In the news

Most Read

  • Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko to step down
    Telkom has announced that its CEO and executive director Sipho Maseko will step down on 30 June 2022. The telecoms company said the process to appoint a successor is well underway and a designated group CEO will be announced in the not too distant future.
  • How cooking oil brought a moment of joy during a dreadful week
    It is possible that cooking oil prevented more looting in South Africa in the last week than the president, the ANC, the intelligence community, the army and the police combined. This, without question, says something about the versatility of the product. It says even more about the state of the state. When you are shown up by canola, you might want to revisit your strategy. By Howard Feldman
  • Park Advertising launches digital performance unit, Lucid Media
    Performance Media across Search, Social and Programmatic platforms is the single fastest growing area of digital media in South Africa. Combine that with the detailed analysis of campaign management, tagging and ad operations, and it becomes apparent that these highly specialist functions require a highly specialised unit.
  • Transnet hit by cyberattack - Operations disrupted nationwide
    The Transnet Port Terminals website has been hacked, implying that all companies under Transnet have been affected. All Transnet websites were down at the time when reporting was done for this SA Trucker article. The publication cited sources who requested to remain anonymous because they are not allowed to speak to the media.
  • #BehindtheBrandManager: Meet Tamsin Darroch of Kellogg's South Africa
    Few food brands have the historical connection with consumers around the world as Kellogg's does, having held meaning at the breakfast table for over a century. By Lauren Hartzenberg
  • Business unusual for small enterprises on the road to recovery
    The Covid-19 pandemic has hit South Africa's small business sector hard and there are grim statistics to bear this out. Those statistics will not be repeated here. After all, if you are a small business owner setting out on the road to recovery, the last thing you probably want is more details of the toll the pandemic has taken on small enterprises. Far more useful would be some good, solid tips on how to build back better after any business setbacks. By Ameen Hassen
Show more
Advertise on Bizcommunity

Subscribe to industry newsletters

New cerebral palsy research may have profound impact on medicolegal cases

Commonly held views on cerebral palsy (CP) are being challenged by a new paper recently published in the South African Medical Journal. The paper, Cerebral palsy and criteria implicating intrapartum hypoxia in neonatal encephalopathy - an obstetric perspective for the South African setting, suggests that the causes of this tragic condition may be far more complex and multi-faceted.
© Tyler Olson -

Commonly held assumptions that CP arises as a direct result of preventable adverse events during childbirth inform the current paradigm within South African medico-legal cases, in which the focus is almost exclusively on events during childbirth (intrapartum events).

Among the paper’s findings are that intrapartum trauma may constitute the final link in a complex chain of pathophysiological processes that lead to brain injury and ultimately CP.

In many cases, this causal pathway could depend on (among other things) genetic factors, as well as adverse circumstances and events during the pregnancy or after the birth. The paper suggests that the range of analysis when searching for the cause of CP should be expanded to include a wide array of known considerations.

Antenatal factors, intrapartum factors, neonatal factors, genetics, toxins, foetal priming, failure of neuroscientific autoregulatory mechanisms, abnormal biochemistry and abnormal metabolic pathways are mentioned in the paper as crucial aspects of any thorough, medically sound multidimensional analysis.

The real reason SA's doctors won't deliver your baby

Medico-legal litigation has exploded...

By Aaron Motsoaledi 7 Jun 2017

Most high-value claims against obstetricians in litigation in both the public and private sectors are related to CP cases - on the basis of lack of oxygen to the brain during birth (intrapartum hypoxia) resulting in brain damage (neonatal encephalopathy) - and by extension, implying negligence by the obstetrician during the birth process. This has resulted in steep increases in insurance premiums, thereby threatening the discipline of obstetrics and in turn threatening the delivery of healthcare.

Currently, birth-related injuries in general and cerebral palsy in particular account for more than 40% of insurance claims against South African public hospitals. Total pay outs for cerebral palsy claims resulting from medical negligence amounted to R769m in 2016.

The findings of the new research article may therefore have far-reaching consequences in terms of how CP is handled in the medico-legal context.

The authors call for more detailed assessments in ascertaining the chains of causality in CP cases and propose that negligent intrapartum care (although unfortunate, and requiring correction) cannot be viewed in isolation as the primary driver of incidences of CP.

They caution that the current medico-legal approach may be simplistic and inadequate and that legal outcomes may be determined primarily by persuasive or emotive rhetoric on the part of the attorneys, instead of a comprehensive, holistic appraisal of the many scientific and medical factors at play both during pregnancy and delivery.

Let's do Biz