Birth Trauma Settlement
Article posted on:02/12/2008
According to the San Diego Union, Kaiser Permanente will pay $3.2 million to a disabled girl as part of birthing malpractice settlement reached earlier this month. According to court documents, the girl, now 14, was left with brain damage following a Caesarian delivery and suffers from physical and behavior problems associated with severe cerebral palsy that occurred following the loss of oxygen to her brain during delivery. The settlement will be used to purchase an annuity for the girl. That annuity will enable her parents to provide for the girl's future medical care, including doctors' visits, necessary medical monitoring, medical equipment and supplies and modifications to her home to make her care and treatment easier for the family.
Cerebral palsy is a complex medical condition that ranges in severity from mild to severe. Typically, those afflicted with cerebral palsy have an inability to control their motor function; i.e., they lack adequate muscle control and coordination. Common symptoms that can lead to a diagnosis of cerebral palsy include: involuntary movements of limbs; muscle spasticity (tightness), inability to walk properly (gait); seizures, breathing problems or difficulty swallowing; bladder and bowel continence issues; learning disabilities, and the impairment of one or more senses (sight, hearing, etc.). More severe cases may also result in a child having difficulty speaking.
In many instances, cerebral palsy is preventable. Perhaps the greatest risk factor associated with cerebral palsy is a lack of oxygen flowing to the child (asphyxia) during the birthing process. This can occur if the umbilical cord becomes wrapped around the infant's neck, or if the infant's head becomes stuck during the delivery. In essence, when an infant is deprived of oxygen for a prolonged period of time, brain cells die, causing injury.