Author: John McKiggan

Firm Partner John McKiggan Updates Media After Requesting Affidavits in Potential Horizon Health Network Class-Action Lawsuit

by John McKiggan

Firm Partner John McKiggan of McKiggan Hebert has questioned Tuesday outside of Moncton’s Court of Queen’s Bench after another step in the certification process unfolded within the evolving potential class-action lawsuit against Horizon Health Network and one of their former nurses.

Representative plaintiff Jayde Scott initiated this lawsuit last April claiming that Nicole Ruest (a former Moncton Hospital nurse) and Horizon Health Network are liable for negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, and vicarious liability for the inappropriate administration of oxytocin.

Tuesday’s hearing was an opportunity for Scott’s legal team, John McKiggan and Mathieu Picard, to contend the corroboration of affidavits of all Moncton Hospital documents that they currently possess which may be relevant to the lawsuit’s certification process.

Posted in: Firm News

What Causes Seizures in Babies?

by John McKiggan

The brain controls how we think, how we move, what we see, hear, feel and automatic bodily functions, such as breathing, digesting and heartbeats. As I explained in this article, your baby’s brain is like the world’s most complex telephone system, transmitting messages and instructions (in the form of electrical impulses) from brain cell to brain cell and then to other parts of your baby’s body. 

When there is a sudden disruption in the electrical impulses in your child’s brain, it can cause changes in behavior, movements, actions or consciousness for short periods. These changes are called seizures.

Within this complex organ, brain cells communicate by means of tiny bursts of energy or electrical signals. A seizure occurs when a group of brain cells (called neurons) has a sudden, erratic electrical discharge. What type of seizure your child has depends on where the discharge begins in your baby’s brain.

Posted in: Birth Injuries

Long-Term Outcomes of Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy

by John McKiggan

In Milne v. St Joseph’s Health Centre, the court determined that Jessy Gibson should have been
born a healthy newborn. Tragically, as a result of the negligence in the
management of his mother’s care during labour and Jesse’s care during his
delivery, Jessy suffered catastrophic brain damage from oxygen deprivation.

As a result of this negligence,
Jessy suffers from hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) which has caused a
neuromuscular disorder called cerebral palsy.

Today, he is dependent on others for
his care 24 hours a day. Jessy is unable to communicate or even feed himself.
Jessy will never be able to live a normal life. He also suffers from spastic
diplegia, a condition where his limbs cannot be controlled. Jessy Gibson also
has visual impairments brought on by his brain injury.

Posted in: Birth Injuries

Infant Brain Bleeding and Birth Injuries

by John McKiggan

In 2008, eleven-year-old Cassidy
Ediger sued Dr. William Johnston, obstetrician and gynecologist for damages
that were caused by injuries during her birth at Chilliwack General Hospital in
British Columbia. Young Cassidy suffers permanent brain damage resulting from
deprivation of oxygen in the lead up to her birth when Dr. Johnston
unsuccessfully attempted to use a rotational forceps procedure to assist the
delivery. This failed attempt caused Cassidy’s heart action to slow down until
she was delivered by cesarean section and resuscitated eighteen minutes later.

Ms. Ediger, through her mother, alleged that Dr. Johnston was negligent in attempting the procedure in the first place. Further, she claimed that Dr. Johnston had attempted the procedure without having adequately ensured a back-up surgical team in the event surgery was needed, as it eventually did. Additionally, Ms. Ediger claimed that, even though she was only a fetus, Dr. Johnston had not informed her by way of her mother about the risks of the procedure or the alternatives to the procedure. Dr. Johnston denied that he had been negligent in attempting the procedure, he also contested that he had owed Ms. Cassidy the duty to inform her of the procedure, its risks or alternatives as she was just a fetus.

Determining Factors

Posted in: Birth Injuries

Moms Who Had Emergency C-Sections Due To Oxytocin Given By Moncton Nurse To File Claims

by John McKiggan

Last week the Moncton Hospital confirmed that an unidentified nurse had been fired after they confirmed that two mothers were given the drug oxytocin without their consent, resulting in emergency cesarean sections.

What is Oxytocin and why is it dangerous?

Oxytocin is a drug used in labour and delivery that causes the uterus to contract and speeds up labour. However, the drug can be dangerous for babies because it can cut off oxygen to the fetus and affect fetal heart rate. W

Posted in: Uncategorized

Is Neonatal Cooling Potential Evidence of Medical Malpractice?

by John McKiggan

How many children suffer brain injury during labour and delivery each year?
There are between 330,000 to 390,000 babies born in Canada each year.

Neonatal encephalopathy is a neurological (brain) injury that happens in approximately 1 out of 1000 to 6 out of 1000 births. So, approximately 330 to 1980 babies are born in Canada each year will suffer some form of neonatal encephalopathy.

You are more likely to die if you are admitted to the hospital on the weekend: Medical malpractice claims in Canada

by John McKiggan

The January issue of Men’s Health Magazine has published an article about the so-called “Weekend Effect”. It is a well-known phenomenon that has been studied for years that has established that patients are more likely to die in hospitals on the weekend compared to during the week.

A recent study in the journal of the American College of Cardiology studied 470 hospitals and determined that more than half of the patients experienced cardiac arrest on the weekend or at night.

Unfortunately, this is a well-known systemic problem and I wrote about it back in 2014: What is the safest time to be admitted to hospital? Weekend admissions carry higher risk of death. In that article I referenced a Canadian Institute for Health Information study that was conducted over three years that found a 4% increased risk of death on weekends compared to weekdays.

Client Success Story: Cullan Chisholm heads to T.O. for National Challenger Baseball Jamboree

by John McKiggan

Every now and then we like to share stories about how some of our clients (and their families) have overcome the challenges posed by their injuries.

Cullen in his Challengers Uniform

Cullen in his Challengers Uniform

Cullan Chisholm is 5 years old. He has cerebral palsy as a result of a brain injury he suffered during birth. Because of his injuries, Cullan has limited mobility and he can’t talk.

Misdiagnosis of Neck/Back Pain can lead to Medical Malpractice Claims

by John McKiggan

Common problem may not have a common cause

Neck and back pain is one of the most common reasons that Canadians attend for medical treatment. Some studies have shown as far back as 1998 that more than 66% of the adult population were experiencingneck and back pain and more than 80% of adults had experienced back pain during their lifetime.

Pain usually resolves