In many cases, the federal government is protected from lawsuits. However, there is an exception. The Federal Tort Claims Act allows people to sue the federal government in the case of medical malpractice although punitive damages will not be awarded. At one federally-funded health clinic, a child suffered severe permanent brain damage after a mid-forceps delivery. A judge in Pennsylvania ordered the federal government to pay $41.6 million in the case.
For Pennsylvania families, expecting a new baby is an exciting time. However, when the baby is born with a birth injury or defect, the family's joy can be quickly turned to concern.
A controversial idea is spreading across the country that could affect the rights of infants harmed at birth by medical malpractice. Two states have set up a no-fault birth injury fund to pay victims, instead of giving parents the option of suing for damages, and a task force in a third state is recommending that legislators there do the same thing.
After a mother or her child suffers serious injury during delivery, the family may have to deal with extra medical bills, not to mention the pain and suffering of the victim. When looking for justice, victims may be able to look beyond the physician or other staff member who allowed the birth injury to happen.
Delivering a baby is nearly always safe for both mother and child, but complications do sometimes occur. A good obstetrician will quickly note the signs of trouble during labor and take the reasonably accepted steps to solve the problem.
Pittsburgh parents love their children no matter what. At the same time, it can be heartbreaking when a child is born profoundly disabled. Every parent has dreams of their children growing up to be independent, successful adults, but a baby who suffers a birth injury before or during delivery may never be able to fulfill these hopes.
Way back in January, we discussed how pregnant women can suffer vaginal tears during labor. These tears are often relatively minor, but might also seriously threaten the mother’s health.
Cesarean section deliveries are necessary in many cases to protect the health of both mother and child. In fact, failure by the doctor to notice signs of distress and order a C-section can be a form of medical malpractice, if reasonable care and attention would have avoided serious injury.
When a child is born with a serious injury or disability, the parents’ joy likely is mixed with heartbreak, especially if the disability will shorten the infants’ life. Many serious disabilities happen because of genetics or random chance. Other times, the baby would have been born healthy if the obstetrician had done their job appropriately.
Though they usually have a happy ending, not every pregnancy and labor goes exactly by the book. Complications can make it more difficult to deliver a baby vaginally. In some cases, delivering the child via cesarean section is the medically prudent move, both for mother and baby.