When Failure to Perform a C-Section Results in Brain Damage and Birth Injuries
The birth of a child is a highly complex, delicate process during which both the mother and baby are vulnerable to injuries. As such, the obstetricians and other medical professionals who are tasked with facilitating delivery, must diligently monitor a variety of indicators, making sure to act swiftly if either the mother or child are in danger. Among the most threatening complications that can cause permanent brain damage to the infant is lack of oxygen. These events can lead to hypoxic and anoxic brain injuries that cause harm, if not death, when not addressed immediately.
A recent case in Miami illustrates what can go wrong when a doctor fails to alleviate oxygen deprivation. Specifically, the victim suffered permanent brain damage due to the negligence of an OB-GYN who failed to perform a C-section. According to the medical malpractice lawsuit, the mother arrived at a clinic in the final stages of labor. During the delivery of her baby, the fetal heart rate had reached a “category 3,” which means that infant was not receiving adequate blood or oxygen and was at immediate risk of brain damage or death.
Instead of performing an immediate C-section to deliver the baby, the doctor ordered the administration of the drug Pitocin, which intensifies contractions. The obstetrician then attempted to perform an assisted delivery using a vacuum extractor, making three separate attempts before the infant was finally delivered. During this time, the plaintiff alleged that the doctor left the room multiple times, taking a call from his stockbroker on one occasion. When the young boy was ultimately born, he showed signs of severe oxygen deprivation, including a blue face, limp limbs, and need for resuscitation. After the infant was successfully resuscitated, he had already suffered severe brain damage.
The little boy was hospitalized for 2 months following his birth and has been hospitalized approximately 30 times since his initial discharge. He suffers from Cerebral Palsy and scoliosis, cannot speak or sit up, and will require 24/7 care for the remainder of his life. Tragically, experts estimated that the 3-year-old boy will live only 9 to 12 additional years. According to the testimony of medical experts, the victim’s injuries could have been avoided if the obstetrician had offered and performed a C-section in a timely manner.
After hearing the case, a jury awarded $33.8 million to the victim and his family. The damages were delineated as follows: $21.7 million for economic damages, $3.3 million for the mother’s pain and suffering, $1.1 million for the father’s pain and suffering, and $7.6 million for the boy’s pain and suffering. As for the doctor in this case, an investigation revealed that he had been subject to several medical malpractice claims prior to this one, including 3 other cases, two of which resulted in irreversible brain damage, and a third that resulted in permanent disability.
New Jersey Birth Injury Attorneys Who Fight For Brain Damage Victims
This case is a tragic example of delivery errors that cause permanent harm. The young boy could have enjoyed a long and happy life with his family had the obstetrician performed a C-section and prevented the damage to his brain. Birth injuries such as this one occur with astounding frequency, but those who are responsible can be held accountable for their negligence. At Fronzuto Law Group, our New Jersey birth injury lawyers serve passionately on behalf of birth injury victims and their families. If you or someone you love has sustained an injury due to a delivery error, contact us today to learn more about your legal options. We provide initial consultations free of charge.
For additional information regarding the aforementioned case, access the following article: Miami Gardens family wins $33.8 million medical malpractice award against federal government