Medical Malpractice Birth Injury
Article posted on:03/19/2008
A New Jersey jury has awarded more than $19 million in a medical malpractice case to a 10 year old boy who was disabled from birth. The money will allow the boy's mother to pay for his care for the rest of his life, equip their home to accommodate his special needs and purchase a wheelchair-accessible van for his transportation. According to thesuit, the doctor initially misdiagnosed the mother, who was 30 weeks pregnant at the time, after she called him one evening complaining of abdominal pain. The doctor allegedly delayed in determining that the mother was hemorrhaging and had lost a massive amount of blood. The child eventually was delivered, had to be resuscitated and spent four months in intensive care. He suffers from severe brain damage, cerebral palsy and is legally blind.
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.