Parents may never be more vulnerable or dependent upon medical professionals in any situation other than child birth. Chicago hospitals, doctors and nurses are required to minimize the risk of birth injuries by carefully monitoring mothers in labor and their unborn children. Any preventable error during labor and delivery could cause permanent harm to a mother and her newborn.
The mother and father of a child who was born with severe developmental problems recently sued a prominent U.S. hospital for medical malpractice, claiming that doctors and nurses made serious mistakes while the woman was in labor. A jury spent three weeks examining evidence that the child’s birth was unnecessarily delayed, which caused the child to suffer birth injuries, the lawsuit alleged. After examining the evidence and the circumstances of the child’s birth, the jury decided to award the family more than $50 million in damages.
Although this award might seem like an excessive amount of compensation for one medical mistake, the consequences of a birth injury can be permanent, affecting the child and his or her family for the rest of their lives.
Children with birth injuries frequently suffer developmental difficulties that require constant medical care and evaluation. Parents may even be forced to hire a medical assistant or other specialist at an extraordinary expense who will make sure that their child receives the constant care and attention that is often needed.
Sadly, the mother and father who recently won their lawsuit know all too well just how physically, emotionally, and financially damaging a mistake during the birth of a child can be. The couple’s child, who is now 2 years old, is severely disabled.
According to the lawsuit, the mother was rushed to the hospital after unsuccessfully trying to give birth at home with the help of a midwife. The mother reached the second stage of labor without the child being able to move through the birth canal. The hospital scheduled an emergency Caesarean section, but waited two hours before performing the operation. This unnecessary delay ended up causing the couple’s child to suffer serious harm.
Source: WBAL-TV, “Jury Awards Family $55 Million in Medical Malpractice Suit,” Phil Yacuboski, June 26, 2012