doctors errors lead to babys decapitation mom awarded 14 mil

Child birth and the months leading up to it should be an exciting time for parents. Pittsburgh parents expect any deviation from a normal delivery to be communicated clearly, and if problems arise, parents expect their health care professionals to make the situation better.

Unfortunately, one mother recently lost her baby during a botched premature delivery because of numerous delivery room errors. Since her baby’s death, the woman has struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression. In an effort to compensate the woman for her pain and suffering, the negligent doctors must repay the mother nearly $1.4 million as part of a medical malpractice settlement.

The medical nightmare began when the mother went to the doctor complaining of bleeding. She was between 21 and 24 weeks pregnant, and the doctor told her the next day that it was likely the baby was not going to live.

When the woman called her boyfriend to tell him the news, she began crying and coughing, at which point the baby’s feet began to come out. The mother testified that she called for the nurses, but no one came to help her until nearly five minutes had passed. She testified that she was “sitting there waiting for them to come help my baby that was kicking and trying to come out.”

As the doctors were delivering the baby, they decapitated the young child.

The mother’s attorneys argued that the doctors failed to remove a cerclage — a string that was used to keep the mother’s cervix closed and the child in the womb. The attorney further argued that when the doctor began the delivery, “the string acted as a noose and helped cause the decapitation when the [doctor] pulled on the child.”

The doctor responded that although he initially tried to deliver the baby with the string still attached, he removed it once the delivery began. He told the jurors that it would be “physically impossible” to deliver a child through the string, which might explain how the baby was killed during the delivery.

The doctors alleged that the failed delivery was an unfortunate tragedy in which no one did anything wrong. The mother’s attorney may have verbalized a better reality of the situation when he said, “The reason that this is never heard of is because it doesn’t happen unless somebody does something wrong.”

Source: az central, “Baby-decapitation case: Mom awarded nearly $1.4 million,” The Courier-Journal, Oct. 7, 2011

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