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Failure to monitor baby’s heart rate led to injuries, parents say

For many new parents in Chicago, there may be nothing more exciting and joyful than holding one’s baby for the first time after he or she is born.

In March 2010, one couple who was prepared give birth to a healthy baby and bring their child home soon after were not so fortunate to share those joyful moments together that many other parents get to experience. Instead, complications arose while the mother was in labor that she claims were not addressed or treated properly by medical staff. As a result, the couple’s baby suffered serious birth injuries and had to remain hospitalized for nearly a month before the parents were able to bring their son home. When their son turned one last March, a doctor told the couple that their child might also suffer from a form of cerebral palsy as a result of his birth injuries.

The child’s parents are now filing a lawsuit against the hospital where the child was delivered and several of its employees. The parents claim that their child’s injuries at birth and the child’s current medical condition is a result of negligence. The mother claims that had her child’s heart rate been monitored properly while she was in labor, her son would have never been born with serious health complications.

According to the lawsuit, the mother experienced a normal pregnancy and her doctor had given her permission to have her baby induced at 38 weeks gestation. The doctor explained the procedure for the induction at the hospital as well as the medications that would be used to help induce labor. The woman allegedly expressed some concern regarding the medications that would be used, but her doctor assured her that the medications would not cause any complications when inducing labor.

After inducing labor as the doctor explained, a fetal heart rate strip indicated that the unborn baby’s heart rate was slowing down, signifying that there was a complication and that the baby was in distress. Doctors attempted to expedite the delivery of the baby by using several different methods before finally opting to perform a Cesarean section. For about 40 minutes, the baby’s heart rate was slower than normal before he was finally delivered.

After the child was born, the baby was transferred to another hospital to receive proper treatment for severe brain injuries. The parents are now seeking damages in excess of $75,000 for their son’s injuries, medical expenses and suffering.

Source: The Dodge City Globe, “Medical malpractice suit filed against two physicians, hospital,” Eric Swanson, March 10, 2012

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