Hall County Jury Awards $8.45 Million for Unreasonable Delay in Intubation of Baby
When an infant suffer distress during or after delivery that causes an interruption in the flow of oxygen to the baby's brain, the result can be devastating injuries that necessitate lifetime supportive care. While not every brain injury to a baby is the result of medical malpractice, sometimes this form of heartbreaking injury can be prevented by proper monitoring and care consistent with established medical standards.
A recent jury verdict involving a baby who suffered serious brain damage during delivery serves as a reminder of the impact of medical mistakes during the childbirth process. According to the Daily Report, Jakob Medley suffered brain damage when he allegedly was forced to wait eight minutes for a breathing tube that he critically needed because the hospital's neonatal resuscitation team was busy with another delivery. The Northeast Georgia Medical Center also allegedly failed to arrange for a backup team.
Once the breathing tube was finally inserted, it took a medical team 45 minutes to resuscitate the infant. The plaintiffs contended that the prolonged period of interruption of oxygen to the brain caused the baby to suffer severe injuries including cerebral palsy, permanent brain damage, seizures and disfigurement. The child's quality of life has been severely compromised. He cannot speak, walk or eat without tubal feeding. The baby's life care plan projected future lost income and expenses as between $4 million and $11 million.
The evidence presented by the plaintiffs indicated that at the exact moment that the infant's mother had completely dilated and was ready to begin pushing another expectant mother was admitted into the emergency room with heavy bleeding. During Jakob's twenty minute delivery, the mother's obstetrician and the hospital's neonatal team were operating on the other expectant mother and her baby. The plaintiffs in the medical malpractice lawsuit emphasized during trial that the baby of the mom admitted into the emergency room was intubated within two minutes.
The plaintiffs sought damages from both the hospital and the midwife, but the jury assigned 100 percent of the fault to the hospital. Multiple individuals and entities, such as a surgeon, anesthesiologist, hospital, midwife, nurse and other health care professionals often attempt to shift responsibility for medical errors to another health care provider, which was what the hospital attempted in this case.
The midwife was alleged to have been negligent in failing to bring in an obstetrician partner for a C-section based on decreased fetal heartbeat. Counsel for the midwife presented expert testimony that there was no indication of a significant problem based on fetal heart monitoring strips. The primary argument against imposing liability on the midwife was that the monitoring strips did not indicate distress which would have indicated the baby's cord was wrapped around his neck. The problem could only be identified once the baby had already been born.
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If your child suffers a brain injury during birth, you may have a right to legal compensation. Contact the birth injury attorneys at Montlick and Associates for your free consultation. Our firm has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast for over thirty years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.