Medical malpractice lawsuits refer to those instances where professional negligence by a medical caregiver is alleged. The term refers to all cases of this sort, regardless of the specific injury that results. In the most extreme cases, a patient may pass away as a result of the inadequate medical care. At those times, a wrongful death lawsuit may be filed. While there is much nuance, wrongful death lawsuits make distinct legal arguments that are somewhat different than those filed by a patient on their own behalf for an injury after mistreatment. The complexities of this distinction is just one of many reasons why it is important to seek out the aid of an experienced med mal attorney as soon as possible after harm to protect your rights.
Infant Death During Delivery
Unfortunately, one of the most common situations where medical malpractice is alleged to cause a death involve childbirth. Thousands of children are delivered every day. But just because the procedure is common does not mean that it is without risks. In fact, many families only learn too late of the serious nature of childbirth and the consequences when problems develop and are not handled properly.
For example, according to a new lawsuit filed and reported in the Disptach, a thirty year old women is seeking accountability following the death of her child during a late 2011 delivery. The woman went in for an induced delivery in November of 2011. Doctors knew ahead of time of a few risk factors which had complicated her pregnancy--including complications during a prior pregnancy and gestational diabetes.
At first, things progressed according to plan, with the induction drugs started in the early morning of November 15th. Yet, through the rest of the day, according to the lawsuit, there were clear signs that the fetus was in distress. Sadly, many hours later, the child was born without ever taking a breath. The baby was pronounced dead near 7:30pm that evening.
Med Mal Lawsuit
An autopsy performed later revealed that a lack of oxygen was the main issue, with the child dying from asphyxia. As in so many birth injury cases, the complaint suggests that a lack of timely intervention on the part of the medical team could have prevented the tragedy. This particular suit states that if the fetal distress was identified properly, then a cesarean section could have been performed. This emergency surgery would have allowed caregivers to provide aid to the child immediately, preventing the prolonged oxygen deprivation which ultimately led to the baby’s death.
Why did the medical team fail to identify the distress earlier? The lawsuit claims that a lack of monitoring was the cause. Childbirth can take many hours. In this case, the induction first started in the very early morning, and the birth itself did not happen for another 14 hours. Yet, as this sad example makes clear, it is critical for caregivers to vigilantly monitor progress throughout the day to identify any problems immediately and take action if necessary.
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