Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Was doctor's delay a cause for malpractice?

The mother of a child now diagnosed with cerebral palsy was originally admitted to the hospital in preterm care. The individual that was in charge of caring for the mother had been a labor and delivery nurse for 33 years.

An hour after admittance, the fetal heart rate began to decelerate. The nurse then contacted the obstetrician, but the obstetrician did not arrive at the hospital for close to 30 minutes. When he did arrive, a cesarean section was ordered, but the child was unable to breathe for the first five minutes following delivery.

The allegations of the mother were that the nurse breached her standard of care by not attempting to contact another doctor when the obstetrician failed to immediately arrive. The hospital argued that no procedure would have been able to bring in another doctor that quickly as the hospital in question was located in a more rural area where a doctor would not be available.

The jury agreed that no claim of medical malpractice had been established. Birth injury cases in the medical malpractice area are often difficult for plaintiffs to prevail in any case because it is often difficult to demonstrate that medical professionals breached their standard of care. The burden of proof is upon the plaintiffs and their attorney to demonstrate that it was more likely than not that the injury came about due to the actions of a medical provider.

Because medical malpractice cases can be particularly tragic, having an attorney that can organize evidence and establish negligence on part of the medical providers is essential. Having such an attorney is also essential because often these types of suits concerns detailed knowledge of hospital practices, procedures, and the best way to approach any medical problem.

Source: Dodge Globe, "Kansas Supreme Court affirms ruling in nursing malpractice case," by Abigail Wilson, Jan. 15, 2013

  • Learn more of what is required in birth injury lawsuits at our Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania lawyers' website.

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