Birth injury cases are always tragic and terribly difficult for the parents that go through them. In cases where the delivered child survives, those struggles can be dragged out for years as the parents deal with the effects of the birth injury. Our Houston readers who've known these situations also know that costs can be high, emotionally, physically, and financially.
Last Friday, a Philadelphia woman was awarded $78.5 million in a medical malpractice case against medical center she had accused of creating the circumstances which ultimately resulted in her son's cerebral palsy. In particular, she blamed faulty diagnostic procedures.
According to the woman's attorneys, the woman had demonstrated signs of complications when she arrived at the hospital which caused her son to be deprived of oxygen, resulting in cerebral palsy. The problem, they argued, could have been avoided by delivering the child right away, but the doctor in charge mistakenly determined that the baby had died.
It wasn't until 81 minutes after that determination that a fetal heartbeat was detected and an emergency cesarean section was performed. Outdated medical equipment and failure to provide trained staff were determined to be part of the problem.
The jury in the case determined that it was the medical center, and not the doctor, that was responsible for the birth injury.
Cerebral palsy is one of a number of conditions that can result when an improperly executed birth. Others include, spastic quadriplega, hypoxia, developmental delays, microcephaly and mental retardation.
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, "Phila. Jury awards $78.5M in medical malpractice case," Chris Mondics, May 6, 2012.
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