Category: Birth Injuries

Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month

by John McKiggan

Cerebral palsy is a neurological birth injury that affects thousands of children and adults worldwide. March is known as Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month, which allows us the opportunity to educate others about cerebral palsy while celebrating those currently living with it.

During March, you may have seen people wearing green as a reflection of youthfulness and new growth, as well as hope for advancements in treatment and acceptance of those who live with cerebral palsy.

With so much happening in the world around us, cerebral palsy can easily be pushed into the back of our minds if it is not a part of our daily lives. But for those living with cerebral palsy (or who have a loved one with cerebral palsy), they face the reality of their condition every day with dignity and strength that leaves much to be admired.
What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a group of permanent movement disorders that appear in early childhood, affecting body movement and muscle coordination. Parents may notice developmental delays early, but an official diagnosis may be delayed until age two or later.

How Does Cerebral Palsy Affect Social Development?

by John McKiggan

The creation and building social relationships is one of many milestones that children affected by cerebral palsy may have difficulty in achieving. But how exactly does cerebral palsy affect social development, especially as children are learning how to walk, talk and interact with others?

Whether it is due to mobility, difficulties in communicating needs or a lack of confidence, BILA’s commitment to representing children and families affected by cerebral palsy has given us a particular insight on social development, and how families can overcome any obstruction that may impair their child’s ability to connect with others.

Benefits of Socialization

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.

What’s the most dangerous time to go to the hospital? The answer may surprise you.

by John McKiggan

Did you know that there are certain times when it is more dangerous to go to the hospital?

What’s the most dangerous time to go to the hospital?

As Canadians we are proud of our health care system. We expect hospitals, doctors and nurses to provide us with excellent care no matter when we are forced to go to the hospital. That’s not an unreasonable expectation.

Cost of Care in Cerebral Palsy Claims

by John McKiggan

I was reviewing a report the other day from an Occupational Therapist who has provided me with an opinion as to the Future Care needs for one of my clients, a child who suffers from Cerebal Palsy (CP) as a result of birth trauma.

I was struck by how sophisticated experts in this field have become and how advances in technology have created products that can help reduce some of the significant challenges that victims of CP (and their familes) face in trying to lead a normal productive life.

What causes CP?

How Long is Too Long? The 30 Minute C-Section Rule: Ediger (Guardian Ad Litem) v. Johnston

by John McKiggan

This article is an excerpt from a paper I presented at the national Birth Trauma Litigation conference in Toronto. The paper considers the implications of the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Ediger (Guardian Ad Litem) v. Johnston.

Eidger involved (among other things) allegations that the defendant failed to meet the appropriate standard of care in not performing a timely C- section.

The arguments in Ediger with respect to the standard of care required for emergency caesarean section are similar to those made more than ten years ago in Commisso v. North York Branson Hospital.

Clinical Practice Guidelines as Standard of Care in Birth Injury Claims

by John McKiggan

Wikipedia defines a Clinical Practice Guideline as:

“… a document with the aim of guiding decisions and criteria regarding diagnosis, management, and treatment in specific areas of healthcare.”

Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPG’s) are frequently referenced in medical malpractice claims and frequently there is a debate as to whether CPG’s establish the standard of care a prudent physician is required to meet in a particular circumstance.

Standard of Care in Obstetric Malpractice Cases: Birth Injury Claims in Canada

by John McKiggan

Birth Trauma Claims

I had the pleasure of being invited to speak at the Birth Trauma litigation conference in Toronto this year. The conference was fascinating and I learned a lot from the other lawyers, physicians and nurses who presented at the conference.

I was asked to speak on the topic of Standard of Care in Obstetric Malpractice Cases.

Supreme Court of Canada Upholds Judge’s “Copycat” Decision (In Part): Cojocaru v. British Columbia Women’s Hospital and Health Centre

by John McKiggan

Last week, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) issued a decision in a complicated medical malpractice case that raised the issue of when it is appropriate for judges to incorporate reasons taken from the briefs of one of the parties.

Background

In Cojocaru v. British Columbia Women’s Hospital and Health Centre the mother, Monica Cojocaru had previously given birth by C-section. On the recommendation of her obstetrician, Dr. Yue, Ms. Cojocaru agreed to delivery of her baby, Eric Cojocaru, by “vaginal birth after Cesarean section”, otherwise known as VBAC.

Appeal Court Upholds Jury Decision in Med Mal Trial: Goodwin v Olupona

by John McKiggan

Judge or Jury?

In most provinces in Canada, it is possible to have a civil case tried by judge alone or by judge and jury. I discussed this recently in an article on my Halifax Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, Do I have a right to a jury trial in personal injury claims?

The Nova Scotia Supreme Court recently stated in Anderson v. Cyr, a claim arising out of a motor vehicle accident: