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Doctors, hospitals sued after child born with cerebral palsy

Pregnancy can be an exciting time for expecting mothers in West Virginia. The thought of bringing a new life into the world can be moving, and often requires a lot of planning. In addition to organizing the home and developing a parenting strategy, many expecting mothers have a birthing plan. However, when the time comes to give birth, these mothers might grow anxious about their newborn child's safety, and for good reason.

Parents of a child suffering cerebral palsy recently filed a lawsuit against their doctors and the hospital where the mother gave birth, claiming medical malpractice caused their son to develop the devastating condition. The mother went to the hospital when she was 15 days overdue and was subsequently given medication to induce labor. She was eventually told to start pushing, but the child's head was not properly positioned with her cervix. This caused the child distress, significantly lowered his heart rate, and caused him to inhale his own fecal matter.

When the child was born via emergency C-section, it was discovered he was having difficulty breathing. Medical personnel made efforts to get the child to breathe properly, but as they waited for another medical team from another hospital, a doctor removed the child's edotrachial tube for nearly 45 minutes. It was later discovered the child had brain damage caused by a lack of oxygen. The family is now seeking compensation for its damages.

A birth injury caused by doctor error can seriously impact a newborn's life. He or she may be left with a permanent disability that makes living a "normal" life difficult. Extensive long-term care may also be needed, which can be quite expensive. The heartache, financial strain, and pain and suffering can be overwhelming, leaving a child and his or her parents what they did to deserve such an outcome.

The truth is, in many cases, that they have done nothing wrong. Instead, negligent medical professionals often act in a way that puts unborn children at risk of harm. Fortunately, these individuals can be held accountable through a medical malpractice lawsuit, through which damages such as medical expenses and pain and suffering may be recovered. A West Virginia personal injury attorney can help families assess their case and whether filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is in their best interest.

Source: Statesman Journal, "Lawsuit over birth injury: Misfortune or malpractice?" Saerom Yoo, May 25, 2014

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