In any personal injury case, there are basic elements that must be proved. Breach of a duty is one of these elements. An injured party must prove that the other’s actions fell below the standard of care. Where medical malpractice is concerned, it often takes some specialized knowledge to determine whether a doctor’s actions fell below this standard.Of course, there are a few cases in which a juror can make this determination without any medical training, like when a surgical tool is left in a patient’s body after procedure. What about less obvious cases? An expert will provide testimony on issues such as whether a doctor waited too long before performing a C-section during labor.But could a decision considered valid 10 years ago be considered negligent today?The answer to that question is yes. Medical knowledge and technology continues to develop, and what is accepted as meeting the standard of care might change along with the new research. For instance, new research shows that delaying heart surgery in some newborn cases could actually increase the risk that the child suffers a brain injury later.This recent study was conducted by colleagues at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and University of Pennsylvania.Researchers looked specifically at cases involving children with hypoplastic left heart syndrome or transposition of the great arteries. Data showed that delaying surgery by four days after birth or later was associated with decreased cerebral oxygen saturation and cerebral blood flow. These symptoms can cause injury to the child’s brain.The report went into great detail as to the “who, what, where, when and why” behind the data and the research, but the chances that the readers of our Harrisburg medical malpractice will face this exact situation could be low.What readers should take from this research study and discussion is that there are cases in which medical malpractice may not be clear, but an experienced attorney can help parents determine whether there is a possible birth injury or medical malpractice claim.Source: Cardiology Today, “Delaying heart surgery in newborns may raise risk for brain injury,” March 3, 2014