Medical malpractice is a subsection of negligence in general. The term refers to negligence
committed on the part of a medical professional acting in the course of
medical practice. Many different types of medical professionals may be
sued under the guise of medical malpractice. Among them are the general
practitioner, surgeon, specialist, dentist, podiatrist, nurses, and even
health care facilities through which medical professionals practice.
Experienced Kingston medical malpractice attorneys know that in order for
the medical professional and/or provider to be held liable for negligence
he or she must have owed a duty to the plaintiff. Once there is a duty
owed to the patient, if that duty is breached and such breach was the
proximate cause of the patient’s injuries, then the medical professional
can be held liable for the patient’s damages.
A very common form of medical malpractice relates to birth injuries. While
there are many different types of birth injury, some common and severe
injuries involve cerebral palsy, brachial plexus, fetal asphyxia, and
various injuries associated with C-sections.
As you know, cerebral palsy results from an injury to the brain that which
occurred at birth. The injury that we speak of is trauma to the brain,
oxygen deprivation, brain hemorrhage, and even an infection. All of which
was caused at the time of birth. It is important for you to know that
this is a preventable condition. Once afflicted with the condition, it
is manageable with therapy and medical care, but the brain injury cannot
be cured or reversed.
The traumatic event could have been prevented had the medical professional
taken proper prenatal care of the mother. Also, there may have been a
negligent event during the birth itself, such as the misuse of medical devices.
Brachial plexus is a specific and important part within the human body.
This part of the body located within the neck vertebra, however, is far
from simple. It is a network of nerves responsible for sending impulses
from a person’s shoulders, down the arm, through the hands, and
to the fingers. If these nerves are stretched or completely severed, the
upper extremities will not function properly, or may not function at all.
There could be burning and stinging sensations and the loss can be partial
if not complete.
While this condition is associated with sports injuries, it is also a result
of medical malpractice that which occurred at the time a baby is delivered
at birth. This is the most common form of birth injury and happens when
a person’s head is pulled away from the shoulder while at the same
time the shoulder is pushed in down in the opposite direction.
This condition occurs prior to birth when the baby is in gestation and
there has been damage to the placenta and/or umbilical cord. Recall from
above that one cause of cerebral palsy is lack of oxygen to the infant’s
brain. Damage of this type injures the brain and may cause an inability
of the child to use his or her muscles. Cognitive impairment may result as well.
Medical professionals are trained to detect these problems and proper detection
along with proper post-diagnoses care is what typically happens. However
there are times when the baby’s injuries could have been reduced
or even prevented. For example, a fetal heart rate may not have been properly
Medical Malpractice Associated with C-Sections
Most people know what a C-section is; it is a medical procedure by which
surgeons remove the baby from the mother’s womb instead of the mother
giving natural birth. This is typically performed when there is some medical
risk to either the mother or the child that doctors seek to prevent or
alleviate by taking the baby before the mother gives birth naturally.
Even when the C-section is planned in advance, complications may arise.
While complications are common to all surgical procedures, some are preventable.
Indeed, the mother and/or the baby may die if the procedure is not adequately
performed or if not performed timely.
Making these matters worse is that fact that it is not easy to determine
if the child’s injury was the result of medical negligence. Extensive
investigation of the facts and extensive experience on the part of attorneys
in the field of child birth negligence is necessary in order to properly
determine if the child’s injury is something for which a medical
professional should be liable.