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$32.8 million awarded to little girl in birth injury case

Medical mistakes can cause birth injuries, or can increase their severity or permanence of that injury. As in hospitals around the country, fetal monitoring is one of the most important parts of a safe delivery of healthy babies in Connecticut hospitals. The doctors and nurses who are in charge of monitoring the status of a baby should be able to uncover any problems that come up in delivery if the baby is being properly monitored.

Just three hours from Connecticut, a jury in Philadelphia found medical negligence in how two nurses cared for a pregnant mother in a local hospital. According to the woman's lawyer, the woman was at the hospital in November 2009 to give birth to a baby girl. She did not have any major worries about the pregnancy and was close to her due date when she arrived at the hospital in labor.

According to information by the woman's lawyer, the baby's heart rate dropped very low, from approximately 150 beats per minutes, to 60 beats per minute. Two nurses saw the drop in the heart rate on a monitor, but did not tell the woman's doctor about the change for 13 minutes during labor. When the doctor happened to come into the room, she saw the change and immediately took action.

The baby was born via emergency C-section, but suffered spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy. According to reports, the baby's heart rate dropped because of lack of oxygen to the brain due to a twist in the umbilical cord. Experts said that if the baby had been delivered between 15 and 17 minutes before, she would have had a lower amount of brain damage or nothing at all.

A jury found the nurses negligent for not informing the doctor of the change in the baby's heart rate and awarded $32.8 million to the little girl. According to reports, not telling the doctor and other time spent waiting in the delivery caused the baby to have major medical problems that she lives with now.

Experts said the little girl will need special care for the rest of her life and the verdict will allow her needs to be tended to. This case illustrates that for children who have received serious and permanent disabilities from birth injuries, lifetime compensation may be sought.

Source:  mainlinemedianews.com, "Chesco jury gives $32.M to girl in medical malpractice case" Michael P. Rellahan, Jan. 23, 2014

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