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Articles Posted in Birth Injuries

Learn about birth injury lawsuits and how to maximize the value of these claims for your child.

I stumbled across a just brutal 9th Circuit opinion in S.H. v. United States earlier this year. This case reversed a $10 million verdict in a birth injury case, finding that the foreign country exception bars plaintiffs’ Federal Tort Claims Act (“FTCA”) malpractice claims against the military doctors who treated the mother and child.

birth injury military parentsFacts of S.H. v. United States

A U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant is transferred to Spain.  I don’t know if he wanted to go to Spain, but it does not really matter, right? He was ordered to go to Spain. Before leaving for Spain, they go to Andrews Air Force Base so the military can verify that the family is medically suitable to travel overseas.  At Andrews, he and his wife learn they are pregnant with their third child.  She had experienced two prior preterm deliveries and a miscarriage in the past.

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals affirmed this week a $4.1 million verdict (reduced to $3.6 million by the cap) in a medical malpractice, birth injury case against the University of Maryland Hospital in Baltimore City.

No one would disagree that the facts are tragic. The plaintiff, now a second-grader, was born at 26 weeks of pregnancy. While the child has made unbelievable strides in recent years – and will continue to with God’s Grace – he still cannot run. His current IQ is in the 80s. Doctors at the trial testified that he will likely be a “disabled worker” when he reaches 18, making his job prospects poor. It is an awful thing. Hopefully, his recovery continues to push him forward, and he proves these predictions wrong (I realize I said this already). Continue reading

A preliminary study reported in Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology found that low doses of pamidronate increase bone density in children with spastic cerebral palsy (CP). All the children in the study had spastic quadriplegia, a severe form of cerebral palsy characterized by muscle stiffness in all four limbs and the mouth and tongue. These cerebral palsy victims often have decreased mobility and cognitive deficiencies. The hope is that this new drug improves bone density, improving a weakness in many cerebral palsy victims who, because of their decreased mobility, are at higher risk for fractures.

cerebral palsy drug
The University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha studied 23 children with severe cerebral palsy and could not walk. At the beginning of the study, the patients’ bone mineral density was below the normal level for children their age. After a year, the Nebraska researchers found significant increases in bone mineral density. Nine children had at least one fracture and up to five fractures prior to the study. Only one fracture occurred during the 12-month treatment period and the average annual fracture rate fell from 0.98 to 0.004 per year.

What a blessing it would be if science could make more dramatic advances for cerebral palsy victims. This drug is not a panacea for people who suffer from cerebral palsy. But progress is progress. Let’s hope it keeps coming.

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