Readers of this medical malpractice blog who are parents may remember their anxious feelings during childbirth. Even for pregnancies that are progressing without incident, the possibly of a birth injury remains a valid fear. For many parents, words cannot describe their feelings of relief upon hearing their baby’s first cry and having the attending obstetrician announce that they have a healthy baby.
Unfortunately, one mother’s worst fears were confirmed when she didn’t hear her baby cry in the moments following delivery. In consultation with her doctor, the woman’s labor had been induced. After 37 hours, her baby was born. However, her newborn didn’t act like other babies. Instead of crying and moving, he was still and silent.
Only several days later did the woman’s doctor inform her that her newborn had sustained brain damage during birth, and consequently was at risk of developing cerebral palsy. However, since there had been no warning signs, the new mother did some research of her own, and discovered that her baby’s condition might be the result of a birth injury, rather than genetic.
She consulted with an attorney, who helped her to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit. Recently, that proceeding concluded with a damages award of $6.5 million for the doctor’s negligence.
The woman in this story was lucky to find some of her questions answered by her own research, which led her to eventually ask hard questions about the standard of care her doctor had provided during her childbirth. However, not all independent research efforts may be as quickly answered. For patients who suspect that their doctor did not provide them with a professional level of care, an attorney might be a good resource.
Source: Killeen Daily Herald, “Judge: Darnall negligent during birth,” Rose L. Thayer, Dec. 5, 2013