Tort reform measures to reduce "defensive medicine" that will, in turn, increase the risk of birth injuries nationwide persist even after a recent report by the non-partisan Commonwealth Fund ranks the costly U.S. health system dead last on patient safety.
Instead of instituting national policies that promote quality improvement, as the Commonwealth Fund suggests, the U.S. healthcare system continues to pass initiatives to allow doctors to do fewer tests in order to save costs, regardless of how many more lives are lost due to undiagnosed conditions.
Less testing is of particular concern when it comes to babies suffering from birth injuries, especially the form of brain damage caused by extreme jaundice known as kenicterus. An entirely preventable birth injury, kernicterus is caused by too high levels of bilirubin (yellow pigment created during the recycling of old blood cells) in the body.
Many health care providers fail to test bilirubin levels in the 60 percent of babies estimated to display symptoms of jaundice by the Centers for Disease Control. Many times the immediate measures needed to bring down the levels before brain damage occurs are not implemented, and measures that lead to less testing will only increase the number of babies who will suffer from this devastating birth injury nationwide. Read the full details here:
Tort Reform Measures Increase Risk of Birth Injuries Such as Kernicterus
Tort reform serves to protect physicians and hospitals who commit medical malpractice malpractice and has not been shown to benefit patients or decrease medical malpractice premiums.
If you believe your child suffered a birth injury due to medical negligence, please call to investigate your matter fully. Crandall & Pera Law is available to help answer your questions and guide you in determining your next steps.