$5 million was awarded to a 30-year-old mother whose newborn’s birth injuries were the direct result of medical malpractice.
A doctor in New York City and another in Staten Island say that according to medical records submitted into court, the plaintiff’s medical history showed nothing to be concerned about. She progressed through her first pregnancy normally as was expected. However, the plaintiff soon found herself being admitted into the hospital in the stages of early labor with her cervix 2cm dilated and an external fetal monitor placed upon her abdomen.
Her midwife reported that approximately seven hours later, her fetal heart monitor started detecting a decline in the baby’s heart rate. The monitor was not showing a complete tracing of contractions, either.
Because it is difficult to determine if deceleration of a baby’s heart rate is a direct cause for concern, there are standard procedures put into effect to further monitor what is going on in the womb, however, as a source reports, the attending obstetrician failed to follow through with the standard procedures.
Even though other concerns continued to surface that should have finally put the delivery staff into action, such as the position of the baby (which would cause a prolonged delivery) and continued fluctuations in the babies heart rate that didn’t correlate with the contractions, an emergency Cesarean section was still not performed that would have provided a faster delivery and lessened any chances of birth injuries.
Testimonies and court records brought up one incident after another where alternative measures should have been considered. Especially after the plaintiff herself started to show signs of distress, the staff should have been alerted and moved into action, but the medical staff opted to handle the delivery for 12 more hours before the attending obstetrician was finally paged to intervene.
The obstetrician quickly decided that the baby needed to be immediately delivered. However, he thought he could do so more quickly with vacuum assistance instead of going to the operating room. When the obstetrician applied the vacuum, he was able to deliver the child within minutes.
However, it wasn’t until after the delivery’s standard procedures were performed that the baby received a bag and mask ventilation and in the NICU, it was recorded that she had no tone and was unresponsive. Shortly after that, the newborn began having seizures. CT and MRI scans were done showing that she had sustained severe brain damage, leaving her unable to walk, talk, or sit without support. She currently is fed through a feeding tube and is dependent upon her parents to assist her with daily living activities.
These birth injuries could have been avoided had the proper procedures been carried out during the entire birthing procedure.
When a birth injury occurs, not only are the effects emotionally and psychologically traumatic, but the worry of finances can increase the families agony. Legal consultation should be sought and there is no better legal representation available than a New York Birth Injury Attorney.