Boca Raton-based healthcare clinic, Cross Country Healthcare, recently settled a lawsuit related to a birth injury. The plaintiffs alleged that the negligent care of a nurse resulted in severe brain injuries to the baby. The plaintiffs contended that the nurse used a hand-held heart rate monitor to determine the baby’s heart rate while it was still in utero. In this case, a continuous fetal heart rate monitor would have established that the baby’s heart rate was abnormally low and in need of medical intervention. Since that determination was never made, the baby was born with severe brain injuries and almost no heart rate at all.
While the terms of the settlement are confidential, it is likely that the agreement topped $1 million in damages. The parents will now be required to pay for the child’s unique healthcare needs throughout the duration of his childhood. In addition, the child is essentially robbed of a chance at a normal life.
Brain Injuries During Birth
Birth injuries that occur to the brain are almost always related to a lack of oxygen to the brain. In these cases, it is quite similar to an adult suffering a stroke. Parts of the brain that did not receive an adequate supply of oxygen are damaged. This can be the result of restricted blood flow, some condition in utero that went undiagnosed, infection, or other problems.
In this case, the abnormally low heartbeat resulted in a lack of blow flow to the baby’s brain causing the damage. The nurse was negligent for not using the correct heart rate monitor. It is presumed that when she used the hand-held heart monitor, it was the mother’s heartbeat (and not the baby’s) that she was hearing.
To establish medical negligence, a plaintiff must show that the defendant breached the prevailing standard of care. In this case, that was very easy to determine. The nurse used the wrong heart monitor which led to her failing to diagnose the low heart rate which led to a lack of oxygen to the brain and the subsequent brain damage.
Other Causes of Brain Injury in Babies
There are two other likely culprits when it comes to brain injuries. The first is jaundice and the second is physical trauma to the child’s skull.
Premature babies often suffer from jaundice and, when it’s treated immediately, the problem resolves itself without causing long-lasting damage to the baby’s brain.
In the case of physical trauma, this is most likely caused during a difficult birth. The use of surgical instruments to extract the baby greatly increases the likelihood of physical trauma to the brain.
Talk to a Tampa Medical Malpractice Attorney About Birth Injuries
If you believe your baby suffered as a result of a substandard quality of care, the Tampa birth injury lawyers at Palmer | Lopez can help you recover damages related to your child’s injuries. This money can go toward establishing a trust for them which will ensure that they are properly cared for throughout their lives. Give us a call or talk to us online for a free consultation.