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Failure to diagnose claimed against doctor, hospital in Fla birth

Medical errors often constitute medical malpractice. A failure to diagnose symptoms with a reasonable degree of medical care can cause lasting injuries, paralysis, or even unexpected death. This is especially true when dealing with birth injuries, and a recent Florida medical malpractice lawsuit evidences the severe consequences that can follow substandard care.

A couple, living in Winter Haven at the time, claims their newborn son was delivered in March 2009 by a medical team at Winter Haven Hospital that failed to diagnose a serious emergency condition commonly referred to as a shoulder dystocia. This medical error can lead to serious disfiguration requiring correction with major surgeries. The suit also alleges the medical team did not move quickly enough to recognize symptoms of fetal distress, did not deliver the baby with sufficient speed, and applied an excessive amount of traction to the head during delivery.

The parents complain that failure to provide appropriate prenatal care and treatment contributed to the medical malpractice because a reasonable degree of care should have led to the correct diagnosis of the conditions and proper care for the baby to prevent significant complications. The lawsuit alleges the baby has suffered permanent damage, which includes a serious brachial plexus injury. This type of injury interferes with the nerves sending signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm and hands. The treating doctor, his employer and the hospital were all named in the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages in excess of the statutory minimum of $15,000.

In this case, it appears the child now faces years of delicate surgery to correct the problems. The lawsuit will now proceed though the Florida courts and it serves as an important reminder that those suspecting substandard medical treatment would benefit by conferring with an attorney experienced in medical malpractice law and procedure. The lawyer can help assess liability, preserve crucial evidence and pursue claims against all negligent parties to hold them fully accountable under the law.

Source: The News Chief News, "Malpractice lawsuit claims negligence in birth," Robin Williams Adams, Oct. 26, 2011

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