Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) July 31, 2012
Dr. Bruce Fagel, who recently spoke at the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel, and whose article, “Medical malpractice settlements: who benefits?” published in the Daily Journal, June 8, 2012, spoke about the connection between children’s developmental disabilities and medical malpractice. Developmental disability, intellectual disability, developmental delay, and mental retardation are all terms referring to an individual with significantly impaired cognitive functioning. An individual with an intelligent quotient below 70 is categorized as mentally retarded; however, the term mental retardation is not used frequently in today’s culture because it may be viewed upon as derogatory and not politically correct. Therefore, terms such as developmental disability or developmental delay are now being used more frequently as a description; although the term mental retardation is still used in many professional medical settings.
Dr. Fagel remarked, “Developmental milestones are specific skills or tasks that every child learns such as walking, talking, speaking, thinking, and self-help skills. Every child achieves these milestones at a slightly different time period in their lives. Pediatricians refer to developmental milestones to help gauge how a child is developing. If a child is significantly slower at reaching any of these milestones than other children of the same age range, this may be a sign of a developmental disability or developmental delay.”
Children who have developmental disabilities learn at a slower pace than other children of a similar age. They may experience delays in mastering language, social skills and behaviors, problem solving skills, self-care skills, and memory skills. Because they have more difficulty in learning, children with developmental challenges may require special education classes, and a slower and more repetitive learning process. “Depending on the severity of the developmental disability, the signs may not become apparent until the child begins school, where their inability to learn new material or keep up with the class will likely be detected. However, if the level of intellectual disability is severe, the signs will very likely become apparent well before the child begins school,” states Dr. Fagel.
Developmental screening tests are available and any of the following factors can help make a determination if a child has developmental disabilities: An IQ score below 70 on an intelligent quotient test, adaptive behavior score below average, a significant delay at achieving developmental milestones compared to other children of a similar age, or an abnormal Denver developmental screening test.
The following factors may be responsible for developmental disabilities in children: Lack of oxygen to the brain before, during, or after birth, trauma, chromosomal abnormalities, certain infections, premature delivery, or toxicity. “Medical malpractice can lead to developmental disabilities or developmental delays in a child if the doctor improperly uses the vacuum or forceps to remove the baby from the birth canal during a difficult delivery; this can cause a traumatic brain injury,” comments Dr. Fagel. “If the doctor fails to notice a significant reduction with the baby’s heart rate or other factors that may cause a lack of adequate supply of oxygen to the infant’s brain, this can lead to brain damage, including developmental disabilities or cerebral palsy. These types of injuries may be avoided if the doctor takes the right steps to correct the problem, including an emergency C-section if required.”
Dr. Fagel’s advice to the parents of a young child who has been diagnosed with a developmental disability or developmental delay and suspect medical malpractice may be the cause is to contact a medical malpractice attorney for a free consultation. The attorney will be able to help make a determination if medical malpractice played a role, including examining the medical records for signs of medical negligence before, during, or immediately after birth. If medical malpractice is determined to be the cause of the birth injury, a medical malpractice lawyer will be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit and help the parents recover compensation for the damages. Dr. Fagel warns parent’s to seek legal advice promptly after a diagnosis for a developmental disability has been made, before the statute of limitations runs out, preventing the family from being able to take legal action against the medical professionals or medical facility responsible.
About The Law Offices of Dr. Bruce G. Fagel & Associates
The Law Offices of Dr. Bruce G. Fagel & Associates specializes in medical malpractice cases involving serious injuries to patients. Cases include medical malpractice, birth injury, cerebral palsy, surgical error, brain damage, and wrongful death. Dr. Bruce Fagel has tried and settled more medical malpractice cases on behalf of injured parties than any other attorney in California, including obtaining the largest verdict in California history, $460 million dollars. The law firm has successfully obtained over one billion dollars in verdicts and settlements for their clients.
About Dr. Bruce Fagel
Dr. Bruce Fagel is a lawyer and a licensed medical doctor, specializing in medical malpractice. Dr. Fagel practiced emergency medicine for over 10 years before becoming an attorney. This background provides Dr. Fagel with the knowledge and expertise to represent his clients against negligent doctors, nurses, and hospitals.