The birth of a child is an eagerly anticipated event in the lives of Oregon families. The majority of pregnancies are monitored throughout the nine months, and problems can frequently be detected and prepared for ahead of time. A woman in another state experienced a traumatic birth injury that caused permanent damage to her child that may have been preventable.
The woman was 36 and diabetic, both of which are indicators for a possibly large baby at birth. The doctor should have been aware of the chances of a difficult labor and delivery, but he incorrectly estimated the birth weight would be about 8 pounds. The mother delivered the 11.5 pound baby boy vaginally, and they baby's shoulders were too broad to be delivered. A vacuum device was ultimately used to deliver the child after he had been without oxygen for over 10 minutes. The resulting trauma caused permanent brain damage and permanent injury to his right arm.
During the malpractice trial, the jury heard testimony that the mother should have been more closely monitored throughout her pregnancy and that the doctor, who died in 2017, failed to recommend a caesarean section. The boy will probably never be able to live on his own. The jury awarded an amount of $73.2 million in the case.
When a child is born with severe physical problems, in particular brain damage, the prognosis is often a lifetime of battling to survive. Pursuing a legal case against the doctor or hospital responsible for the birth injury cannot undo the damage done, but it may be able to provide financial compensation to aide with the ongoing medical expenses. In addition, such cases can raise awareness of a problem in Oregon and may assist in improved care for others going forward.