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Dawn Collins, JD
MS COLLINS is an attorney specializing in medical malpractice in Long Beach, California. She welcomes feedback on this column via e-mail. Click on the envelope icon to email.
Shoulder dystocia management blamed for brachial plexus injury and brain damage
A New York woman delivered her child in 2003 with a shoulder dystocia. After delivery, the infant was diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury and subsequently was found to have brain damage, with delays in speech and swallowing. In her lawsuit, the woman claimed that the 8 or 9 minutes that it took to relieve the dystocia resulted in asphyxiation of the infant.
Are injuries during abdominal surgery to be expected, or are they because of negligence?
A Virginia woman was treated by her gynecologist for abdominal pain and other symptoms related to endometriosis and underwent abdominal laparoscopy.
Woman claims she was not informed of risk of Down syndrome
A Maryland woman received prenatal care from her obstetrician and delivered a child with Down syndrome in 2006. The patient sued her doctor, claiming that he failed to tell her that the "triple screen" blood test he ordered had revealed a 1-in-37 chance of her child being born with Down syndrome. She claimed that had she been informed of the test results, she would have terminated the pregnancy.
Retained sponge after cesarean delivery
A 29-year-old woman from Illinois had a cesarean delivery in 2004. A laparatomy sponge was left behind in her abdomen but was not diagnosed until 7 months later when a surgeon examined her for what was thought to be a stitch abscess.
Bowel injury during hysterectomy
A 41-year-old Georgia woman underwent a laparascopic hysterectomy, which included removal of some endometrioisis implants.
Legally Speaking: Retained sponge after cesarean delivery
An Ohio woman had a cesarean delivery in 2007 and was later diagnosed with a foreign body in her abdomen.
Legally Speaking: Postpartum atony results in hysterectomy
An Illinois woman delivered her first child in 1999 by cesarean delivery and minutes thereafter experienced uterine atony with severe blood loss.
Legally Speaking: Preeclampsia diagnosis failure results in neurologic damage
A woman was 30 weeks pregnant when she went to her physician complaining of headaches.
Legally Speaking: Decreasing amniotic fluid blamed for asphyxic infant
A Michigan woman was just over 40 weeks' gestation when she was sent to a hospital for a nonstress test.
Legally Speaking: Alleged delay in diagnosis of breast cancer
A New York woman went to her gynecologist for an exam in 2005, complaining of a lump in her left breast.

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