Throughout Oregon and across the United States, licensed obstetricians (OBs) are trained to recognize signs of fetal distress, especially symptoms that merit an emergency C-section. If an OB fails to diagnose an infant’s or mother’s condition and attempts a vaginal birth when symptoms clearly suggest it is not safe, a severe birth injury may result. A jury in another state reached a verdict against an OB, stating that her negligence was a direct cause of severe brain injury to a child.
The birth took place in August 2018. An attorney representing the parents who filed a lawsuit on behalf of their child told the court that there were clear signs of fetal distress during the mother’s labor. The attorney said that the average OB would know that a C-section would be required to keep the infant safe in such circumstances.
The OB did not do what she should have done
The jury awarded the child’s parents $97.4 million for pain and suffering and to provide funds for the lifelong, 24-hours-per-day medical care their child needs because of the traumatic brain injury the OB caused during his birth. Instead of performing a C-section, the doctor tried to extract the infant from the birth canal with forceps. When the procedure failed, she then attempted to pull the child from the womb with a vacuum extractor.
The baby suffered serious brain damage
The attorney told the jury that the OB crushed the infant’s skull “like an eggshell” with the forceps. It was also stated that licensed OBs know that a vacuum extraction should never be attempted if the use of forceps has failed. In addition to the OB, several others, including the hospital, were named as defendants, as well. Any Oregon parent considering filing a medical malpractice claim because of a birth injury may request a meeting with an experienced personal injury law attorney before heading to court, which is advisable, since this type of litigation is complex and often highly stressful.