Oxygen deprivation poses a serious risk to infants still in the womb and can cause severe and permanent injuries if not addressed in a quick and timely manner. New Jersey parents expect that attending physicians will practice the necessary amount of preventative care in order to prevent fetal distress and brain damage during the labor process. When a newborn is permanently injured because of negligent care, parents are often justified in seeking appropriate compensation.
The family of a young boy were awarded $9 million after they claimed that an army medical facility botched the boy's birth. His mother had a high-risk pregnancy and was at an especially high risk for possible uterine rupture. Staff at the medical center were familiar with this dangerous risk, but the inexperienced doctor who attended to her never called for backup when her uterus actually ruptured. It was a nurse, not the doctor, who ultimately called for physicians with more experience to come and help.
The uterine rupture caused the baby's oxygen flow to be cut off. That lack of oxygen led to cerebral palsy and brain damage, both of which are lifelong afflictions that require continued care. His parents say that he now requires help 24 hours a day for the remainder of his young life.
There is little doubt that financial compensation cannot undo past mistakes or completely make up for a permanent and lifelong brain damage. However, settlements and awards received through successful medical malpractice suits often play a necessary role in paying for subsequent medical care and other related damages. When New Jersey parents successfully achieve legal recourse on behalf of their injured child, they can even affect change at a hospital or facility that can help prevent similar acts of negligence from occurring in the future.
Source: khon2.com, "Tripler to pay $9 million in medical malpractice settlement", Feb. 5, 2016