Articles Tagged with hospital negligence

A wrongful birth medical malpractice case alleges that a heath care provider such as a doctor (such as an OBGYN or radiologist), hospital or laboratory was negligent by failing to properly inform a pregnant mother that her fetus had some serious medical condition, so that the mother would have had an opportunity to terminate the pregnancy.

One type of wrongful birth claim involves the failure of an obstetrician or lab to properly report a positive blood test called a quadruple screen, which screens for a number of prenatal abnormalities such as Down Syndrome.  Another type of wrongful birth claim involves the failure of a radiologist to properly report that a sonogram shows Spina Bifida or certain markers, sometimes called hard and soft markers, for Down Syndrome.

Most states, like Maryland and the District of Columbia have recognized the ability of a mother to bring a wrongful birth medical malpractice claim.  Usually, the mother is allowed to claim the extraordinary cost of raising the child which, for a child with Down Syndrome, can be millions and millions of dollars.

A jury in a medical malpractice case tried in federal court has awarded $14.5 million to a young boy who suffered catastrophic injuries, including cerebral palsy, during birth.  The lawsuit alleged that the healthcare providers involved negligently guided the mother through labor, prescribing a drug – Pitocin – that sped up the delivery process to a rate at which the child did not have sufficient time to recover and oxygenate between contractions.  The Plaintiffs’ position was that when the fetal heart monitor began to demonstrate that the child was being deprived of oxygen the administration of Pitocin should have been terminated.  The evidence also demonstrated that the hospital’s written rules prohibited use of Pitocin in cases where the mother is dilating, making progress in the labor process and experiencing strong contractions.

As a result of his injuries, the child is unable to walk or talk and cannot sit up without assistance.  He likely will require significant, round-the-clock care for the remainder of his life.  The award – issued after two weeks of trial and four hours of deliberation – included $3 million for past a future pain, suffering and future lost wages.  The remainder of the award was to cover future medical expenses for his lifetime of needed care.

Our experienced Maryland medical malpractice attorneys are here to help. If you or a loved one were the victim of similar birth trauma malpractice, or any other type of medical error,  contact Andrew G. Slutkin with further questions or inquiries at 410-385-2786 for a free consultation.

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