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Doctor sued for leaving hospital without giving notice

It is always difficult to come to terms with preventable acts of medical negligence that result in harm to a patient. This is especially true when the patient is a newborn baby. Birth injuries caused by delivery errors or poor postnatal care can have very serious consequences, from brain damage to death. Maryland readers may find the following blog of one doctor's negligence in her treatment of a newborn informative.

According to news reports, the California Medical Board has accused a former Kaiser Permanente doctor of gross negligence. The lawsuit, which was filed by the California Attorney General's office on behalf of the state Medical Board, alleges the doctor left the hospital where she was caring for a child without telling nurses that she had asked another doctor to cover for her in her absence. While she was absent, the child's condition worsened.

The baby was born on April 16, 2012 by cesarean section. After being delivered the child was taken to the neonatal intensive care unit for breathing problems. At 11 a.m. the following day, the doctor examined the child and placed the child on a ventilator at 1:20 p.m. At 3 p.m. nurses contacted another doctor to assist. Though the child's condition continued to deteriorate, the original doctor could not be reached. A scan later suggested the child sustained brain damage due to issues that happened the day the baby was born.

Whenever a child is hurt in a medical environment it is important to inquire into the cause of the injury. If the child was injured due to medical negligence or doctor error it may be possible for the family to recover damages in a medical malpractice case. Damages are not only important for helping families cover on-going medical costs, but also for holding doctors and hospitals accountable and preventing future mistakes.

Source: The Bakersfield Californian, "Medical Board accuses former Kaiser doc of gross negligence," Rachel Cook, December 13, 2013

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