The last thing on the minds of expectant parents in Oregon is a potential birth injury to the mother or her newborn during the birth process. Injuries such as broken bones may heal over time and have no lasting impact on a child's life. Other birth injuries may be serious and result in a child's permanent disability. Often these injuries are the result of a delayed cesarean section.
A $2.8 million settlement was recently reached in a medical malpractice suit filed by a family whose child suffered serious brain damage during delivery. The child's injuries left him a quadriplegic with cerebral palsy and other long-term medical issues. He can only walk with braces and is required to wear a helmet. He is also in a special needs class and has speech problems.
The case involved a mother who was pregnant with twins. During the delivery, a vacuum was applied to the injured baby's head three times. It was determined the twins' heads were interlocked, which obstructed their descent. A fetal heart rate monitor indicated warning signs of the baby's heart patterns. According to the lawsuit, the combination of warning signs should have resulted in an immediate c-section. However, pitocin was administered and a c-section was not performed until nearly an hour later.
The settlement award in this case may cover the child's medical expenses and long-term care costs, but it will not repair the child's permanent disabilities. Birth injuries suffered at the hands of negligent doctors or medical staffs are unacceptable, no matter the level of severity.
Source: Injury Lawyer News, "A Massachusetts family settles their child's cerebral palsy lawsuit for $2,8 million," Perry Larkin, Oct. 13, 2012