Law Office of Robert A. Miller
Serving Oregon Medical Malpractice And Car Accident Clients Statewide
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Oregon Medical Malpractice and Auto Accident Law blog

Mother awarded $101 million for son's birth injuries

Parents spend months getting ready to welcome their new baby into the world. Unfortunately, all it takes is one negligent mistake or error to change all of those carefully laid plans. For Oregon parents who are raising children injured by birth injuries, the reality of this situation can be especially difficult. However, it is possible to hold negligent doctors, nurses and hospitals responsible for their actions.

An out-of-state mother decided to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit after her son was injured during delivery. Her claim alleged that the medical personnel working at the facility where she gave birth ignored signs of distress for approximately six hours. This was backed up by medical experts who agreed that the fetal monitoring strips showed abnormalities both before and during labor. Experts also determined that the boy would not have suffered any injuries if the attending personnel had told the doctor about those abnormalities, which warranted a cesarean section.

Does your child have brain injuries?

Parents tend to seek to protect their children. However, there are some instances where the actions of another party may cause undue harm to a child, beyond the parents' control.

Depending on a child's developmental level, it may not be easy to determine when a child has sustained injuries in a car accident. However, particularly in the case of brain injury, there are a few signs parents can look out for.

Woman's birth-related injury goes undiagnosed for over one year

Advances made in medicine in recent years have caused childbirth to be viewed as a fairly routine procedure. While expectant mothers in Oregon certainly should not fear that they will be harmed while giving birth to their babies, delivery is still a traumatic process that certainly does take its toll on a woman. Part of that toll may indeed be an injury, yet the hope is that any damage that is done during delivery will be quickly identified and dealt with. If it is not, it can linger within a woman and even progress to the point of causing serious health complications

Often the effects of such an injury are manifested over time. Yet women should be able to count on the skills of their doctors to recognize problems from diagnostic testing or a description of their symptoms. It was a failure to meet such a standard that prompted a woman to sue a physician's group in Kansas for medical malpractice. She claims that providers belonging to the group should have been able to identify the signs of a tear she sustained during childbirth that was causing her bowel issues. The problem ultimately went unidentified for over a year. 

Evolving medical malpractice laws

People who live in Oregon can be in need of medical care for a variety of reasons. Many of these reasons are not always associated with a problem per se, at least at first. One example of this is a preventive annual wellness exam. A routine screening procedure is another example. A prenatal checkup is another type of visit that is often made when a concern may not be immediately obvious. It is at these times, however, that patients rely on medical professionals to notice signs of potential problems and take appropriate action.

The state's medical malpractice laws were challenged a couple of years ago after one man's stroke was not detected early enough, leaving him with permanent brain damage. According to a report by The Bulletin, the law's definition of medical malpractice was actually expanded to include actions in which a person is denied the opportunity to seek treatment and improve or prevent such damage. The failure of a doctor to order a test to investigate symptoms, for example, is one thing that may fall into this category.

Key aspects of an Oregon medical malpractice claim

When physicians are not careful, their actions can have drastic and lasting effects. That is why they are held to a high standard.

So, what can you do if your physician failed to uphold the proper standard? A medical malpractice claim may be beneficial. Before filing, there are a few key aspects to understand regarding claims in Oregon.

Misdiagnosis may mean malpractice

Malpractice cases stem from a variety of reasons. Perhaps the most common malpractice case is a failure to diagnose a condition in a timely way. In some instances, patients may suffer significant physical and financial hardship due to a doctor's misdiagnosis.

If you or someone you know has had to come to terms with crushing medical news, you understand the devastation. What may worsen the blow is finding that the doctor missed vital clues that may have led to an earlier discovery and effective treatment. 

What are fall risks during pregnancy?

If you are an expectant mother in Oregon, you may wonder about your risk of falling while pregnant and the likelihood of harm to your unborn child in the event that you do fall. According to Verywell Family, a number of common factors during pregnancy could increase your fall risk. The good news is that the risk of injury to the baby during a fall is relatively small, though it does exist. 

Falls during pregnancy occur most often during the third trimester. You might think that it is because the baby's growth has shifted your center of gravity from its baseline. This is a contributing factor but does not fully account for the increased fall risk.

Lack of oxygen may lead to brain damage in a newborn

An expectant mother does all she can to take care of herself in anticipation of her baby's birth. The physician and staff take over during delivery, doing all they can to keep the baby safe. Still, injuries do happen, and one of the most common is an infant brain injury due to lack of oxygen.

There are four common reasons for oxygen deprivation to occur:

  • Birth canal issue: During a difficult labor, the baby may get stuck in the birth canal. Medical staff must intervene quickly to resolve the matter. Not only is oxygen deprivation a problem, but an infant that becomes lodged in the birth canal is also subject to other injuries.
  • Umbilical cord problems: An umbilical cord that becomes twisted, knotted or prolapsed can cut off the infant's oxygen. If the cord gets wrapped around the neck, time is of the essence in ensuring that the problem is solved, and the baby can breathe properly. Another crisis occurs if the doctor cuts the cord too quickly, which can cut off the supply of oxygen before the infant is able to breathe on his own.
  • Blocked airway: Blocked airways can occur if mucous lodges in the baby's lungs. Again, medical staff must act quickly to clear constricted airways and prevent possible long-term medical issues.
  • Placental abruption: A placental abruption refers to a situation where the uterus and placenta separate too quickly; as a result, the newborn may not get a sufficient amount of oxygen.

The Different Kinds of Medical Malpractice and What they Mean

Going to the doctor can be an unpleasant experience. Between the stress, waiting to be seen and worrying about how much it will cost, the last thing you'd want is to worry about the quality of care you receive. Unfortunately, thousands of people experience unsatisfactory, or even sub-par care, from doctors resulting in medical malpractice suits.

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