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Family settles birth injury lawsuit after delayed C-section

Four years after the birth of their daughter, a family has settled a lawsuit that claimed a delayed C-section at the hospital resulted in their child suffering a brain injury. Anyone in Rhode Island or elsewhere can really sympathize with this family after reading this story. It begins in January of 2007 when the mother was scheduled to have a C-section, just like she had in her prior births. At 39 weeks into her pregnancy she went to the hospital where she was placed on an external fetal heart monitor by medical staff.

Throughout her pregnancy the baby's heart rate had been measured between 140 and 150 beats per minute. While she was in the hospital for delivery, the baby's heart rate was measured at 118 beats per minute. The C-section needed to happen immediately, but it didn't. Another patient was brought into the hospital and for whatever reason given the mother's spot in the operating room, delaying her C-section. The concerns over the baby's decreased heart rate continued, however staff did not attempt to intervene.

The baby suffered a decreased oxygen supply while remaining in her mother's womb and sustained severe brain damage as a result. Cerebral palsy is a brain injury that all too often occurs when medical staff fail to follow proper procedures in either noticing or reacting to abnormal conditions during delivery, including accurately monitoring both the baby's and the mother's heart rates. The family's lawsuit contends that their child's brain injury and subsequent cerebral palsy could have been prevented had the doctor's and medical staff reacted quickly enough to the baby's falling heart rate.

As is the case in the majority of medical malpractice lawsuits, this one was settled out of court. The family filed its birth injury claim against the labor nurse and the obstetrician responsible for delivering their child after the child was born with a variety of symptoms and an MRI revealed the baby had also suffered hemorrhaging. The baby was diagnosed with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, a neurological disorder associated with the deprivation of oxygen and fetal distress in an unborn infant.

The family settled after the hospital agreed to pay $3 million for its role in the medical malpractice claim and resulting injuries.

Source: Injury Lawyer News, "Birth Injury Lawsuit is Settled Out of Court for $3 Million," Perry Larkin, Nov. 12, 2012

Our lawyers assist families with a variety of personal injury claims, including medical malpractice and a wide range of birth injuries, such as cerebral palsy similar to the case described in the above post.

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