trio of birth injury lawsuits show how hospitals can fail to adapt

Most of us would imagine that when possible medical malpractice occurs at a hospital, administration officials would take every possible step to ensure that the incident — or anything closely resembling it — never happens again. This could include everything from conducting a comprehensive review to disciplining the medical professionals implicated in the matter.

Unfortunately, as we’ve seen innumerable times on our blog before, this frequently doesn’t happen and, as a result, more patients are made to suffer undue harm.

As a further illustration, consider that an Oregon hospital is currently facing three separate medical malpractice lawsuits, all of which tell nearly the identical story: negligence in the delivery room was responsible for the onset of both permanent brain damage and cerebral palsy in three babies.

Somewhat shockingly, the three CP births covered in the lawsuits all occurred within two years of one another, with two of them even involving the same physician.

One of the lawsuits, which is seeking $40 million in damages, contends that a mother was administered a drug to hasten the birth process back in 2007. However, when a caesarean section was ultimately performed several hours later, her baby was born completely unresponsive.

“He was white as paper,” said the baby’s father. “There was nothing there. His arms and legs fell as they spun him around so they could continue to help him.”

Here, the lawsuit accuses the hospital staff of waiting too long to initiate efforts to resuscitate the baby, who was thankfully saved, but later diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of two — a devastating condition that can cause a host of medical problems ranging from vision and speech problems to muscle spasms and mobility issues.

The parties involved in these lawsuits are now urging parents to be proactive when it comes to the birth of their own children, including securing a signed birth plan beforehand and selecting a hospital with a neonatal intensive care unit and a strong federal safety record. Furthermore, they advise soon-to-be parents to familiarize themselves with potential birthing emergencies, including what steps can and should be taken to protect the baby.

If the unimaginable has happened and your child has suffered a serious birth injury, remember to consider speaking with an experienced legal professional to learn more about your rights for securing justice for both you and your child.

Source: KGW, “Silverton Hosp. sued over cerebral palsy births,” Nina Mehlhaf, April 10, 2014

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