This case involves the neonatal care of a boy who was born under the circumstances of a prolonged delivery. At birth doctors obtained an APGAR score of 7 and the child was observed for a day and a half, after which he was discharged to home, allegedly jaundiced. He was brought for evaluation by a pediatrician who diagnosed the baby with jaundice. He was readmitted to the hospital and was administered a transfusion. An MRI was conducted, and he was diagnosed with severe brain damage. A follow-up MRI reconfirmed the presence of brain damage. The child will require a lifetime of ongoing care, and was assessed by a life care planner in order to project the expense of this care throughout his life.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Do you routinely assess long-term needs for pediatric patients that have endured similar birth complications?
- 2. Are you familiar with the neurospychological and cognitive limitations that may evolve from clinical diagnoses such as those described in this case?
Expert Witness Response E-080381
Pediatric LCP’s of this nature are complicated. There is a need to work with a physician that can tie everything together, preferably a pediatric physiatrist. A home visit is necessary. If you desire an opinion regarding lost earning capacity I need to be able to evaluate parents and have access to sibling information regarding their education thus far. I have developed numerous pediatric LCP’s over the last 20+ years. These plans have been related to birth injury or trauma. In my practice I do a considerable amount of school transition planning. I work with neuropsychologist’s and their reports frequently. This case will require a great deal of care, due to the extensive nature of the child’s injuries as well is the extended period of time over which he will require ongoing care.