Hospital Settles with Brain Damage Victim for $15 Million after Birth Injury
The victim in this case, now 6-year-old Nyelle Brown, and her family filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital, Franciscan Health in Chicago Heights, in 2013. She was born in January 2011 with severe brain damage and Cerebral Palsy.
According to the lawsuit, the hospital did not respond when Nyelle showed signs of respiratory distress and should have delivered her earlier. They also allegedly administered excessive amounts of Pitocin, a drug that is used to induce labor, which resulted in strong contractions that were occurring too closely together. With too many contractions, Nyelle’s brain was deprived of blood and necessary oxygen, causing damage to her brain. In order to alleviate the lack of blood and oxygen flow, doctors typically perform an emergency C-section. Unfortunately, they failed to do so in this case.
As a result of the hospital’s negligence, Nyelle now suffers the consequences. With severe brain damage and Cerebral Palsy, she is incapable of walking and talking, and she requires extensive care. She will also need medical treatment for the rest of her life. Sadly, cases like Nyelle’s occur with astounding frequency.
Pitocin During Labor and the Potential for Birth Injuries
Pitocin is a synthetic version of the hormone oxytocin, which is generally used to induce labor or to strengthen contractions during labor. The administration of Pitocin must be made under the appropriate circumstances and diligently monitored during child birth. Pitocin is adminstered through an IV, after which medical professionals must regularly track the amount of time between each contraction. If contractions become too strong or begin occurring too close together, they may decide to lessen the amount of Pitocin being administered or to stop it all together.
Using pitocin presents serious risks and inappropriate use can cause catastrophic repercussions. During labor, the placenta contracts and relaxes at a specific pace in order to provide blood and oxygen to the infant. Pitocin can alter this rate, inducing contractions that are too strong, too fast, or too long-lasting. When this occurs, the placenta does not have sufficient time to replenish the baby’s oxygen supply, thus causing oxygen deprivation and respiratory distress which may lead to hypoxic or anoxic brain injuries, Cerebral Palsy, and other brain damage-related birth injuries.
If a baby is deprived of oxygen or showing signs of respiratory distress, doctors must take immediate action to prevent brain damage, birth asphyxia, and even death. When hospitals and medical professionals fail to fulfill their responsibilities and a child suffers a birth injury, victims and their families are entitled to pursue compensation for pain and suffering and the costs of long-term or even life-long medical care. At Fronzuto Law Group, our team of New Jersey birth injury attorneys serves passionately on behalf of these victims. With offices in New Jersey and New York, we aggressively advocate for clients throughout the tri-state area. If your child may have suffered a birth injury as a result of medical malpractice, we are here to help. Contact our offices anytime to discuss your case and receive a free consultation.
For additional information pertaining to this case, access the following resource: Sauk Village family reaches $15M settlement over alleged brain damage during delivery