Prolonged labor leads to birth injuries and cerebral palsy

We’ve mentioned some multi-million dollar verdicts in Pennsylvania and other states concerning birth injuries suffered by children while the mother was in labor and under the care of hospital staff. In some circumstances, such lawsuits will be settled before ever going to trial.

Recently, a $3.75 million settlement was reached as a result of birth injuries ultimately resulting in brain damage for a child. An expectant mother was given a substance known as Pitocin that was designed to speed up the labor process. Instead, the woman went through 28 hours of labor before it was decided that the child needed to be delivered through a Cesarean Section.

Apparently, the hospital failed to take into account a number of circumstances that should have discouraged staff from using the drug. Pitocin can in certain circumstances cause excessive contractions, though hospital staff continued to administer the drug while such contractions were occurring. Such contractions were also blamed for significant trauma occurring to the baby’s head.

It is asserted that because of the prolonged labor causing a lack of blood flow to the baby’s brain, the severe contractions and trauma to the child’s head, the 5-year old child now suffers from cerebral palsy and severe mental retardation. Whether or not this was the precise cause of the child’s birth injuries, the state where the hospital was located decided to settle the matter out.

For parents of children injured in such a manner, medical malpractice attorneys are willing to look into such a case and determine if medical malpractice did occur. Birth injuries as the result of medical malpractice almost always involve severe trauma. Even a multi-million dollar verdict may not take care of all the care such a child will require. Such a child will likely require a lifetime of medical care and other services.

Source: The Gazette, “Iowa to pay $3.75M in boy’s injuries,” July 1, 2012