C-Sections and Medical Malpractice

Louisville, KY Medical Malpractice Attorneys - Gladstein LawOver 32% of pregnant women gave birth via cesarean section (C-section) in 2014, according to the most recent study by the Center for Disease Control. This increasingly common procedure allows doctors to deliver a baby through small incisions in the mother’s abdomen and uterus, but is generally only used when there is some danger to the baby or mother that makes natural childbirth too dangerous.

Despite the relative frequency with which C-sections are performed, mistakes are still made, causing injury to either the mother or the child. When this happens, a medical malpractice action may be close behind.

Common Injuries to the Child in C-Section Births

C-sections are often carried out in emergency situations, where either the mother or the child are in danger. Many different factors can combine to cause injuries during C-sections. Common birth injuries include:

  • Oxygen deprivation – can occur when a C-section is delayed
  • Abrasions, lacerations, scarring – a physician may make an incision too deep, causing injury to the child
  • Erb’s Palsy – excessive force against the child’s shoulder area can injure the brachial plexus nerve bundle
  • Wrongful death – in extreme circumstances, the doctor’s actions can cause death to the child.

Common Injuries to the Mother in C-Section Births

Just as a C-section can be dangerous for the child, it can sometimes be even more dangerous for the mother. Common C-section injuries to the mother include:

  • Hemorrhaging – cutting into the mother can cause excessive blood loss if not managed carefully.
  • Infection – can be caused by improperly sterilized tools, gauze left in the mother’s body, and lack of antibiotics.
  • Bladder/Bowel Injuries – these organs lie close to the uterus and can be damaged during the C-section process.
  • Anesthesia Injuries – can range from too little, which can cause extreme pain to the mother, or too much, which can cause dangerously low blood pressure and death.
  • Blood Clots – failure to administer blood-thinning medications can lead to blood clots that can cause permanent damage or death.

Proving a C-Section Medical Malpractice Case

Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor deviates from the established standard of care in the medical community, either through an action or omission, which causes harm to a patient.  To prove a medical malpractice case, there are four requirements that must be met:

  1. The physician owed you a duty to perform your procedure according to the established standards of care in the medical community.
  2. The physician was negligent and unacceptably deviated from the standard of care.
  3. Because of this negligence, you or your child were harmed.
  4. The negligence was the direct and proximate cause of the injuries to you or your child.

What to Do If You or Your Child Were Injured During a C-Section

If you or your child were injured during a C-section and you suspect medical malpractice, contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney immediately. You will want to obtain all medical records prior to talking with the attorney so that he or she can give you the best advice on your case. At Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC our Kentucky birth injury attorney will research every detail of your unique situation to determine the most effective strategy. Contact us today for a free case evaluation by scheduling online or calling 800-991-0474.

When is a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Appropriate?

Louisville, KY Medical Malpractice Lawyers - Gladstein Law

Malpractice claims are one of the most complex civil claims that can be filed in Kentucky courts. A physician may make numerous mistakes throughout their career, but those mistakes are not always the basis for a valid medical malpractice claim. There are numerous complicated issues that must be accounted for first, and it is best to have your case examined by an attorney before assuming a lawsuit is warranted.

Key Factors Required for a Medical Malpractice Case

In Kentucky, there are specific factors that must be present to have a valid medical malpractice claim. These include:

  • Negligence – Negligence is a key factor. But, that negligence is not established simply by the physician performing an error. Instead, the physician or medical professional must have deviated from the accepted medical standard of care – meaning other professionals in a similar situation would not have performed the same steps that led to the critical error. For example, in a surgical setting, a surgeon is required to maintain a level of hygiene to reduce the risk of infection to the patient. If the surgeon fails to properly sanitize themselves, or the staff fails to sanitize surgical instruments, there may be grounds for negligence.
  • Injury – If a physician performs an error, but no injury has occurred, there is no grounds for medical malpractice under the law. To qualify as malpractice, the wrongdoing must have caused an injury or illness to the patient and those injuries must have resulted in some sort of financial cost to that patient. This is because costs (or losses) are required in order for the courts to issue damages to the plaintiff. Some common damages that may be rewarded include lost income, medical expenses, loss of future earning capacity, future medical costs and treatments, and pain and suffering. In rare cases, punitive damages may be awarded.
  • Causation – This is the most critical component in a malpractice claim. There must be physical evidence that specifically links the physician or medical professional to the injury. If the professional cannot be linked to the injury, there are no grounds for a lawsuit.

If a patient is treated negligently in the medical field and the result is unnecessary harm or injury, they are entitled to compensation under Kentucky statutes. Even if you have all three critical factors, you must also ensure your case is within the statute of limitations – which is one year from the time the error occurred and resulted in injury.

Speak with a Medical Malpractice Attorney – Contact Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC Now

If you or a loved one was injured due to a physician or medical professional’s error, contact Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC today for a free consultation. We can assess the facts of your case and determine if you have a valid claim. If you do, we will aggressively protect your right to seek compensation under the law.

Contact us online to get started or call 800-991-0474 to schedule your consultation with an attorney.

The First Steps to Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim

Louisville, KY Medical Malpractice Attorney - Gladstein Law

If you have been injured or harmed due to a physician’s negligence or a medical professional’s error, you may be exploring what legal options you have to rectify that situation. It is important to realize that there are steps you must take before filing your initial lawsuit – and failing to follow the proper steps could be detrimental to the successful outcome of your malpractice claim. While not all of these steps are required by the courts, taking them may help your case and allow you to receive a settlement more quickly.

You should also speak with a qualified Louisville medical malpractice attorney regarding the specific factors of your case to see if there are additional steps you must take before filing your claim.

Contact the Physician or Hospital

The first step is to speak with the physician or hospital regarding the unsatisfactory treatment you received. This helps you understand what the initial goal of the medical treatment was, if the goal was met, and if it wasn’t, what caused the failure. This helps you better understand if the medical care you received constitutes medical malpractice or not.

Also, contacting the medical professional regarding your condition or injury can help you determine if there is a remedy. If you do not have a valid medical malpractice claim, it is imperative you seek alternative treatments or seek out corrective services. Failing to take steps to lessen your injury could hurt your chances of a settlement later on.

Contact the State Licensing Board

The medical licensing board of Kentucky is the governing body for all medical licenses in the state. This licensing board will investigate your claim of malpractice, issue citations to the physician and public, and discipline if they find negligence was involved.

While the medical licensing board has nothing to do with your actual claim in court, if the board finds the physician guilty of negligence and disciplines them for such, it can help prove your claim later.

Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney

Before meeting with a medical malpractice attorney for a free consultation, you need to gather medical information to help them better assess your case. You need to gather:

  • Medical records
  • Names of the physicians and medical professionals that you feel are responsible for your condition or injury
  • Prescription medications
  • Medical payments or bills associated with the injury

Also, you will need to understand the statute of limitations for Kentucky. The state requires that you file a malpractice claim within one year of the date of the act or omission that caused your condition or injury. Regardless of whether or not your claim is valid, it must be filed within that limitation or you will not be able to collect compensation.

Meet with a Louisville Medical Malpractice Attorney Today

An attorney can determine if your medical malpractice case has merit. Because malpractice claims are inherently complicated, it is best that you speak to an attorney before assuming you have a valid claim. Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC can meet with you today with no charge to discuss your case. Call us at 800-991-0474 or schedule a consultation online to get started.

Raising a Child with Cerebral Palsy

Louisville, KY Cerebral Palsy Attorney - Gladstein Law

Raising a child is one of the most difficult tasks anyone can take on – but it is highly rewarding. As a parent, you give your child the love, support, time, dedication and patience they need for growth and social development.

Raising a child who has cerebral palsy is even more challenging. The difficulties of rearing the child are often greater, as well as keeping up with the medical treatments. The emotional burden associated with raising a child who has cerebral palsy can be very difficult on parents. Your child may have physical, mental and developmental disabilities that you have to help them overcome as well.

Despite all of this, however, parents raise children in the United States with cerebral palsy every day. You too can overcome all of the difficulties and raise a child who is healthy, happy, and confident, regardless of whether or not they have CP. All it takes is a little extra time, patience and support to make it all happen.

Accepting Your Child’s Diagnosis

A new parent with a child diagnosed with cerebral palsy may feel as though they’ve lost. If that child was born with cerebral palsy because of a misdiagnosis or medical error performed during the pregnancy, parents can also feel angry and confused.

One of the first steps in successfully raising a child with CP is to accept that they have this condition and that it will be with them the rest of their life. After you have accepted that, raising your child becomes easier because then you can start creating a plan for effective parenting.

Professional Therapy

You will need the assistance of a professional therapist who specializes in cerebral palsy cases. These individuals will give you the emotional support and confidence to raise your child and also help you cope with the special issues associated with CP.

Establish a Treatment Plan and Team

A child with cerebral palsy will have numerous providers who will work as a team to help your child develop properly – both mentally and socially. You will need to speak with a specialist regarding a treatment plan, which usually starts with a physician. Make sure you are comfortable with the physician you have selected, since you will deal with this individual a lot in your child’s life. You will also be referred to an orthopedic specialist to address the bones, tendons and muscles that are affected by your child’s cerebral palsy. Some other professionals you may need include a speech therapist, psychologist, behavioral therapist, occupational therapist and possibly a social worker.

Paying for Treatments

The cost of treatments for a child with CP can be astounding, but there are options. Not only do you have government funding and private insurance, but if your child’s CP is the direct result of a physician’s negligence prior to birth, you may be able to seek a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Contact Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC to Explore Your Options

At Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC, we understand the difficulties and costs associated with raising a child with CP. If your child’s case was caused by a physician’s negligence, hold that physician accountable for their actions and receive the compensation you need to help your child live a fulfilling, happy life. Contact us today online for a free consultation or schedule your appointment by calling 800-991-0474.

Medical Malpractice: Diagnostic Errors

Surgeons at Work

One of the most common reasons for medical malpractice lawsuits is diagnostic error. Misdiagnosed patients may experience a vast array of medical complications that can alter their physical, financial, and emotional well-being for years. Errors include a diagnosis of the wrong disease, as well as being given a clean bill of health when a disease is actually present. These scenarios can be devastating to a patient and his or her entire family.

Types of Diagnostic Errors

There are myriad forms of misdiagnosis, but the most common errors include the following:

  • A wrong diagnosis – occurs when a physician proceeds with a medical plan based on the wrong condition. An example would be a doctor diagnosing a patient with a malignant tumor when it is actually benign.
  • Missed diagnosis – occurs when a doctor completely overlooks an illness, telling the patient there is no medical problem at all.
  • Delayed diagnosis – occurs when a substantial amount of time passes before the doctor discovers the condition. In these cases, the slow response can negatively affect the prognosis. This is one of the most common misdiagnosis scenarios.
  • Missed complications can exacerbate the symptoms or progression of a disease, even with a correct diagnosis.
  • Related diseases that are commonly associated with a primary illness are sometimes overlooked.

Emergency Room Error

In an emergency situation, the chance of receiving a misdiagnosis increases. Time-sensitive situations can affect the depth of diagnostic tests, resulting in many possible errors. The nature of crisis in emergency rooms decreases the level of diagnostic investigation available to non-ER medical professionals. Heart attacks and strokes are among the most common misdiagnosed conditions in ERs, and 28 to 57 percent of children with appendicitis are misdiagnosed.

Emergency medical technicians, paramedics, and firefighters are all considered first responders and are highly protected by the law. Unless there is an incident of blatantly reckless and negligent behavior, they may not be considered legally or financially liable for medical malpractice. Physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals employed in an ER, on the other hand, do not have the same legal safety net as first responders. However, the intense and time-sensitive nature of the ER does provide room for interpretation in court.

Proving Misdiagnosis in Court

Three essential factors must be proven in court to win a misdiagnosis medical malpractice suit:

  • A professional relationship between doctor and patient was established.
  • The doctor displayed negligence through wrong or delayed treatment choices. To establish this, the doctor’s methods of evaluation will be examined. Many times, comparisons with actions of other competent physicians are made to display poor choices leading to negligence.
  • The patient was subsequently injured because of this negligence.

Gladstein Law Firm – Medical Malpractice Attorneys Serving Louisville, Kentucky

Pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit can be intimidating and overwhelming. At Gladstein Law Firm, our legal team will research every detail of your unique situation to determine the most effective strategy. Attorney and founder Seth Gladstein has experience with New York City’s most respected medical malpractice defense firms. This provides him with valuable insight into the viewpoints and strategies of doctors, lawyers, and insurance companies in malpractice litigation. If you reside in Lexington, Owensboro, or Murray, contact Gladstein Law today for a free consultation.

Common Anesthesia Errors

medical malpractice attorneyOver the course of a lifetime, most individuals have a medical need that requires major surgery. According to the World Health Organization, a surgical procedure is often the only recourse to correct a disability or a serious medical condition or disease that could shorten one’s life. Commonly, patients’ thoughts center on being well post-operation, the amount of time it will take to recover, and their return to a healthy, “normal” life. However, additional concerns require some consideration prior to surgery, including the safety surrounding the use of anesthesia.

What is Anesthesia?

The majority of surgical procedures requires a patient to be under the effect of anesthesia during the operation that takes the patient into an unconscious or semi-conscious state. Medical professionals known as anesthesiologists use a combination of powerful medications or gas to place a patient under anesthesia so that a surgical procedure can be performed without the patient being fully aware. A great deal of responsibility lies with anesthesiologists to ensure the patient remains in a sedated state during and shortly after a surgery, but it is possible for an error to occur through negligence or medical malpractice.

Anesthesiologist Oversight

The most common mishaps with the administration of anesthesia include the following:

  • Incorrect dosage – Too much or too little anesthesia given prior to a medical procedure such as surgery can have a long lasting effect on the patient. Dosage errors are often the result of improper labeling of medications or miscalculations by medical professionals.
  • Delayed delivery – Anesthesia must be administered in a timely fashion, prior to a surgery taking place as well as during a procedure. If a leak is present, an IV is not properly secured, or a syringe is incorrectly changed, patients can experience a number of complications due to delayed delivery.
  • Failure to intubate – Anesthesiologists have the responsibility to intubate patients during a surgical procedure so that breathing remains normal and constant. If there is a need for intubation during an operation and it is not done or is delayed, patients may face serious complications post-surgery.
  • Improper or lack of monitoring – A patient’s level of consciousness must be monitored throughout a surgery, and the anesthesiologist is tasked with this responsibility. If monitoring is not done on a consistent basis or is neglected altogether, patients can experience unnecessary and unwanted distress during and after surgery.
  • Miscommunication – Anesthesiologists are not the only medical professionals who are responsible for patient safety before, during, and after surgery. Surgeons, administrative staff, and nurses also have an obligation to share pertinent information about the procedure to patients, including instructions on food and drink consumption before a surgery and its effect on anesthesia. Communication errors among medical professionals and patients can lead to irreversible complications long after the procedure is completed.

Injuries Caused by Anesthesia Errors

Patients can suffer from a wide range of injuries due to negligence or malpractice before, during, or after administration of anesthesia. The most common injuries include:

  • Cardiovascular injury, such as a stroke or heart attack
  • Damage to the trachea
  • Traumatic brain damage
  • Loss of normal bodily functions
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Coma
  • Death

Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC | A Medical Malpractice Law Firm

While surgeries are commonplace, errors due to malpractice should not be. If you believe you have suffered from the negligence or gross oversight of an anesthesiologist or other medical professional while undergoing a surgical procedure, we are here to help. Seth Gladstein is a Louisville, KY attorney who represents victims of anesthesia malpractice. He has a deep understanding of the complexities of the medical system, and will use this to expertise to fight aggressively to get you the compensation necessary to recover. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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