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Government Settles Birth Injuries Lawsuit for $2.3 Million

We depend on doctors and hospitals to treat us effectively and help keep us healthy, but when mistakes are made or medical professionals act negligently, the results can be disastrous. The stakes are even higher when dealing with childbirth because medical errors or mistakes can lead to serious and permanent birth injuries.

A recent case involving a medical malpractice allegation brought against Portsmouth Naval Medical Center and the Unites States provides a good example of how serious malpractice can be during childbirth.

This particular incident involved a woman who checked into the hospital with severe abdominal cramping when she was 35 weeks pregnant. She was reportedly taken to a room where she was connected to a fetal heart rate monitor that showed the fetus was experiencing fetal distress. Despite this discovery, the hospital staff allegedly did not notify a doctor for more than an hour.

Around two and a half hours later, doctors determined the woman's placenta had detached from the uterine wall causing a lack of oxygen to the fetus. An emergency cesarean section was performed, but the child was born with respiratory failure and a slow heart rate. The child consequently suffered extensive and permanent neurological damage, including cerebral palsy.

The child's parents brought a lawsuit for $15 million alleging medical malpractice on the part of the hospital staff caused the permanent disabilities. The case recently settled for a reported total of $2.3 million with a portion of that money going to cover expenses and medical bills, and the majority of it being used to establish a trust fund to provide ongoing care for the child.

Source: The Virginian Pilot, U.S. agrees to pay $2.3 million to settle medical malpractice case, Tim McGlone 1/12/11

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