Is a bad result the standard for a birth injury case? In talking to parents, I have had them voice this position. But the question is whether this is the correct way of looking at things. The question essentially boils down to whether a bad result is always going to mean that the doctors and nurses committed medical malpractice?
In addition, the question regarding bad results also touches on another issue, and that is the “standard of care.” If you are not already familiar with the standard of care issue, I will explain it below, according to Maryland law.
WHAT IS THE STANDARD OF CARE IN A BIRTH INJURY CASE?
The standard of care is not only important in birth injury cases, it is also important in other types of medical malpractice cases. Maryland law requires that a plaintiff use medical experts to testify whether their treating doctor breached the standard of care, causing the injury. Without this testimony, the case will not be successful, more than likely.
For the standard of care, the easiest way to understand it is to ask, what would a reasonable and prudent doctor do under the same set of circumstances as your situation? As I mentioned above, this is a critical step to cases like this because the medical experts lay the foundation for how the facts are to be applied to the law by the fact finder in the case.
IS A BAD RESULT THE STANDARD FOR A BIRTH INJURY CASE?
The short answer to the question is a bad result the standard for a birth injury case is going to be in general, no. The standard that will be used is what is stated above, whether the treating doctor deviated from the standard articulated by medical experts, causing the injury. This reasoning is in place because it prevents the bad result reasoning from prevailing in these types of cases.
In medicine, sometimes bad results can happen even when doctors do everything right! This is important to understand. For example, in some surgery cases, depending on the injury or issue, a bad result can happen even when the doctors follow the steps for treatment. The same can hold true in birth injury cases.
For some babies a stroke during pregnancy can lead to a brain injury in the baby. This condition may only revel itself until after the baby has been born. For instance, the baby may not have any signs of distress during labor and delivery (fetal strips look good and mom notes no issues during pregnancy), and the doctors and nurses follow all of the procedures in treatment of mom and the baby.
What this issue also speaks to is why it is important for attorneys who handle these cases to screen them and perform an investigation into the fact surrounding the case. The medical records (especially fetal heart strips) must be evaluated, among other things, before a family can be informed as to whether medical malpractice is indeed what lead to the baby’s brain injury.
LET’S TALK MORE ABOUT YOUR QUESTIONS…
Hopefully now you understand is a bad result the standard for a birth injury case, as the short answer is going to be no. However, if you are dealing with something like this, it may be a good idea to at least speak with a birth injury attorney about your child’s possible options moving forward. The truth of the matter is that children who have a hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, or HIE diagnosis, and go on to be diagnosed with cerebral palsy can face a lifetime of challenges.
To talk with me just pick up the phone and give me a call. I can be reached at 301-850-4832. I talk with families all the time about birth trauma related injuries and I would be happy to listen to your story.
Marcus B. Boston, Esq.
2 Wisconsin Circle, Suite 700
Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815
1-833-4 BABY HELP