When a woman is pregnant, she and her loved ones place a great deal of trust in the medical workers who provide care during the pregnancy and at the time of delivery. This can be a stressful time, and many families in Pennsylvania and elsewhere are comforted in the belief that their childbirth experience will be handled with the highest level of professionalism. In a recent medical malpractice case, the matter at hand was not the treatment that a pregnant woman received during the labor and delivery process, but a failure on the part of her previous physician to document a medical condition.
The woman ran the Boston Marathon in 2004. Upon finishing the race, she sought medical attention for dizziness. At that time, it was discovered that she had several brain abnormalities. The physician who treated her should have noted her condition on a national database of patients who have certain conditions. This resource is used to provide essential medical information when a patient encounters future health care difficulties.
Because the doctor did not place the woman's information into the database, the medical staff who assisted in her labor and delivery process were unaware of her brain abnormalities. The woman suffered a stroke during the childbirth process, and was left paralyzed. In the recent lawsuit, her legal team argued that her paralysis might have been avoided had the medical workers who aided her in childbirth known of her condition and taken certain measures to prevent stroke.
The medical malpractice lawsuit recently concluded, and the woman was awarded $35.4 million. Because of her paralysis, she now requires around-the-clock care, and is unable to live her life in the manner she chose prior to the incident. While nothing will restore her former lifestyle, it is hoped that she and her family will now be able to cover the cost of her medical care, and help her actively participate in her roles as a wife and mother. For those in Pennsylvania who have been diagnosed with brain abnormalities, the story demonstrates the importance of ensuring that one's information is properly entered into the appropriate medical database.