Medical malpractice caps disenfranchising victims

Are state limits on medical malpractice verdicts fair? Consider the case of Ascaris Mayo, who had all four of her limbs amputated after a missed diagnosis for a strep infection led to septic shock. The 53-year-old Milwaukee woman sued and won a $25.3 million verdict. But because of a cap on damage awards in Wisconsin, the amount she could receive was reduced to $750,000. Recently, a county circuit judge ruled that the cap was unconstitutional in this instance. Wrote Judge Jeffrey Conen about the original verdict for the mother of four: “This is not a runaway verdict.

What is cerebral palsy?

Cerebral palsy is a very common motor disability in children and affects nearly 10,000 babies each year. Cerebral palsy is not curable and will require treatment and support for a child’s  entire lifetime.

Cerebral palsy affects a child's neurological systems that control functionality, coordination, and muscle control. It can be caused by a birth injury due to medical malpractice.

What is cerebral hypoxia?

Cerebral hypoxia is a medical term used to describe a decrease in oxygen to the brain. The brain is very sensitive to decreased levels of oxygen and brain cells can begin to die after four minutes of being deprived of oxygen. The sooner the hypoxia is diagnosed and the underlying cause treated, the lower the risk of severe brain damage.

Cerebral hypoxia or a lack of oxygen to the brain can be caused by many things, including:

Kline Specter settles medical malpractice case for $16 million

 The law firm won a $16 million settlement for the family of a 57-year-old endodontist who suffered brain damage in a medical malpractice case. The injury occurred because of an improperly managed ventricular fibrillation following bypass surgery. The patient's bypass operation was successful but two days he later suffered the heart problem caused by a clot from a bypass graft. Six minutes passed before nurses in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at a Philadelphia-are hospital performed CPR while they waited for a doctor to arrive.

A uterine rupture during labor and delivery can harm an unborn baby

uterine rupture in a pregnant patient during labor can be a life-threatening complication for both a mother and unborn baby.  When a uterus ruptures, it tears open into the abdominal cavity and can cause a mother to hemorrhage and decrease the amount of blood and oxygen reaching a baby.

A uterus can rupture during active labor due to weakening in a previous C-section scar, hyperstimulation of the uterus, frequent or constant contractions or induced labor with Pitocin or oxytocin.

Birth injuries due to medical malpractice

There are times when a health care worker may not perform up to the standard of care, and this is considered medical malpractice. This can occur during pregnancy and birth, which can cause permanent problems for your child.

Birth injuries can occur because of the negligence on the part of a nurse, doctor or other medical worker. Often, these mistakes are avoidable and occur because of the following:

Too much Pitocin during labor can cause a birth injury

Pitocin is a drug commonly used to induce or speed up labor. It is a synthesized form of a hormone that is naturally produced by a woman’s body when she goes into labor. When administered, it is supposed to result in uterine contractions to assist in the labor process. Unfortunately, it does not come without risk of harm to a baby.

Fetal distress during labor can cause brain damage or cerebral palsy

During pregnancy, a fetus receives oxygen from the mother through the umbilical cord and the placenta.  If that oxygen flow to the fetus is disrupted, it can cause oxygen deprivation (hypoxia), and lead to fetal distress.  That oxygen deprivation can lead to permanent brain damage,hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), cerebral palsy (CP), developmental delays, seizures or infant death.

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