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Tag Archives: permanent disability

New technology hopes to prevent birth injury

A healthcare instrument manufacturer has recently presented a new kind of scalpel to prevent birth injuries caused by a doctor during childbirth. The makers of this new surgical instrument say that it can prevent common accidental lacerations of the cheek, face and ear of the fetus as well as other body parts. Medical safety experts say that obstetrician doctors or residents often injure the infant while cutting through the mother’s tissues while working quickly to deliver the baby. Hospital errors can occur for various reasons. For example, unskilled physicians or fatigued staff sometimes have difficulty performing caesarean section surgeries under such time pressure. This can lead to permanent disability, wounds or even death of the baby. Patient safety can also be put at risk, leading to injury to the mother during such an intricate operation. The new medical device hopes to reduce the risk or such injuries and wrongful death. They also hope that the new safety blade design will prevent injury to the doctors and nurses involved in the surgery. Worker’s comp injuries involving hospital workers being hurt by needles, scalpels and other sharp instruments is a serious concern. Patient safety advocates explain that many medical safety devices are available to staff but some hospitals refuse to buy them due to high cost. However, they note that the high cost to a victim who suffers a medical malpractice injury must be taken into consideration. Many malpractice lawsuits, especially in cases of fetal injury, can be avoided with proper planning to avoid surgical error or a hospital mistake. Find out more about the new medical safety options here.

Photo for illustrative purposes only. Credit: M C Morgan [License]

$ 3.4 Million Dollar - Medical Malpractice - Failure to Diagnose

Failure to diagnose an infection in a child’s hips resulted in orthopedic injury with permanent disability. Top Injury Attorneys at Morrison & Wagner helped the injured party receive rightful compensation in the amount of $3,425,000. How common is a failure to diagnose? Approximately 40% of all medical malpractice claims involve a failure to diagnose some kind of condition (data). If you or a loved one experience medical malpractice, contact an experienced injury attorney right away. Read more about other cases of medical malpractice and physician error.

Illustrative Photo Credit: Elisa Self [License]

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Unspotted infection claimed child’s hips, mother alleged (VerdictSearch)

Settlement Amount: $3,425,000

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Court: Kings Supreme, Kings County, New York

Case Type: Medical Malpractice – Childbirth, Failure to Diagnose

Date: July 26, 2006

Plaintiff Attorney(s):
Stuart Wagner; Morrison & Wagner; New York, NY, for Plaintiff, and daughter
Eric H. Morrison; Morrison & Wagner; New York, NY, for Plaintiff, and daughter

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Facts:

On Nov. 24, 2002, the Plaintiff, a pregnant woman in her first trimester of gestation, presented to Maimonides Medical Center, in Brooklyn, experiencing contractions. Several hours later she gave birth to premature twin daughters. The first baby was born with Apgar scores of 9, and 9. (Editor’s note: The Apgar system scores an infant’s physical condition during the first minutes of life. The infant’s heart rate, respiration, muscle tone, stimulated responses, and color are graded zero, one or two. Thus, the maximum total score is 10. A low score indicates that the infant requires immediate, lifesaving attention.)

As a result of her premature birth, the baby was admitted into the hospital’s neonatology unit and was diagnosed with sepsis, growth retardation and prematurity. After more than 30 days in the neonatal intensive-care unit, she was released with a clean bill of health. Thereafter, the baby’s parents noticed that she was not turning like her twin sister was. The baby girl’s pediatrician noticed problems with her hips, and she was referred to a pediatric orthopedist. Upon examination, the orthopedist determined that the baby had no hip joints on both the left and right sides.

The Plaintiff, acting individually and on her daughter’s behalf, sued the hospital and the attending physicians. She alleged that the defendants failed to diagnose the condition and that their failures constituted medical malpractice.

The plaintiff’s expert pediatric orthopedist determined that the internist who examined the baby on her fourth day made the correct diagnosis and noted that the area was “swollen and painful.” They contended that this constituted an orthopedic emergency and warranted an immediate orthopedic consultation. Plaintiffs’ counsel also determined that the consultation would have resulted in a hip aspiration and removal of the bacteria that caused the infection. He further opined that the septic arthritis or osteomyelitis, an inflammation of the bone caused by a pathogenic organism, was not diagnosed and also demonstrated the defendants’ failure to appreciate the infant’s symptoms.

The defendants claimed that they did not depart from the standard of care. Defense counsel argued that the infant was provided timely and directed hip examinations following the intern’s note and that no symptoms justified an orthopedic consultation.

Injury:

Plaintiffs’ counsel claimed that the delayed diagnosis led to an infection that caused the complete deterioration of the little girl’s hip joints, resulting in a permanent disability. The girl, now 4, walks with an altered gait. Although she does not wear a brace, she requires fusion surgery on both hips. The surgery can not be performed until after she reaches puberty, and she also requires revision surgery over the course of her lifetime.

The victim’s vocational life-planning expert determined that she will have profound vocational and occupational consequences and will have difficulty finding meaningful employment.

Plaintiffs’ counsel sought recovery of an unspecified amount of damages for past and future medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

The defense claimed the girl does not need revision surgeries and will be able to lead a normal productive life.

Result:

The parties agreed to a $3,425,000 pretrial settlement. The hospital’s insurer will contribute the entire amount. The attending doctors were stipulated out.

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Judge: Gerard H. Rosenberg

Dangerous construction accidents in New York investigated

New York – Construction injuries have, unfortunately, become an expected reality in the industry, according to work safety advocates. They say that employers sometimes shirk their responsibilities by not following safety codes and create a hazardous condition for their workers. One hardhat construction worker suffered a fall injury in the World Trade Center site when he fell from a scaffold to the ground, nearly 20 feet below. Witnesses contend that the work accident occurred because the shoring equipment was unstable and no ladder was provided by the construction company. They note that the scaffold tipped over and collapsed, causing the worker to suffer a spinal injury with back pain, fractures and a permanent disability. The man’s injuries also included broken ribs and a head injury according to doctors. Accusations against various construction companies and contractors have since arisen, claiming that employers have tried to cover up accidents and injuries. Workers have reported that bosses have ordered the clean-up of the site of a construction injury in order to hide evidence of negligence. In addition, investigations have shown that employers have been known to avoid reporting workplace accidents, with as many as 34 serious on-the-job injuries going unreported to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the federal agency tasked with ensuring work safety. These accidents have been documented to have caused hips fractures, broken bones as well as neck and back injury. Worksite safety activists explain that these employers may have been trying to avoid negligence lawsuits and worker’s compensation injury claims while ignoring the damage they caused to the lives and families of the injured workers. Read details about the investigations into the unreported occupational worker’s comp injuries here.

Illustrative photo by Saberwolf116 at en.wikipedia [CC-BY-3.0], from Wikimedia Commons