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Brain damage at birth leads to a medical malpractice suit

As most Maryland parents can attest, the birth of a baby is often a happy experience with everything going smoothly. That joy, however, can quickly lead to frustration, anger and sadness when an injury or serious medical condition is found. Such was the case with a California couple whose baby was born with brain damage due to medical malpractice during the labor and delivery.

The baby was born on January 4, 2010, and the plaintiff filed the lawsuit on September 21, 2012, with the assistance of an attorney. The lawsuit alleges that the vacuum extraction that hospital personnel used during the delivery was unnecessary and led to serious brain injuries for the baby. The end result is a lifetime of medical problems that the infant and the family will have to endure.

When the mother began having problems delivering her child, staff ordered a C-section. Doctors used vacuum extraction during the C-section to elevate the baby's head. This allegedly led to a hemorrhage, cerebral palsy and other medical conditions. The parents are seeking $50 million in damages, including pain and suffering and compensation for medical bills.

When filing a medical malpractice claim, it is important for plaintiffs to differentiate between a birth injury and a birth defect. A birth defect results from something that happens during pregnancy and cannot be blamed on a medical professional. Many birth defects are hereditary, while some are caused by the actions of the mother -- such as drinking, smoking or using drugs. Some birth defects are of an unknown origin. In any case, plaintiffs filing a medical malpractice claim must prove that the doctor was the one who caused the harm to the victim.

Source:, "Birth Injury Lawyer Claims Brain Damage," Elise Kramer, Nov. 12, 2012

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