How can you show that an infant’s brain damage was the result of medical negligence? These three legal exhibits by High Impact will help you translate fetal heart tracing with enhanced context, demonstrate the mechanism that caused the baby’s injury, and visualize the full depth of damage.
The overwhelming majority of birth trauma cases we work with involve Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE), which is a type of brain damage caused by the severe reduction of oxygen to the brain. The underlying physiology causing HIE can be complex, but when litigating a birth trauma case, the first factor to focus on is understanding the meaning of patterns on the fetal heart tracing, and whether the medical providers properly responded to the changes in the heart tracing.
DigiStrips Simplify Fetal Heart Monitoring Data
The only communication a baby has with the outside world is its heartbeat. In fact, because the brain controls the heartbeat, the fetal heart tracing is actually a direct indicator of the status of the baby’s brain. Given it’s importance, hospitals are required to track the baby’s heartbeat using a Fetal Heart Monitor, which monitors patterns and trends between the baby’s heart rate and the mother’s contractions. A long strip continually prints from the fetal heart monitor, telling the medical staff whether a baby’s heart rate is reassuring (good) or non-reassuring (bad). There are a number of procedures in place to respond to a non-reassuring heart rate, but if no one recognizes the ominous patterns, or there is a delay in responding, the result can be a permanent brain injury that was otherwise avoidable.
Animation Shows Mechanism of Injury
Once you’ve established and highlighted the non-reassuring aspects of the strip - as well as how long it took staff to respond - an animation will show the traumatic mechanism of injury. Animation helps explain a complex injury within a visual context your audience can see and understand, while visually anchoring the relevance of the fetal heart strip.
The Wechsler Memory Scale, which is used to measure everything from juror retention to Alzeimer’s progression, shows that people quickly forget about two-thirds of what they hear, especially when it involves complex subject-matter. According to the Department of Labor, three days after an event, employees remember only 10 percent of an oral presentation, but when supplemented with visuals they remember 65 percent.
In addition to memory retention, according to a “Visual Evidence” study published by The Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, “Computer animations sometimes appear to enhance mock jurors’ ability to visualize… They become more anxious, anguished, disturbed and shocked or angry, and mediational analysis showed that these negative emotions made them more likely to vote to convict the defendant.”
The bottom line is that using animation to demonstrate a complex birth injury will enhance your audience’s attention, recall, and sympathy for your client.
Slice Chooser Visualizes the Extent of Damage
After presenting the key parts of the fetal heart tracing, showing the delay in treatment and anchoring your case with a memorable animation that demonstrates what happened, our Diagnostic Slice Chooser ® helps visualize the overall depth and magnitude of the infant’s permanent brain damage within a three-dimensional context.
In a very challenging brain injury case, High Impact was instrumental, and innovative, in presenting the complexities of our 13 year old client's severe brain trauma through their Diagnostic Slice Chooser®. The high quality demonstrative helped us simplify, and effectively present, the damages to our client which resulted in a major jury verdict exceeding $23 million.Christopher Aitken, Esq. - Aitken, Aitken, Cohn Trial Lawyers