Seattle Personal Injury Law Blog

Cephalohematoma: treatments and risk factors

Cephalohematoma refers to a bleeding outside of the blood vessels, or hematoma, that occurs between a baby's scalp and skull. It is the result of damage to the blood vessels during labor and delivery. Between 1 and 2% of babies develop it during or after birth, so expectant mothers in Washington may want to know more about the condition and what it might entail.

Since the blood is on top of the skull, it does not affect the brain. However, it will create a soft bulge at the back of the baby's skull. The bulge will harden as the blood calcifies and will shrink as the blood disappears. Though cephalohematoma comes with no long-term complications, it does raise the risk for developing anemia and jaundice.

When is someone else liable for a suicide?

When a loved one commits suicide, survivors of the event will look for reasons why. While we often attribute suicide to mental disorders and unhappiness, there are cases where someone else may be liable.

Although nothing can ever bring back a loved one, it is completely natural for those affected by a suicide to seek justice for the early departure of a loved one, especially if they suspect another party’s wrongdoing.

Types and symptoms of infant spina bifida

Spina bifida, a condition where the spine fails to form properly and leaves the nerves of the spinal column exposed, is sometimes found in infants. Parents in Washington should know that the condition can be mild or serious depending on the type. There are three types: spina bifida occulta, meningocele and myelomeningocele.

Spina bifida occulta is the most common as well as the mildest. About 40 percent of those with the condition never know they have it. Possible symptoms include a dimple, birthmark or hairy patch on the back, usually in the affected area.

Misdiagnosis is the most common cause of malpractice claims

Whether you or a loved one suffered from the negligence of a medical professional, the long-term effects can be devastating. You may face a long road ahead of challenging recovery measures, considerable pain, emotional consequences, financial turmoil and more.

Two studies recently released have uncovered that misdiagnoses make up the most malpractice claims across the country. According to one study by the Boston malpractice carrier Coverys, 46% of the 1,800 closed malpractice claims from 2013 to 2017 related to a missed or wrong diagnosis. Another study by The Doctors Company revealed that 38% of malpractice claims of the 1,215 claims from 2008 to 2017 related to misdiagnoses.

Common medical errors and what to do about them

You go to the doctor when you are sick or have a medical emergency and expect to receive care that cures you or saves your life. Unfortunately, however, that is not always the case.

Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States, coming in behind cancer and heart disease. A BMJ study found that medical error causes more than 250,000 deaths, a shocking statistic for preventable deaths.

How negligence can harm a mother or child

When a baby is born, it may experience a mild or severe injury while being delivered. In some cases, the injury may be caused by the negligence of a Washington doctor. For instance, a mother may be given too much anesthesia, and that can have an impact on the baby's health. It is not uncommon for babies to have fevers or other symptoms if the mother is given an epidural.

A drug called Pitocin is sometimes administered during a delivery as it can help to make the labor easier. However, the drug is not approved by the FDA. Injuries can occur if the wrong dose is given to a patient or if that dose is given too close to delivery. Machines that provide medication to a mother or a vaccine to a baby may not work properly. This may result in the wrong drug being given to the mother or child.

Why suing your doctor is sometimes the right thing

Many people feel strange about the idea of suing their doctor following an injury or misdiagnosis. Perhaps there is an existing relationship and this mistake was an anomaly in years of treatment. But, mistakes in the medical field can have severe consequences for patients, which is why doctors are held to a higher standard of care than the average person. According to the Medical Malpractice Center, these kinds of mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the United States

"Medical malpractice" encompasses several situations that arise in the medical field where a hospital, doctor or other medical professional causes harm to a patient either through negligence or failing to meet their standard of care. Negligence can happen in a variety of situations during diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care.

Infant chorioamnionitis: causes, symptoms, treatments

Chorioamnionitis refers to the swelling of the fetal membranes. It's caused by a bacterial infection, usually one that is caught by the mother in her urogenital tract and works its way up to the baby. The bacteria could be group B streptococci, E. coli or an anaerobic bacteria. It often arises during first pregnancies, during long and stressful labors and among mothers under 21. Washington residents may want to know how this is treated.

The first step is knowing how to detect its symptoms. Since the infection will normally affect the baby while still in utero, it is diagnosed by looking at the mother. Maternal fever, typically recurring and exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit, is one prominent indicator of infant chorioamnionitis. In babies, the symptoms include fatigue, poor sucking, respiratory difficulties and gastrointestinal problems such as blood in stool, vomiting and diarrhea.

Fractures and broken bones among infants

It is an unfortunate fact that babies in Washington can suffer broken bones and fractures during the delivery process. Parents may be able to tell if their baby has suffered a broken bone if there is intense swelling, the baby cannot move the limb or the baby is continually crying.

Fractures have largely the same symptoms, but one may additionally notice redness, bruising and deformity around the affected area. The most frequent forms of fractures are clavicle fractures. In a clavicle fracture, the affected shoulder will droop lower than the other, and a lump may appear there a few weeks after the injury. Such fractures are often the result of a rough, stressful childbirth.

Overview of Erb's palsy

Erb's palsy is one form of brachial plexus injury that may arise during birth. The brachial plexus refers to a network of nerve fibers emanating from the cervical and thoracic portions of the spine that intertwines as it reaches out to the armpit region. It then becomes a network of nerves as it enters the arm. Washington residents should know that the brachial plexus controls movement in the shoulders, arms and hands.

What happens in a case of Erb's palsy is that the nerve fibers are stretched due to the head and shoulders being moved in opposite directions. This can occur with shoulder dystocia, the condition that arises when the baby's head is deviated away from the shoulder to allow the shoulders to clear the birth canal. Erb's palsy also develops during C-section deliveries.

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