Articles Posted in Current Issues

Home birth was the only option for women 100 years ago. As hospitals and medical care evolved, so did the use of hospitals for labor and delivery. Today, however, there is a trend for some women to give birth at home, with the help of a midwife. Some wonder whether this is a safe option and one that should be given serious consideration. It is important to note that even though a woman wants to have a home birth, she should continue to receive standard prenatal care through a doctor.

Those Who Should Give Birth in a Hospital
There are some conditions and situations where hospital birth is preferable and indeed safer than giving birth at home. It is important to determine whether you may be at higher risk for a difficult delivery before making the decision as to where to give birth. Those with diabetes, preeclampsia, or have other medical conditions should consider hospital birth. Also, those who have a large baby could be considered at higher risk for complications during birth. Sometimes these situations require immediate advanced care which may include a cesarean section rather than a vaginal birth.
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Brain injuries can result from a variety of incidents, from automobile accidents to sports injuries. But most people don’t realize that they may be inviting a brain injury into their home. As reported by CNN, a 10-year-old Florida boy is currently hospitalized for a traumatic brain injury (TBI), allegedly stemming from a termite extermination in his home.

According to the report, the family left the home for two days while the treatment was completed. Upon returning to the home, the entire family reportedly became ill with stomach pains. While most of the family members recovered completely, the 10-year-old became increasingly ill, requiring an extended hospitalization. CNN reports that he has lost 90% of his motor skills and suffers from a traumatic brain injury. No conclusive determination has been made regarding the extermination of the Florida family’s home. However, state and federal agencies are reportedly investigating the incident.

Pesticide Exposure

When a pregnant mother chooses a physician to deliver her baby, she expects a capable doctor who will act in a professional manner to protect her life and the life of her newborn. However, some women fail to adequately check the background of a potential obstetrician. They understandably assume that a practicing doctor is in good professional standing, without repeated incidents of patient injuries or deaths. Unfortunately, this assumption is not always correct and an expectant mother can end up with a physician who routinely provides substandard care.

A North Carolina Fox News affiliate reported about a doctor who was recently order to cease performing deliveries after three babies died during or closely following their births. The doctor first received his medical license in 2002 and reportedly focused his practice on at-home deliveries. The North Carolina Board of Medicine issued an Interim Non-Practice Agreement stopping the physician from giving any obstetrical care until the conclusion of a full investigation and disciplinary hearing.
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The birth of a baby is one of life’s most significant and beautiful events. Some families have to wait years and spend thousands of dollars to experience parenthood. When mothers and fathers anticipate the arrival of a child, they imagine a successful delivery and a healthy delivery. Unfortunately, reality does not always meet these expectations.

Every year, thousands of babies are born with various birth injuries. While all of these conditions are serious, brain injuries can prove particularly debilitating or even fatal. Further complicating the issue is the fact these injuries often escape diagnosis at the time of birth. It is vitally important for parents to recognize symptoms of brain injury in a baby. Early detection is key to adequate treatment, as well as a determination about the cause of injury. Brain injuries in newborns are often avoidable and with the help of a capable attorney, affected families can secure compensation for their loss.
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Gestational diabetes is the development of diabetes during pregnancy. Its an extremely serious condition that can lead to a life or death situation for the mother, as well as the fetus. A recent article in Endocrine Today discusses risks involved with a medication that is increasingly prescribed to treat gestational diabetes. Glyburide is taken orally to assist in controlling blood sugar levels. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lists the medication in the pregnancy category C, which means that the agency has made no official determination about its safety and unborn babies.

Dangers of Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes generally occurs in four percent of all pregnancies. Risk factors for the disease include women over the age of 25-years-old, family history of type-2 diabetes, excessive body weight and women of a non-white race. According to the Mayo Clinic, inadequate management of the condition can lead to the following complications:
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In February 2015, two lawsuits were filed in federal courts alleging that the use of Zofran during pregnancy increased birth defects. These lawsuits are aimed at GlaxoSmithKline LLC, the maker of Zofran, and seek compensatory and punitive damages, equitable relief, and other relief deemed just and proper arising from the injuries as a result of prenatal exposure to Zofran.
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We recently saw landmark settlement in the realm of transvaginal mesh litigation. Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay a $5.7 million jury award to a woman named Colleen Perry who suffered injuries from the company’s vaginal-mesh implant. Specifically, a California jury awarded Ms. Perry $700,000 in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages for her injuries.

Ms. Perry was implanted with the product in 2011. Her complaint alleges that the Abbrevo vaginal-mesh implant eroded inside of her and was defectively designed, and that Johnson and Johnson’s Ethicon unit failed to properly warn doctors and patients about the implant’s risks. As the device eroded inside her, Ms. Perry experienced immense pain. The case is Perry et al v. Luu et al,
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Efforts to create a statewide birth injury compensation fund took another step forward as Maryland lawmakers listened to opposing testimony from medical professionals and trial lawyers, who advocated for their injured clients. The bill, which was introduced about a year ago, seeks to create a fund that would provide limited compensation for victims of birth related injuries. Though the legislation is limited to the state of Maryland, its passage or failure can have far-reaching implications for citizens of various other states.

The Baltimore Post Examiner is reporting about the legislative hearings that are currently taking place in consideration of the bill. Three medical doctors are included among its sponsoring delegates. Under its provisions, area hospitals will pay a mandatory amount into the fund each year based on an estimate of qualifying injuries. Proponents assert that seven injured babies are likely to qualify for compensation each year. Based on that information, the collective contribution will equal about $25 million.
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The family of a 4-year-old Oregon girl recently filed a lawsuit against a health care center for misdiagnosing the mother while she was pregnant with the child. According to reports, doctors diagnosed the pregnant woman with an ectopic pregnancy, a life threatening condition that can be fatal to the mother and fetus. In response, medication was ordered to medically abort the pregnancy. Though the mother reportedly followed the instructions of the doctor, she still gave birth to her daughter. However, the child reportedly suffers from numerous health concerns and the lawsuit alleges that the misdiagnosis, along with the subsequent actions, are to blame.

What is ectopic pregnancy?

Ectopic pregnancies occur when the fetus begins to form outside of the womb. Most often, the egg becomes lodged in the fallopian tube while passing from the ovary to the uterus. It is not able to properly develop and survive. Though rare, these types of pregnancies can also occur within the ovary or cervix, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH). While the fetus cannot survive, removing the abnormally developed cells can preserve the mother’s life.
There are several potential causes for ectopic pregnancies:
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During labor and delivery, families rely on physicians to act with great judgment and caution. They are responsible for the wellness of brand new lives and any mistake can make the difference between life and death. When poor decisions are made, mothers and babies can face a variety of medical injuries. Horner’s Syndrome is a condition in newborns where the cluster of nerves running from the brain to the face and eye are interrupted, causing facial injury. Also called oculosympathetic palsy, the syndrome affects about one in every 6,200 babies, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH).

Signs and Symptoms

Horner’s Syndrome is characterized by a number of signs and symptoms:

***Generally, the condition only affects one side of the face.
***The upper eyelid droops down over the eye.
***Disproportionate pupil sizes result from a constricted pupil within the affected eye.
***The affected eye may constantly appear bloodshot.
***The affected eye may look as though it is sunken in its cavity.
***The baby may appear to have different color eyes due to a lightening of the iris in the affected eye.
***There is an absence of any perspiration on the affected side of the face.

Horner’s Syndrome is not a disease in and of itself and, though its symptoms are undesirable, the NIH reports that it does not negatively affect general health or the baby’s ability to see. However, the underlying nerve damage may prove extremely dangerous and even life threatening. For this reason, treatment of Horner’s Syndrome generally focuses on the nerve injury.

Birth-Related Causes
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