On October 21, 2014, a Georgia medical malpractice jury awarded $8.45 million for the birth injuries suffered during a 2008 delivery when the hospital where the baby was delivered failed to provide the newborn with a breathing tube for eight, long minutes, allegedly due to the hospital’s primary neonatal resuscitation team being busy at the time and the hospital failing to provide back-up coverage in a timely fashion.
The Georgia medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that fetal monitoring indicated that the fetus was not receiving sufficient oxygen during labor and delivery, which should have led the hospital to prepare for a prompt delivery by Cesarean section, yet a physician was not summoned.
The child suffered oxygen deprivation during birth, leading to a severe and permanent brain injury. As a result, the child suffers from cerebral palsy and has developmental delays. He also suffers from seizures and cannot walk or talk. The now five-year-old child also requires tube feeding.
The plaintiffs’ lawyers stated after the jury returned its verdict, “This verdict will provide for the extraordinary care [the child] will need the rest of his life. The jury made sure that the hospital and its liability insurance company will pay for that care, not taxpayers. Verdicts like this send a message to hospitals and medical staff everywhere that standards of medical care are there to protect patients. In a hospital this size, there’s no excuse for not having backup available. No child in an emergency situation should have to wait.”
Source Medley v. Northeast Georgia Medical Center, State Court of Hall County, Georgia. Civil Action 125V362N.
According to the CDC:
– Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common motor disability in childhood.
– Population-based studies from around the world report prevalence estimates of CP ranging from 1.5 to more than 4 per 1,000 live births or children of a defined age range.
– About 1 in 323 children has been identified with CP according to estimates from CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network.
– In 2008, 58.2% of children with CP could walk independently, 11.3% walked using a hand-held mobility device, and 30.6% had limited or no walking ability.
– According to 2006 data from the ADDM CP Network, black children with cerebral palsy were 1.7 times more likely to have limited or no walking ability compared with white children.
– Another study found that 41% of children with CP were limited in their ability to crawl, walk, run, or play, and 31% needed to use special equipment such as walkers or wheelchairs.
– 41% of the children identified with CP by the ADDM CP Network had co-occurring epilepsy — co-occurring epilepsy frequency was highest among children with cerebral palsy who had limited or no waking ability.
– 6.9% of the children identified with CP also had autism spectrum disorder (ASD) (the overall identified prevalence of ASD among children in the U.S. is about 1%). Co-occurring ASD frequency was higher among children with non-spastic CP, particularly hypotonic CP.
– MADDSP 2006 data show that approximately 60% of 8-year-old children with CP had another developmental disability; more than 40% of children with CP had intellectual disability; 35% had epilepsy; and, more than 15% had vision impairment. Nearly 1 in 4 children with CP had both intellectual disability and epilepsy.
If your child suffers from cerebral palsy that may be due to medical negligence that occurred during labor and delivery, you should promptly find a cerebral palsy lawyer (medical malpractice lawyer) in your state who may investigate your cerebral palsy claim for you and represent you in a birth injury case, if appropriate.
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