $12,000 hospital cooling units. The treatment involves reduction of the newborn's temperature by six degrees over three days. Research shows that, if done quickly following birth, brain injury may be prevented.

Massachusetts birth injury leads to settlement 11 years later

Birth defects can affect every aspect of a child's life and those of family members. Defects resulting from a birth injury can result in pain and suffering, the need for long-term care and extraordinary medical expenses. In Massachusetts, a mother filed a malpractice suit for negligence that led to a $5 million settlement for her son.The problem began when the mother noticed a decrease in fetal activity, which is a warning sign to consult with a health care provider. The mother was seen by a nurse and a student. During the examination, the nurse left the student alone to conduct tests. These tests uncovered warning signs that would alarm a medical professional and be grounds for further testing and immediate medical intervention. Instead, the woman was sent home and called back to the office the next day.