Of particular interest to the firm is representation of babies, infants, and children who have been seriously injured. Injuries to children from medical malpractice can cause a lifetime of pain and disability. The lawyers at Grossman and Moore have represented children in cases such as wrongful death following surgery, birth trauma resulting in death, brain injuries caused by failure to recognize fetal distress during childbirth, brain injury and death due to uterine rupture during a vaginal birth after cesarean section, and brain damage caused by failure to recognize cardiac tamponade following heart surgery. They have also handled cases involving infection, death due to air embolism, and brain damaged caused by ventriculoperitoneal shunt malfunction.
These cases may arise from misdiagnoses in neonatal care shortly after birth or in the emergency room. They may involve infections or injuries sustained after surgery. The attorneys also handle cases that arise as a result of birth trauma resulting in cerebral palsy and brachial plexus, and erb’s palsy injuries.
Cerebral Palsy is a disorder that can be caused by brain injuries experienced by babies due to oxygen deprivation that occurs at or around the time of birth.
Oxygen deprivation can be caused by such conditions as Group B streptococcus, cord compression, or uterine rupture. Medical negligence cases sometimes arise due to the failure on the part of the health care providers to perform a cesarean section in a timely manner.
Group B streptococcus
The March of Dimes reports that Group B streptococcus (GBS) infection is a common bacterial infection that is rarely serious in adults, but can be life-threatening to newborns. GBS affects about 1 in every 2,000 babies born in the United States. www.marchofdimes.com/professionals/14332_1205.asp
CDC guidelines recommend that all pregnant women should be screened for GBS at 35 to 37 weeks of pregnancy. Test results can be made available in 24 to 48 hours. If a pregnant woman is found to carry GBS, she should be treated with intravenous antibiotics during labor and delivery. A recent CDC study suggests that this approach may prevent nearly 90 percent of early-onset GBS infections. Any pregnant woman who has already had a baby with group B strep infection or who has a urinary tract infection caused by group B strep should be given antibiotics during labor. Pregnant women who are colonized with group B strep should be offered antibiotics at the time of labor or rupture of the membranes. According to a Fact Sheet published by theDirectors of Health Promotion and Education, most cases of group B strep infection in newborns can be prevented by giving certain pregnant women antibiotics during labor. www.dhpe.org/infect/strepb.html
It is also known that the risk of uterine rupture increases when mothers attempt vaginal birth after previous cesarean section, also known as VBAC. Obstetricians should be well-aware of this risk and precautions should be taken when VBAC is attempted. An excellent bibliography that gives the long history of the dangers and risks of vaginal birth after cesarean section is available at www.worldserver.com/turk/birthing/rrvbac2005-9.html
According to the National Institute of of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the term cerebral palsy refers to any one of a number of neurological disorders that appear in infancy or early childhood and permanently affect body movement and muscle coordination but do not worsen over time. Even though cerebral palsy affects muscle movement, it isn’t caused by problems in the muscles or nerves. It is caused by abnormalities in parts of the brain that control muscle movements. The majority of children with cerebral palsy are born with it, although it may not be detected until months or years later. The early signs of cerebral palsy usually appear before a child reaches 3 years of age.www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/cerebral_palsy/cerebral_palsy.htm
Some cases of Cerebral Palsy are profound and require treatment that may last a lifetime. At Grossman and Moore, we work to make sure children with cerebral palsy are able to have medical, hospital and nursing care, if needed, during the course of their lifetime. The NIH explains that there are treatments for cerebral palsy victims. The earlier treatment begins the better chance children have of overcoming developmental disabilities or learning new ways to accomplish the tasks that challenge them. While one child with severe cerebral palsy might be unable to walk and need extensive, lifelong care, another with mild cerebral palsy might be only slightly awkward and require no special assistance. Supportive treatments, medications, and surgery can help many individuals improve their motor skills and ability to communicate with the world.
Treatment may include physical and occupational therapy, speech therapy, drugs to control seizures, relax muscle spasms, and alleviate pain; surgery to correct anatomical abnormalities or release tight muscles; braces and other orthotic devices; wheelchairs and rolling walkers; and communication aids such as computers with attached voice synthesizers
There are many resources available to families whose children suffer from Cerebral Palsy including the following:
Brachial Plexus Palsy Injuries
Brachial plexus palsy injuries are known to occur as a result of excess lateral traction at the time of birth. According to the National Institute of Neruological Disorders and Stroke, many brachial plexus injuries happen during birth:the baby's shoulders may become impacted during the birth process causing the brachial plexus nerves to stretch or tear. There are four types of brachial plexus injuries: avulsion, the most severe type, in which the nerve is torn from the spine; rupture, in which the nerve is torn but not at the spinal attachment; neuroma, in which the nerve has tried to heal itself but scar tissue has grown around the injury, putting pressure on the injured nerve and preventing the nerve from conducting signals to the muscles; and neuropraxia or stretch, in which the nerve has been damaged but not torn. Neuropraxia is the most common type of brachial plexus injury. Treatment for brachial plexus injuries includes occupational or physical therapy and, in some cases, surgery. The site and type of brachial plexus injury determine the prognosis. www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/brachial_plexus/brachial_plexus.htm
Organizations that provide information to families who have children suffering brachial plexus palsy injuries include the following:
If your child has been injured due to medical negligence, contact us today. An attorney will be available to provide you with a free initial evaluation.