In the United States, approximately 1 in every 9,714 children is born with a birth injury. The most common instances of birth injuries include Erb’s palsy, bone fractures, cephalohematoma, perinatal asphyxia, intracranial hemorrhage, facial paralysis, spinal cord injuries, and cerebral palsy. Closer monitoring, identification and planning for these potential birth risks can assist in avoiding nearly 50% of birth injuries.
A 26-year-old mother was taken to the University of Connecticut Medical Center after going into labor. During her labor, the baby’s heart monitor indicated signs of fetal distress, which more likely than not, automatically triggers an emergency C-section. An emergency C-section is done to prevent oxygen deprivation to the baby’s brain. In this case, signs of fetal distress reportedly were caused by uterus or placental insufficiency, which is a direct result of a reduction in the mother’s blood and oxygen through the umbilical cord. Additionally, because the mother suffered from diabetes, her birth should have been monitored more closely for possible complications.
According to Injury Lawyer News, the mother filed a lawsuit against the University of Connecticut Health Center. The lawsuit alleges that the OB/GYN and other medical personnel did not properly observe indications of fetal distress until five hours after the baby’s heart monitor showed signs of fetal distress. The delay in a C-section caused the child to have a noticeable limp and required him to be on a ventilator. The child also underwent an MRI, which indicated that he had suffered a stroke at the time of his birth. This stroke was directly related to the delayed C-section.
A settlement was reached in which the Health Center has agreed to pay the family $3 million towards the future care the young child will receive. The child currently suffers from mobility impairments, and must see an occupation, speech and physical therapist every week.