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A rare apology from a hospital that caused cerebral palsy

Child smiling at table
Child smiling at table

Child with cerebral palsy smiling at table

It is not often you get an apology.

It is even less often you get an apology from the hospital that caused you harm.

So, I was surprised to read a headline that said:  “Hospital apologizes for a second time over birth of girl with cerebral palsy.”

In this business, as a medical malpractice lawyer, I can honestly say that most people would not come to me with a case if their doctor, nurse or hospital administrator took ownership and apologized for the mistakes they made that caused a patient to suffer.

We all make mistakes.

It is the flaw of being human that makes us all equals.

But, some of us are more emotionally evolved than others.  And, you would think, that doctors are those types of people.

However, as the son of two doctors, the nephew and cousin of many more, and the husband of one..

I can tell you that being around doctors makes me realize how less emotionally grounded so many of them are when it comes to their work and how they treat patients.

I can’t say that about my wife…of course 🙂

But, I know plenty of highly trained specialists who are not.

And, so, it surprised me when I saw that headline, because it is so rare that a hospital pays a medical malpractice claim, and, also apologizes for the errors that they made.

When it comes to cerebral palsy errors, there are many that can be caused by a midwife or ob/gyn.

There are many, as well, that can be caused for other reasons.

Some reasons that may cause you to question your doctor or midwife, should your child be diagnosed with cerebral palsy are the following:

  • Failure to induce a delivery or c-section when you have alerted them of reduced fetal movement
  • Forceful use of forceps during birth
  • Failure to recognize fetal distress during labor and acting to correct it
  • Failure to diagnose an infection in utero once they are alerted to distress
  • Failure to carefully handle your baby’s skull after delivery

In 90% of the cases, it is likely that there are other reasons for your baby’s diagnosis of cerebral palsy.

This is hard to accept and difficult to understand.

You’ve had a beautiful pregnancy.

Full of love, free of stress and full of anticipation.

So, it is difficult to believe…

almost impossible…

that your baby has cerebral palsy.

It is nothing that you have done wrong. And, in most cases, it is nothing the doctor, nurse or hospital did wrong.

But, in 10-15% of the cases, it is.

And, they are not going to tell you about it…most of the time.

They are not going to tell you they did something wrong.

Even the hospital that apologized and paid a large award to the family above, did not do so without filing a medical malpractice claim by an experienced and focused lawyer.

And that was in Europe. A place that holds businesses to higher standards.

In our country, these hospitals have legal teams that work and operate out of the hospital.

Our doctors are trained on what to say and what not to say.

You’ll never, likely, hear an apology where the doctor says they did certain things wrong.

If they did, it could mean their insurance rates go up or they lose their job.

They make the choice to do it, so I don’t feel bad for them, because it is not the right thing to do.

And that’s all I want to do.  The right thing for those children who have been injured and face a life of challenges not due to their own choices…

But due to the negligence of doctors, nurse and hospitals; I want to ensure that the care they give – the care they are being paid handsomely for – is the care they would give their family each, and every time.

So, that mothers like the one featured in the article I quoted above, don’t have to experience and say things like this:

“They apologised, but it is only words. At 3am in the morning when Katie is having a seizure what am I meant to do with that apology?” Mrs. Manton said.

Indeed…what are you to do with an apology?  They are only words.

My practice is about keeping doctors, nurses and hospitals honest.  To make them pay lots of money – only so they remember how their actions hurt their pockets and their families – as much as it hurts their victims.

If your child has cerebral palsy and your questions have not been answered, give me a call at 504-684-5455.

Let me help you answer your questions – so you know you did everything to find out whether your child was a victim of medical malpractice.

My name is Ramesh Reddy.  I am a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in the State of Louisiana.

This is why I do what I do.