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Jury finds medical staff liable for birth trauma injury

While the healthcare debate rages on in political circles, most people in Massachusetts still expect that when treated by a doctor, the care provided will meet a professional standard. In the world of medical negligence, this is commonly referred to as the standard of care. This unique and important concept accepts the fact that complications can arise in medical care. It also includes the idea that medical science cannot cure all diseases.

But, even when a complication arises, the medical profession has standards on how doctors and medical staff should deal with the problem. In some cases, forging ahead may not be the answer. A recent story from the Midwest involves a problem that occurred about five years ago that has left a now 5-year-old girl permanently injured.

Her mother spent at least part of New Years’ Day in 2008 in the hospital where she was in labor. The hospital says that the baby was to be brought into the world through a natural child birth procedure. But, a complication arose when the child’s arm got stuck on her mother’s pelvic bone during the delivery, according to the family’s medical negligence lawsuit.

The family says that the doctor did not pause and offer the mother the opportunity to switch to a less straining procedure, including a cesarean section. Instead the family says that the doctor pulled on the baby’s head, hoping to complete the delivery as planned. But the child’s arm—stuck on her mother’s pelvic bone—was causing a problem in the delivery.

The child was born with disabling injuries to her right arm, according to the family. The family sued the hospital (located in the Midwest) for the birth injury. In the aftermath, the now 5-year-old child continues to wear a brace on that arm. She does not have full use of her arm, despite multiple surgeries over the course of her five years with the injury.

In fact, the family says that based upon medical evidence, the girl may never have full use of the arm. Accordingly, a jury recently handed down a verdict in favor of the family after a medical malpractice trial. The damages may help the family to find proper care and therapy to help the girl as she grows.

Source: Mlive, “Genesee County jury awards nearly $13 million verdict in birth trauma lawsuit against Genesys,” Gary Ridley, Oct. 5, 2013

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