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Jury finds negligence in delayed emergency caesarean section

A jury heard two weeks of evidence in Cuyahoga County recently in a birth injury lawsuit that was filed against an Ohio doctor and MetroHealth Medical Center. In the end, the jury determined that medical negligence resulted in a boy suffering a brain hemorrhage due to fetal distress during a delay in staff calling for an emergency caesarean section.

The jury awarded the boy, who is now 11 years old, an eight figure sum to cover the cost of his past medical expenses, future care, pain and suffering, and other forms of damages.

The boy has cerebral palsy and suffers from other medical issues that his family says were caused after his mother went into labor prematurely in 2003. The woman had gone to the hospital three times in mid-March and early April of that year. The family’s medical malpractice lawsuit says that she had gone into labor on each of those occasions and doctors used medications to stop each of the episodes of premature labor.

The woman had given birth 11 years earlier, which was performed through an emergency caesarean section. In 2003, after her third time rushing to the hospital, she says that she should not have been discharged. Roughly six days after that third stay at the hospital the woman’s water broke and she returned to the medical facility a fourth time. She asked that her son be born through caesarean section soon after being admitted to the hospital in the early afternoon. Her request was denied.

Later on that same day, at around 5:30 p.m., an attending obstetrician arrived to consult with the mother-to-be. The woman again asked to give birth surgically, and again was denied. The fetus began showing signs of distress, according to the lawsuit. The baby was delivered through emergency caesarean section at around 9:00 in the evening. Medical evidence showed that the baby suffered a brain hemorrhage after 5:30, the time the mother was denied the choice to give birth for the second time.

Medical negligence lawsuits can involve heartbreaking evidence. Families can be overwhelmed when a medical mistake causes harm to a child. However, parents of a baby who has suffered harm due to medical negligence should not have to bear the costs of the harm for the child’s lifetime.

Source: The Plain Dealer, “Garfield Heights boy and mother awarded $14.5 million in malpractice case,” Karen Farkas, June 13, 2014

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