In late May, 45-year-old Jacqueline Martin of NY was awarded nearly $120 million after suffering brain damage from a series of hospital visits. Martin, who originally sought treatment for a seizure, filed a lawsuit against three New York hospitals for medical malpractice. Martin claimed the medical staff mismanaged her medications, were unresponsive in times of crises, and failed to provide essential treatments.
Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional (doctor, nurse, or dentist) is negligent when providing treatment to a patient. Improper treatment and negligence can cause injury to a patient, whether it’s a surgical or prescription error. Medical personnel are expected to provide treatment and care with the utmost attention. This is due to the fact that patients must place a significant amount of trust in their physician and medical staff.
There are four elements a malpractice victim must establish for a claim to be successful.
- The patient is owed a duty, a legal duty taken by a hospital or healthcare provider to provide treatment or care to a patient.
- The hospital or healthcare provider breaches the duty by failing to comply with the relevant form of standard care.
- The lowered standard of care causes an injury.
- There must be some form of damage, whether it’s losses or emotional.
In the case of Jacqueline Martin, the hospitals were responsible for her treatment and care, but failed to conform to the regular standard of care. This caused the patient to sustain brain damage, which caused emotional and physical damage.
If you believe you have been a victim of medical malpractice, you’ll need an experienced Phoenix personal injury attorney. Call 480-648-8928 to schedule a consultation with Phoenix personal injury lawyer, Jared Everton.
What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a condition disrupting the motor skills and postural tone, developing in the first years of a child’s life. This disorder affects 0.002% of newborns, but a higher percentage of premature infants are diagnosed. Cerebral palsy can lead to respiratory problems, irritability, seizures, feeding problems, jitteriness, abnormal motor function, and irregular postural tone.
What Causes Cerebral Palsy?
- Prenatal Problems: Unless the baby is born prematurely, the cerebral palsy is unlikely related to the delivery and was caused prenatal, while the fetus was developing inside the mother’s womb.
- Bleeding in the Brain: Premature infants have brains with high risk of bleeding, which can easily cause cerebral palsy if severe enough.
- Lack of Oxygen: Babies born too early can also suffer respiratory distress; a lack of oxygen to the brain can result in cerebral palsy.
- Periventricular Leukomalacia:Some premature infants are born with a condition known as periventricular leukomalacia, which causes holes to form in the white matter of their brain. Because white matter is necessary for brains to process transmitted signals and relay them to the rest of the body, this disorder is a leading cause in cerebral palsy.
- Maternal Infections: Infections such as urinary tract infection, rubella, uterus infection, bloodstream infection, or bladder/kidney infection can increase the risk of cerebral palsy by nine times.
- Obstetrical Accidents: During a difficult delivery, a mistake made by the obstetrician can cause brain damage, resulting in cerebral palsy.
- Child Abuse: Severe shaking by a frustrated caregiver, sibling, or parent can cause brain damage, leading to cerebral palsy. Concurrent child abuse can make a child’s cerebral palsy significantly worse, and a single incident has the potential to kill a child suffering with the condition.
Cerebral Palsy & Medical Malpractice
Though most cases of cerebral palsy are not caused by the hospital or medical staff, there have definitely been enough cases to merit concern. Birth injuries and brain damage can easily be caused during delivery if the obstetrician and their staff fail to perform or respond to problems appropriately. Instances of medical negligence relating to cerebral palsy include: failing to recognize and respond to fetal distress, failing to perform a C-section fast enough, using forceps or vacuum extraction improperly, treating jaundice ineffectively in the newborn, and failing to ensure the child has enough oxygen. In addition, doctors may fail to diagnose and treat an infection in the mother, increasing risk of the disorder.
If your child was born with cerebral palsy due to medical error, or if your child was abused by a caregiver and developed the condition, you should assert your rights by retaining a skilled Arizona medical malpractice attorney. Call 480-648-8928 to schedule a free consultation with Phoenix personal injury attorney, Jared Everton, today.
The process of giving birth, aside from the joy of delivering, is painful, stressful, and dangerous for both the mother and the child. Because there are so many instances during birth when the baby’s oxygen flow is limited, the condition known as Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) is most common in newborns.
HIE is defined as “damage to the cells in the central nervous system from inadequate oxygen,” or brain damage caused by oxygen deprivation. When oxygen is limited, your body triggers defense mechanisms. Your heart starts beating faster, trying to get more blood to the brain and vital organs. But if the oxygen flow doesn’t increase fast enough, the brain can’t survive on what it’s getting from the blood alone, and it goes into survival mode. Even after the oxygen finally returns to the brain, significant damage has already been done.
What causes HIE?
There are several events which can cause oxygen deprivation, including:
Child spends too long in the birth canal
The hospital or physician didn’t react to a problem fast enough
Sadly, many HIE cases could have been easily prevented if the doctor or hospital staff had responded appropriately. If you have a family member that has suffered brain damage from oxygen deprivation, and believe that the medical staff may have acted in a manner which caused the injury, please contact Arizona medical malpractice attorney, Jared Everton today. Call 480-648-8928 to schedule a FREE consultation to discuss your case with an attorney experienced at handling medical malpractice cases in the Phoenix Valley.
In the medical profession, as well as others, there is an acceptable standard required in practice. For all professions, the standard is set by the reasonable practitioner. In order to have a medical malpractice case, you must prove that the doctor’s care fell below that acceptable standard.
If so, you then must establish that his/her failure directly resulted in your damages/injuries. Arizona is a difficult jurisdiction for medical malpractice cases. Only a medical malpractice attorney can identify whether you have a claim worth pursuing.
For more information about medical malpractice call Arizona Personal Injury Attorney Jared Everton at (480) 649-8928