It’s All About Improving Quality of Life

They stop by his law firm every time they’re in Austin, but attorney Mark Mueller doesn’t recognize them when they enter his office. After all, they were infants and babies when he first met most of them after they were injured in birth.

Mueller’s dedication to birth injury litigation had achieved significant verdict and settlements for families, making it possible for these now-grown children to receive the the care they needed to recover. Many are now college students.

“Winning high verdicts or settlements is obviously important because of the direct effect it has on quality of life and the ability to obtain good care however it is even more important that we work with the clients to give them the psychological, emotional and spiritual tools to understand and deal with the pain, guilt and family stress and dysfunction that usually occur as a result of a severe ad disabling injury to either a parent or child,” Mueller says.

Even after the cases are over, Mueller has invested time in warning about the dangers of vacuum extractions and forceps used in childbirth. He has reported a number of vacuum extrator bad outcomes to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and encouraged others to do the same. Following his efforts, the FDA distributed an advisory to hospitals and obstetricians discouraging the use os such tools.

The work has made an impact. A top-ranked health system in Texas achieved a 93 percent reduction in birth trauma a rates from 0.3 percent to 0.02 percent by instituting policies, including prohibiting vacuum delivery prior to 36 weeks gestation and banning the combined usage of vacuum and forceps, among other strategies. These resulting figures achieved by the hospitals represent the lowest in the United States.

In The New England Journal of Medicine, Thomas J. Benedetti, M.D.’s editorial “Birth Injury and Method of Delivery” discussed the FDA’s issuance of a public health advisory to all practitioners who deliver babies. The advisory, entitled “Need for Caution When Using Vacuum Assisted Delivery,” was based on reports to the FDA of 12 deaths and 9 serious injuries during vacuum deliveries in the proceeding four years. In the 12 years before that period, much smaller numbers of such complications had been reported. The advisory noted the most serious complications of vacuum delivery – subgaleal hematoma and intracranial hemorrhage – and emphasized that vacuum devices should be used only for specific obstetrical indications.

Mueller has spent time education fellow lawyers and members of the medical community on the dangers of the ill-advised used of uterine stimulants. These stimulants can produce hyperstimulation and mechanical ischemic injuries due to excessive physical forces and interference with blood supply and trauma to the baby’s brain, especially when there is a poor fetal head presentation or an inadequate or nonexistent clinical assessment of fetal head to pelvic relationship.

“I am now working on a number of medicaid reimbursement false claims matters as well as products liability cases involving surgical and transvaginal mesh products which hopefully will highlight the need for improving the FDA approval and adverse event reporting processes so that they are not so easily controlled by industry influence,” Mueller says.

The FDA released public health notices about surgical mesh for hernia repairs, pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. Complications include adverse reactions to the mesh, pain, infection, adhesions, injuries to nearby organs, nerves or blood vessels.

“When products like surgical mesh are recalled, patients usually don’t find out about it,” Mueller says, who is currently handling several high-state surgical mesh cases. “Sometimes they don’t even know that their physicians used surgical mesh in their treatments. When they start to experience pain or infections, many don’t make the connection because they don’t know if the pain is to be expected or if it’s a sign of something abnormal.”

Mueller’s experience in medical malpractice spreads over numerous years.

Mueller’s first trial alleging and proving an ischemic birth injury due to excessive mechanical forces, in this case from a vacuum extractor, resulted in a multimillion dollar verdict. In another landmark case, Mueller successfully argued for the right of a mother to preserve the sperm of her murdered son for use in a potential surrogate pregnancy.

Mueller achieved a $595 million verdict in another case, which was the only verdict against a health care provider under a theory of negligent undertaking company, over the running of a county hospital resulting in a brain injury to his client. The case was later settled on appeal.

“Winning a verdict or settlement for a family is directly tied to improving their quality of life and helping them recover from devastating loss or injury,” Mueller says.

–Ashley Cisneros
Ashley Cisneros is a co-founder of Chatter Buzz Media, an Orlando Internet marketing firm that helps companies and organizations engage with their target markets through inbound marketing via the Internet. Chatter Buzz Media, which won the Social Madness competition for the Orlando small business market, is a full-service digital marketing firm specializing in website design, search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing and content creation. Prior to founding Chatter Buzz, Ashley worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine editor, technical writer, marketing manager, public relations practitioner and freelance journalist. To see Ashley’s content writing, visit www.ashleycisneros.com. You can also reach Ashley on her Google profile.

By | 2017-04-28T07:32:34+00:00 June 13th, 2011|Categories: Blog, Samples|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

About the Author:

Ashley Cisneros Mejia is a journalist, entrepreneur and marketer. She began her career as a newspaper reporter and later as an editor at Florida Trend business magazine. Ashley has worked as a professional freelance writer since 2009, as a technical writer, marketing manager, and public relations practitioner. She also founded two digital marketing agencies in Orlando. Named one of Orlando’s 40 Under 40 and honored by the Women’s Executive Council of Orlando for achievements in media and communications, Ashley earned a B.S. in Journalism and an M.S. in Entrepreneurship at the University of Florida.

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