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Ohio Lawyer for Birth Injuries and Delivery Room Errors by Doctors, Nurses, and Hospitals

Areas of practice: Workers' compensation, (SSD) Social Security disability, (SSI) Supplemental Security Income, Personal injury, Medical Practice, Birth Injuries and Delivery Room Mistakes and more.

Ohio Birth Injury/Delivery Room Error Lawyer Patrick Merrick


Brain Damage and Delivery Room Mistakes

  • Unfortunately birth injuries can occur as the result of Doctor and Surgeon mistakes. Patrick Merrick Attorney at Law serves Ohio families in cases involving the following: Cerebral Palsy, Erb's Palsy, Forceps Trauma, and Delivery Room Errors. Patrick Merrick Attorney at Law serves families who have gone through the horrible tragedy of a birth injury or delivery room mistake. I can help families understand the legal consequences of these errors and provide your family with the an opportunity to obtain honest and fair compensation for the medical expenses, pain and suffering,  and future damages caused by the mistake.

Ohio Birth Injuries

  • A Birth Injury is injury or damage upon on the baby's body before, during, or just after birth and can be as minor as bruises to irreversible damage to the brain that may result in the death of the baby. Often brain injuries occur when the baby is without oxygen for a period of time, or is bleeding inside the brain from trauma during labor, or delivery.


Common Birth Injuries and Delivery Room Errors

  • Brachial Plexus Injury (BPI) - This type of birth injury involves damage to the bundle of nerves that originate from the upper spine and go through the neck, shoulder, arm, and hand.  Damage to these nerves can range anywhere from mild and temporary to severe and permanent (approximately 10% of cases result in permanent disability).  The mildest form of brachial plexus injury is neuropraxia, which involves the stretching of the nerve.  More severe is neuroma, where the nerve is torn and does not heal properly.  Rupture involves the tearing of the nerves, yet they remain attached to the spine.  The most severe presentation of brachial plexus injury is avulsion, where the nerve roots are completely dislodged from the spine, creating complete paralysis.  Giles Manley, Medical Negligence: Inside the Brachial Plexus Case, 43 Trial 52 (May 2007).

  •  Bone Fractures - A complicated or difficult delivery is usually the cause of broken bones in newborns, especially a fractured clavicle (collar bone).   Depending on the severity of the fracture, immobilization might treat the break.  Otherwise, it will heal on its own.  MedlinePlus (U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health),

  •  Cephalohematoma - is a collection of blood below the covering of a portion of the skull bone.  These pose no danger to the newborn and clear up on their own.  The Merk Manual of Medical Information (Second Home Edition) Birth Injury

  • Caput Succedaneum - This injury presents as a swelling of the scalp and a portion of the scalp could appear bruised or discolored.  Caput Succedaneum is usually caused by excessive pressure during delivery.  Like most birth injuries, this is not a life-threatening injury and usually heals on its own. MedlinePlus (U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health).

  •  Perinatal Asphyxia - occurs when the newborn does not receive sufficient amounts of oxygen, usually when there is an oxygen deficiency in the blood or if there is insufficient blood flow to the fetus or newborn.  This condition can cause labored breathing, pale complexion, seizures, coma, or even shock.  This could completely clear up or it could cause permanent neurologic damage. The Merk Manual of Medical Information (Second Home Edition) Birth Injury.

  • Intracranial Hemorrhage/Subarachnoid Hemorrhage - This injury includes bleeding in the skull, commonly under the two innermost layers of the brain covering (subarachnoid hemorrhage). The Merk Manual of Medical Information (Second Home Edition) Birth Injury.

  • Subconjunctival Hemorrhage - This is merely a bursting of a blood vessel in the eye, creating a bright red area on the eye.  Again, this birth injury is usually caused by variations in pressure during birth and clears up on its own. MedlinePlus (U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health).

  • Facial Paralysis - With this type of birth injury, the facial nerve is damaged either temporarily or permanently.  Certain presenting symptoms of this injury involve lack of control over facial muscles, which is usually noticeable when the infant cries.  Usually this birth injury dissipates on its own over time. MedlinePlus (U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health).

  • Spinal Cord Injuries - These injuries are often more severe than most birth injuries and are possibly due to traumatic nerve/cord damage or meningeal tear or the use of forceps.  This can cause paralysis and neurologic problems.  Karin M. Unsinn, US of the Spinal Cord in Newborns: Spectrum of Normal Findings, Variants, Congenital Anomalies, and Acquired Diseases, 20 RadioGraphics 4 (Aug. 2000),

  • Cerebral Palsy - Approximately two or three in 1,000 children have cerebral palsy.  It is characterized by muscle spasms, weak muscles, and lack of development with motor skills. There is no cure for cerebral palsy.



Following is the Ohio Statute governing Medical Malpractice Cases: 


2305.113 [Effective 3/21/2013] Medical malpractice actions


(A) Except as otherwise provided in this section, an action upon a medical, dental, optometric, or chiropractic claim shall be commenced within one year after the cause of action accrued.


(B)


(1) If prior to the expiration of the one-year period specified in division (A) of this section, a claimant who allegedly possesses a medical, dental, optometric, or chiropractic claim gives to the person who is the subject of that claim written notice that the claimant is considering bringing an action upon that claim, that action may be commenced against the person notified at any time within one hundred eighty days after the notice is so given.


(2) An insurance company shall not consider the existence or nonexistence of a written notice described in division (B)(1) of this section in setting the liability insurance premium rates that the company may charge the company’s insured person who is notified by that written notice.


(C) Except as to persons within the age of minority or of unsound mind as provided by section 2305.16 of the Revised Code, and except as provided in division (D) of this section, both of the following apply:

(1) No action upon a medical, dental, optometric, or chiropractic claim shall be commenced more than four years after the occurrence of the act or omission constituting the alleged basis of the medical, dental, optometric, or chiropractic claim.


(2) If an action upon a medical, dental, optometric, or chiropractic claim is not commenced within four years after the occurrence of the act or omission constituting the alleged basis of the medical, dental, optometric, or chiropractic claim, then, any action upon that claim is barred.


(D)


(1) If a person making a medical claim, dental claim, optometric claim, or chiropractic claim, in the exercise of reasonable care and diligence, could not have discovered the injury resulting from the act or omission constituting the alleged basis of the claim within three years after the occurrence of the act or omission, but, in the exercise of reasonable care and diligence, discovers the injury resulting from that act or omission before the expiration of the four-year period specified in division (C)(1) of this section, the person may commence an action upon the claim not later than one year after the person discovers the injury resulting from that act or omission.


(2) If the alleged basis of a medical claim, dental claim, optometric claim, or chiropractic claim is the occurrence of an act or omission that involves a foreign object that is left in the body of the person making the claim, the person may commence an action upon the claim not later than one year after the person discovered the foreign object or not later than one year after the person, with reasonable care and diligence, should have discovered the foreign object.


(3) A person who commences an action upon a medical claim, dental claim, optometric claim, or chiropractic claim under the circumstances described in division (D)(1) or (2) of this section has the affirmative burden of proving, by clear and convincing evidence, that the person, with reasonable care and diligence, could not have discovered the injury resulting from the act or omission constituting the alleged basis of the claim within the three-year period described in division (D)(1) of this section or within the one-year period described in division (D)(2) of this section, whichever is applicable.


(E) As used in this section:


(1) “Hospital” includes any person, corporation, association, board, or authority that is responsible for the operation of any hospital licensed or registered in the state, including, but not limited to, those that are owned or operated by the state, political subdivisions, any person, any corporation, or any combination of the state, political subdivisions, persons, and corporations. “Hospital” also includes any person, corporation, association, board, entity, or authority that is responsible for the operation of any clinic that employs a full-time staff of physicians practicing in more than one recognized medical specialty and rendering advice, diagnosis, care, and treatment to individuals. “Hospital” does not include any hospital operated by the government of the United States or any of its branches.


(2) “Physician” means a person who is licensed to practice medicine and surgery or osteopathic medicine and surgery by the state medical board or a person who otherwise is authorized to practice medicine and surgery or osteopathic medicine and surgery in this state.


(3) “Medical claim” means any claim that is asserted in any civil action against a physician, podiatrist, hospital, home, or residential facility, against any employee or agent of a physician, podiatrist, hospital, home, or residential facility, or against a licensed practical nurse, registered nurse, advanced practice registered nurse, physical therapist, physician assistant, emergency medical technician-basic, emergency medical technician-intermediate, or emergency medical technician-paramedic, and that arises out of the medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of any person. “Medical claim” includes the following:


(a) Derivative claims for relief that arise from the medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a person;


(b) Claims that arise out of the medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of any person and to which either of the following applies:


(i) The claim results from acts or omissions in providing medical care.


(ii) The claim results from the hiring, training, supervision, retention, or termination of caregivers providing medical diagnosis, care, or treatment.

(c) Claims that arise out of the medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of any person and that are brought under section 3721.17 of the Revised Code.

(4) “Podiatrist” means any person who is licensed to practice podiatric medicine and surgery by the state medical board.


(5) “Dentist” means any person who is licensed to practice dentistry by the state dental board.


(6) “Dental claim” means any claim that is asserted in any civil action against a dentist, or against any employee or agent of a dentist, and that arises out of a dental operation or the dental diagnosis, care, or treatment of any person. “Dental claim” includes derivative claims for relief that arise from a dental operation or the dental diagnosis, care, or treatment of a person.


(7) “Derivative claims for relief” include, but are not limited to, claims of a parent, guardian, custodian, or spouse of an individual who was the subject of any medical diagnosis, care, or treatment, dental diagnosis, care, or treatment, dental operation, optometric diagnosis, care, or treatment, or chiropractic diagnosis, care, or treatment, that arise from that diagnosis, care, treatment, or operation, and that seek the recovery of damages for any of the following:


(a) Loss of society, consortium, companionship, care, assistance, attention, protection, advice, guidance, counsel, instruction, training, or education, or any other intangible loss that was sustained by the parent, guardian, custodian, or spouse;


(b) Expenditures of the parent, guardian, custodian, or spouse for medical, dental, optometric, or chiropractic care or treatment, for rehabilitation services, or for other care, treatment, services, products, or accommodations provided to the individual who was the subject of the medical diagnosis, care, or treatment, the dental diagnosis, care, or treatment, the dental operation, the optometric diagnosis, care, or treatment, or the chiropractic diagnosis, care, or treatment.


(8) “Registered nurse” means any person who is licensed to practice nursing as a registered nurse by the board of nursing.


(9) “Chiropractic claim” means any claim that is asserted in any civil action against a chiropractor, or against any employee or agent of a chiropractor, and that arises out of the chiropractic diagnosis, care, or treatment of any person. “Chiropractic claim” includes derivative claims for relief that arise from the chiropractic diagnosis, care, or treatment of a person.


(10) “Chiropractor” means any person who is licensed to practice chiropractic by the state chiropractic board.


(11) “Optometric claim” means any claim that is asserted in any civil action against an optometrist, or against any employee or agent of an optometrist, and that arises out of the optometric diagnosis, care, or treatment of any person. “Optometric claim” includes derivative claims for relief that arise from the optometric diagnosis, care, or treatment of a person.


(12) “Optometrist” means any person licensed to practice optometry by the state board of optometry.


(13) “Physical therapist” means any person who is licensed to practice physical therapy under Chapter 4755. of the Revised Code.


(14) “Home” has the same meaning as in section 3721.10 of the Revised Code.


(15) “Residential facility” means a facility licensed under section 5123.19 of the Revised Code.


(16) “Advanced practice registered nurse” means any certified nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, certified registered nurse anesthetist, or certified nurse-midwife who holds a certificate of authority issued by the board of nursing under Chapter 4723. of the Revised Code.


(17) “Licensed practical nurse” means any person who is licensed to practice nursing as a licensed practical nurse by the board of nursing pursuant to Chapter 4723. of the Revised Code.


(18) “Physician assistant” means any person who holds a valid certificate to practice issued pursuant to Chapter 4730. of the Revised Code.


(19) “Emergency medical technician-basic,” “emergency medical technician-intermediate,” and “emergency medical technician-paramedic” means any person who is certified under Chapter 4765. of the Revised Code as an emergency medical technician-basic, emergency medical technician-intermediate, or emergency medical technician-paramedic, whichever is applicable.


129th General Assembly File No. 194, HB 303, § 1, eff. 3/21/2013.

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