Category: Birth Injuries

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:

Multi-million dollar award to child who suffered birth injury: Court examines compensation for “pain and suffering”

by John McKiggan

Child Claims Millions Due to Birth Injury

An Alberta court recently decided a case involving a child who was permanently injured during her birth. The case A.T.-B. v. Mah contained an interesting analysis of a variety of legal issues that typically arise in medical malpractice claims.

I thought the case was worth writing about because of the judge’s views regarding the plaintiff’s claim for compensation for “pain and suffering.”

Supreme Court of Canada clarifies law for malpractice victims: Ediger v Johnston

by John McKiggan

The Supreme Court of Canada released an important decision for medical malpractice plaintiffs today.

Summary

In Ediger v. Johnston, the plaintiff “C” suffered from brain damage caused during her birth. C now lives with spastic quadriplegia and cerebral palsy. She is tube-fed, confined to a wheel chair and is completely dependent on others for all of her daily needs. She has a significantly reduced life expectancy of 38 years.