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Annapolis Birth Injury Blog

FDA rules and resources to help expectant mothers

Expectant mothers and fathers-to-be may find themselves simultaneously eager, nervous, excited and maybe a little scared. It is not unusual to see them portrayed in movies and sitcoms with stacks of books on their nightstands, constantly preoccupied with doing the right things and avoiding the wrong in order to ensure their baby grows and develops in a way they would consider healthy, strong and happy. Despite their best efforts, parents-to-be may find it difficult to navigate the labeling on their prescription drugs. In order to prevent harm to the developing child and the mother, they need to have sufficient information and counsel regarding drug information.

In an effort to clarify and make more meaningful the labeling on prescription drugs, including antibodies and vaccines, the Food and Drug Administration published a new rule in 2014, which went into effect in 2015. According to the FDA, the new prescription drug labeling rule is designed to assist medical professionals to provide better counseling to women during pregnancy and lactation, especially with regard to weighing risks and benefits.

Are you at risk of preeclampsia?

Preeclampsia is a risk that many pregnant women face. It occurs when the expectant mother has high blood pressure and protein in her urine. The condition often develops after the 20th week of pregnancy. Headaches and blurry visions are among some of the symptoms that you might experience. Preeclampsia can be very dangerous for both you and your child, especially if left untreated.

While there is no proven way to prevent preeclampsia, there are certain things you can do to lessen the risk. For example, maintaining a healthy weight and sticking to a nutritious dietary plan can help reduce your chances of developing the condition. In addition, your doctor should be able to detect preeclampsia early enough to manage it effects. However, if your doctor fails to diagnose or treat the condition and it leads to injuries to yourself or your child, you may be able to take legal action. Read further to find out more about the causes and risks of preeclampsia.

America and the tragedy of pregnancy-related injuries

When it comes to child birth, most Americans don't think twice about the trust they place in the health system. Unfortunately, however, a devastating number of women in the country experience injuries upon birth. In Maryland, victims of birth injuries may seek settlements from doctors who made errors in prenatal care and upon delivery, but there are facts to know about childbirth and the injuries that can occur.

An article on National Public Radio explains that, with doctors' immense focus on infants during childbirth, they may unintentionally fail to recognize dangerous symptoms of mothers. According to NPR, 700 to 900 women in the U.S. die from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes every year, and roughly 65,000 nearly die from such causes. So, many ask, what is the reason for such a high rate of birthing complications in a developed country? Many mothers who died from pregnancy-related causes suffered heart problems, massive hemorrhages, blood clots, infections and other illnesses. Among the explanations for such tragedies are the fact that new mothers are older than in the past, have unplanned pregnancies and simply do not have the financial stability to receive the care they need. Other experts in the field point out that new technologies have widened the gap between maternal and fetal and infant care. 

What is cerebral palsy?

New parents in Maryland have more than enough to worry about with a healthy birth. But what can you do if your child is not as healthy as you had hoped? If your child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, what does this mean for them?

CerebralPalsy.org defines cerebral palsy as a harmful neurological disorder. It affects the development of your child and can have moderate to severe impacts on their muscle coordination and movement. It can affect different areas of the body to varying degrees. For example, one sufferer might only be impacted in the facial area. Others may experience problems in one or even all of their limbs. Some people can deal with total paralysis while others may only be faced with a tremor that requires little assistance.

Failure of staff to act after Pitocin overdose results in lawsuit

The many advances made in the field of gynecological and obstetrical science in recent years may have caused many to being to view the process of childcare as being routine. Yet even with all of the resources available to providers, birth injuries. That is often due to the fact that all of the equipment and treatment options available to clinicians to assist with deliveries are essentially rendered moot if they fail to pick up on the need to intervene in time.

Such a failure was cited in a lawsuit filed by a family whose daughter suffered brain damage during her delivery that left her suffering from cerebral palsy. The family’s attorney claims that the providers employed by the hospital named in their lawsuit administered too much Pitocin (a drug given to induce labor) to the girl’s mother. The excess Pitocin allegedly caused the mother to experience too many contractions, which in turn reduced the amount of blood carrying oxygen to the baby’s brain. The family goes on to claim that the hospital staff did not notice that the baby was in distress, which ultimately resulted in her not being delivered quickly enough to avoid permanent brain damage. The hospital recent agreed to multimillion-dollar settlement which will go towards meeting the expenses of the extensive that the girl, now six years old, continues to need.

Judge awards familys $23.1 million in birth injury suit

When a couple is expecting a baby there is so much excitement and planning, but some Maryland families have children who have suffered from birth injuries that leave many of their plans unraveling and their children in need of medical attention. All of the money in the world cannot make up for the stress and worry that comes from having a child who needs special medical attention, but some families do choose to sue for medical malpractice in order to find restitution of their child's injury.

One family recently took such a route, as the Chicago Tribune explains, and a judge awarded them $23.1 million, which is believed to be the largest damages amount awarded by a judge, rather than a jury, for a birth injury. When the mother was giving birth a large pool of blood collected and the baby's heart rate stopped being recorded on the monitors. After a Caesarean section to deliver the baby a blood transfusion was ordered, but there was a delay getting enough blood. In fact, the doctor who was being paged had forgotten his cell phone causing staff to be unable to reach him, so little girl waited three hours to be completely transfused and spent nine weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit. She was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy and epilepsy, and now at age 5, she needs a host of services including speech, physical and occupational therapy. 

3 ways a cerebral palsy diagnosis will change your life

Pregnancy is a time of hopeful expectations. Mothers-to-be spend many hours patiently awaiting the arrival of their little bundle of joy. Tragically, a mom can do everything right during pregnancy and labor and still have her newborn sustain birth injuries if a doctor makes a mistake.

Cerebral palsy is one of many birth injuries often linked to mistakes by doctors and nurses during prenatal care or the labor and delivery process. Cerebral palsy isn't a simple diagnosis. It is a number of potential conditions and issues that develop due to brain damage incurred en utero.

Awareness of birth injury details

There are multiple causes of birth injuries in Maryland, as many factors come into play. Assisted deliveries, improper use of tools, failure to diagnose conditions, and wrong dosage of medication are only a few factors that can lead to birth injuries, which in turn lead to legal predicaments.

According to Baltimore Business Journal, the health statistics for new mothers and infants is problematic. Maryland saw a slight increase in infant deaths in 2013, and has since struggled to maintain obstetrics and gynecology departments. Different causes have led to the drastic decrease in birthing resources, including spikes in insurance and potential lawsuits. Attempts to start injury funds have failed in the past; however, the state did create a health department committee to look into birth injury issues. Steps are being made to again attempt an injury fund, but the fund does not do enough to hold individual doctors at fault for injuries.

Birth injury risks and cerebral palsy

Many Maryland residents have likely seen people with children who exhibit visual and physical symptoms of having cerebral palsy. Many others may know someone personally who has a child with cerebral palsy. While some people develop cerebral palsy congenitally, WebMD explains that as many as 20 percent of people with CP developed it due to an injury that occured during the pregnancy, labor, delivery or even right after birth.

According to the Cerebral Palsy International Research Foundation, many factors may contribute to increasing the risk that a baby will develop cerebral palsy. These include improperly treated or untreated jaundice in a newborn, breech position before and during birth, maternal infection during pregnancy or the experience of breathing or circulatory problems during labor and delivery.

How to prove nurse negligence

If you feel you have been a victim of nurse negligence during a birth injury in Maryland, you may be wondering if you have enough evidence to prove your case. We at Michael H. Bereston work to advocate for children who are injured during birth and have provided this guide to help you determine whether your child was a victim of nurse negligence.


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