For many women living centuries ago, the birth of a child often had serious consequences, sometimes resulting in either the death of the mother or the child, or both. Due to advances in medical knowledge and technology, the birth process is much more likely to be successful than it was 100 years ago. As a result, many in Pennsylvania may overlook the inherent dangers of labor and delivery. These dangers, however, can be magnified by medical malpractice. For example, a recent out-of-state case concerned claims that negligence caused severe disabilities to the baby.
The case involved the birth of a boy in Nov. 2010. A representative for his parents claimed that medical personnel mismanaged the delivery. According to the representative, a doctor and midwife ignored breathing problems and the deterioration of the child's health during labor. Medical staff ultimately made the decision to use forceps, but their improper use caused a lasting injury to the boy's brain that has left him disabled for the rest of his life.
While the defendants in the case express their sympathy for the boy and his parents, they maintain that their actions during the delivery were appropriate. They further state that the boy's injuries resulted from a stroke he suffered as a result of medical issues that are unrelated to medical staff's decisions during the delivery. Despite their claims, a jury -- convinced by evidence of injuries suffered by forceps and that the boy's medical records had been altered -- ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, awarding them over $11 million. This award, the parents say, will be used to ensure that the injured victim will receive proper care for the rest of his life.
There are inherent risks associated with the birth of a child. However, the negligent acts of medical staff can increase these risks, causing unnecessary harm. Often medical malpractice that occurs during labor and delivery can lead to lifelong injuries that require extensive care. Fortunately, there is recourse for parents in Pennsylvania who have suffered. An attorney with experience with such cases can help them determine the best course of action for their individual circumstances.
Source: omaha.com, "Jury awards $11.5 million to Omaha couple in medical malpractice lawsuit over child's birth", Russell Hubbard, Oct. 28, 2016