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Jim Lewis
Jim Lewis
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Severe Birth Injury Nets $8.5 Million Award

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MetroHealth Medical Center, Cleveland OH, recently was held accountable for medical negligence in a birth injury lawsuit from 2010. The baby suffered a severe brain injury while in the care of the hospital, which resulted in an $8.5 million pay out to the family.

According to a press release, the Myers family involved in the suit was expecting in 2010. The baby was delivered normally, but the mother was not aware that she likely contracted a placental infection soon after birth. The baby did not get enough oxygen delivered to her brain and the doctor in attendance did not resuscitate her properly.

The child is now three years old and has to be fed with a tube each day and will never be able to care for herself or live a normal life.

At the trial, one of the strongest pieces of evidence was the APGAR score for th baby, which is usually taken within five minutes of birth to see how the child is doing medically. The score was named after Dr. Virginia Apgar, who was an anaesthesiologist who came uup with the scoring system to observe the effects of anaesthesia on newborns. Each letter in the name represents key things the medical staff are supposed to watch for to calculate a score – appearance, pulse, grimace, activity and respiration.

In this case, the baby was not breathing when she was born but she did have a pulse. The attending nurse failed to notify neonatal resuscitation experts in time to prevent brain damage. Forensic evidence also showed at trial that the APGAR score was changed to indicate that the hospital was not responsible for the brain injury.

It should be noted that placental infection can cause a low APGAR score, but it is not the sole cause of a low score.

In our law practice in Virginia, we see a variety of birth injuries due to medical malpractice. In addition to brain injury due to low levels of oxygen to the brain, we also have seen these types of injuries:

  • Hospital failed to detect an infection in the mother and/or baby
  • Doctor misused medical equipment, such as the forceps
  • Doctor misread the fetal monitor
  • Doctor gave an incorrect dose of medication to you or your baby

Any time a doctor or medical facility makes a mistake that injures a baby, they need to be held accountable in a court of law.

Shapiro, Lewis, Appleton & Favaloro is a personal injury law firm located in both North Carolina and Virginia. Its personal injury attorneys often blog about medical malpractice and birth injury law.