August 14, 2015

Oregon Jury Awards $1 Million in Birth Injury Lawsuit

by Levin & Perconti

In an Oregon courtroom, the family of a child injured at birth successfully proved their case against an obstetrician and won damages in excess of $1 million. The child, who is now six-years-old, suffers from a brachial plexus injury. The compensation that she receives from her injuries will assist with medical fees, as well as non-financial challenges she will face for the remainder of her life.

According to reports, the events unfolded as follows:

The expectant mother was admitted to a regional medical center, with normal signs of labor.
The labor progressed without issue until the baby began descending deeper into the birth canal
Medical staff diagnosed the baby with shoulder dystocia.
According to the plaintiffs, despite the early diagnosis, the medical staff used traction to complete the delivery process
The baby was born with a brachial plexus injury.

Continue reading "Oregon Jury Awards $1 Million in Birth Injury Lawsuit" »

August 3, 2015

Hospital Laborists: A New Trend in Labor and Delivery

by Levin & Perconti

A new trend within the OBGYN community is catching on and quickly growing in popularity nationwide. An article in USA Today discusses how an increasing number of hospitals are hiring OB hospitalists, also commonly referred to as laborists, to ensure that they are always ready when obstetric or gynecological emergencies occur.

The Society of OBGYN Hospitalists (SOGH) defines a laborist as “an experienced OBGYN physician with a practice focused on managing the OBGYN care of the hospitalized patient.” These doctors are paid by the hospital to be readily available inside of the facility for a specified shift.

According to reports, there are several causes for this rising trend:

*Hospitals are looking for ways to decrease their risk of malpractice lawsuits

*Low patient satisfaction rates

*Doctors not wanting to remain on call for long periods of time

*OBGYNS who prefer to work for a steady salary, instead of managing an independent medical practice

*Increased reliance on nurses who must often perform deliveries when the on-call physician does not arrive in time

Continue reading "Hospital Laborists: A New Trend in Labor and Delivery" »

July 26, 2015

OBGYN Malpractice - Remembering the Risks

by Levin & Perconti

Across the United States on May 10th children young and old celebrate the women who gave them life on Mother's Day. This tradition sometimes consists of a heart-warming greeting card, a brunch served in bed, or a bouquet of flowers to show mom a small token of appreciation for her years of dedication. But it is important to keep this spirit alive throughout the year. It is worth remembering that their trials as parents began long before your memory.

Even in this day and age in the U.S. not all childbirths are perfectly safe. The risk of medical error even in our country occurs at a higher rate than should be acceptable. In fact, obstetrician gynecologists are commonly sued for their failure to safely deliver newborns. The challenge presented to an OBGYN is to care for the well being of two human beings at once; this can certainly be a daunting task. Recently, one of the nation’s largest insurance companies set out to discover where the errors in obstetrics were commonly occurring.

The Study

Continue reading "OBGYN Malpractice - Remembering the Risks" »

July 14, 2015

Explaining Wrongful Life Litigation

by Levin & Perconti

Every parent prays for a physically and mentally healthy baby, but for a variety of reasons, infants are often born with disabilities. While it is undeniable that these children are just as precious as their healthy counterparts, managing a child with severe disabilities can prove emotionally, physically and financially challenging for a family. For this reason, many expectant parents want to know about any obvious abnormalities as early as possible in the pregnancy. Regardless of any decisions made by parents upon finding out, knowledge of the situation allows for proper planning and informed choices.

What is a Wrongful Life

Continue reading "Explaining Wrongful Life Litigation" »

July 7, 2015

What Hospitals Don’t Say Could Hurt Your Infant

by Levin & Perconti

When parents choose a medical center to care for their labor and delivery needs, they also expect that the hospital will be capable of adequately handling any complications that may arise with the newborn. Reputation and track record go a long way in demonstrating whether your health care providers are truly fit to manage your birthing procedure, as well as your new bundle of joy. The poor track record of one Florida hospital attracted the attention of the federal government and their investigation may lead to a significant amount of financial liability.
An article on CNN.com is reporting about a West Palm Beach medical center that routinely performs open heart surgeries on infants and babies.

Continue reading "What Hospitals Don’t Say Could Hurt Your Infant" »

June 25, 2015

The Dangers of an Incorrect Due Date

by Levin & Perconti

Expectant mothers rely on their treating physicians to promote their health, as well as the health of their babies. Part of this responsibility includes the accurate and timely diagnosis of disorders and potential problems. If this task is not carried out adequately, the result can be fatal. When a pregnancy is first diagnosed, one of the details that the mother is most concerned with is the age of the fetus. The due date becomes stamped in the minds and hearts of family and friends, as parents anticipate the arrival of a new life. But an inaccurate gestational age diagnosis can prove much more serious than the inconvenience and disappointment it can cause.

A study on TranstitionToParenthood.com discusses the potential risks of misdiagnosing the gestational age of a fetus. According to the report, about 66% of babies are born relatively close to their due dates, meaning within ten days. Variation from one pregnancy to another is expected, with factors like age, race and multiple births all playing a part in the normal gestational term.

Continue reading "The Dangers of an Incorrect Due Date" »

June 16, 2015

Are Hospitals the Safest Choice for Your Birth?

by Levin & Perconti

When expecting a child, parents are faced with a variety of options. They want to make decisions that are in the best interest of the baby and their family. Some of the most important choices involve medical treatments and the birthing process. Parents may take a considerable amount of time to research and choose the right physician. After all, this is the person who cares for the mother and fetus during pregnancy, and ensures that the baby is brought into the world safely. A growing number of parents choose a different route, opting for a midwife instead of a doctor and deciding to have a home birth.

A Continuing Debate

Continue reading "Are Hospitals the Safest Choice for Your Birth?" »

June 9, 2015

Feres Doctrine Prevents Birth Injury Compensation for Military

by Levin & Perconti

A recent birth injury lawsuit is igniting debate about a federal law that limits government liability for injuries to military members. The Feres Doctrine became law in 1950. It prohibits military members and veterans from suing the federal government for injuries that occur during active duty. The doctrine is named for Lieutenant Feres, who died in a barracks fire that occurred in 1946. His widow attempted to sue the government, but lost. The creation of the Feres Doctrine shortly followed.

Controversy has always surrounded the law, and its lack of consideration in cases of gross negligence by a medical professional. Some of the situations covered include:

Prescription of incorrect medications
Medical mistakes
Wrongful execution of a service member
Nuclear experimentation on service members
Medical experimentation of mind control techniques

Continue reading "Feres Doctrine Prevents Birth Injury Compensation for Military" »

June 3, 2015

Jury Awards $4 Million for Preterm Tragedy

by Levin & Perconti

A Georgia jury recently awarded a couple more than $4 million in damages over the death of their infant son during a premature birthing injury. With only a short deliberation of 2 ½ hours, the jurors concluded that the medical staff failed to provide adequate treatment and did not act in a reasonable manner to prevent the mother from going into premature labor, which they determined to cause the death of the infant.

According to court papers, the mother entered the hospital for an evaluation after experiencing discharge. An ultrasound additionally revealed that her cervix was abnormally shortened. The parents claimed that, after her admission, the medical staff failed to properly monitor and treat the situation. As a result, the mother went into early labor at around 23 weeks of gestation. According to reports, it was revealed at trial that the expectant mother had a history of miscarriages, as well as a surgical history that led to the shortened cervix. The plaintiffs argued that this information should have alerted the doctor to the need for a heightened sense of urgency and monitoring.

A Cerclage Procedure

Part of the plaintiff’s complaint centered on a medical procedure that could possibly prevent the premature labor. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), premature births affected one in every nine U.S. births in 2012. It is defined as birth prior to 37 weeks of gestation. The potential harm of preterm birth is significant due to the cycle of development that occurs in the womb. When infants are born prematurely, they may suffer from a variety of health problems, including:

***Impaired hearing of sight
***Difficulty breathing
***Delayed developmental milestones
***Feeding difficulties

Continue reading "Jury Awards $4 Million for Preterm Tragedy" »

May 28, 2015

The Misdiagnosis of an Ectopic Pregnancy

by Levin & Perconti

Though pregnancy may seem like an easy condition to diagnose, there are numerous possibilities for misdiagnosis. When physicians are negligent and incorrectly identify a medical condition, there can be fatal consequences. The development of the fetus in the womb is an intricate and delicate process. By failing to adequately diagnose problems or potential issues, doctors place the mother and the child at risk. The misdiagnosis of an ectopic pregnancy can prove particularly dangerous and a negligent physician should be held accountable for his or her actions.

What is ectopic pregnancy?

In a normal pregnancy, the fertilized egg implants in the lining of the uterus to develop and grow. As explained by the Mayo Clinic, the egg sometimes implants in other areas of the reproductive system, resulting in an ectopic pregnancy. Possible places for ectopic pregnancy include:

*Fallopian tubes – These are the tubes that connect the ovaries to the uterus, for movement of the unfertilized egg each month. A pregnancy in this area of the body is commonly referred to as a tubal pregnancy.

*Abdominal Cavity – Though it rarely occurs, the fertilized egg sometimes implants in the abdomen of the mother. It may also occur as a secondary implanting that began as a tubal pregnancy, with the fertilized egg moving from the tubes to the abdomen.

*Ovary – A fertilized egg in the ovary is also characterized as an ectopic pregnancy. It typically occurs when the egg does not release during ovulation. Instead, the fertilization process occurs within the ovary.

*Cervix – A cervical pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg implants in the uterine endocervix. Though this type of pregnancy normally aborts during the first few months gestation, it may continue if the implanting occurs close to the uterine cavity

The Dangers of Ectopic Pregnancies

Continue reading "The Misdiagnosis of an Ectopic Pregnancy" »

May 18, 2015

Inducement May Prove Healthier for Large Babies

by Levin & Perconti

There is arguably no more natural process than pregnancy and delivery of a baby. The female body is wired for this process and most experts agree that the healthiest option for all concerned is to let nature take its course. But a growing trend is taking the delivery date out of Mother Nature’s hands and putting it into the hands of the expectant mother and her physician. Women are choosing to schedule their deliveries prior to their actual due dates. Termed elective induction, many health care professionals advise against this decision, citing increased risk of injury to the mother and the baby. But a recent study suggests that an elective induction may prove the best choice when an infant is considerably larger than average.

There are a variety of reasons why women choose elective inductions:

Continue reading "Inducement May Prove Healthier for Large Babies" »

May 5, 2015

Injury Basics - The Risks of Breech Births

by Levin & Perconti

As the world celebrates the birth of a new royal princess, it is important to also recognize the risks of childbirth to both the mother and the baby. Parents expect physicians to act in a professional manner when diagnosing and treating problems that arise during pregnancy. When doctors do not meet these standards, the results can prove devastating for the entire family.

A breech positioning is one condition that should cause considerable concern for the treating physician. The healthiest position for an infant in the womb is facing down, so the head is the closest body part to the birthing canal. When babies deliver head first, the rest of the body has an easier transition through the canal. Breech positioning occurs when the baby's feet or buttocks are closest to the birthing canal.

Continue reading "Injury Basics - The Risks of Breech Births" »