Babies are particularly subject to medical malpractice errors during and immediately after the birth process. Actions in Oregon and all other states for birth injury often result in some of the biggest awards and settlements. The funds usually go to the parents for the welfare and future medical expenses of injured babies. Significant medical negligence during the birth process may result in severe brain injury and other disabilities to the newborn child.
In another state, a case of severe brain damage to a newborn baby girl recently went to trial. The girl, who is now four, was born in 2010 at the defendant hospital. Because doctors believed that she had signs of jaundice shortly after birth, they engaged in an “exchange transfusion,” which is a procedure to draw blood from a tube in the abdomen and to send fresh blood in through another tube.
The procedure was inadvisable and was performed negligently, according to the lawsuit filed in Michigan against the medical providers. The parents were advised by the medical personnel that the child sustained a cardiac arrest during the exchange, and resuscitation was attempted for 40 minutes. A CT scan showed severe brain damage. The lawsuit asks for monetary support to take care of the injured child’s medical and other special needs for the rest of her life.
Under Oregon law and the law of all other jurisdictions, damages will not be awarded simply because the baby suffered catastrophic birth injury. It must first be proved that the medical providers’ services fell below a minimum standard of care recognized and required by their peers in the medical community. If negligence is established, it must then be shown that it caused the injuries complained of in the lawsuit. This is usually done by the testimony of medical experts who will attempt to establish for the jury the existence of negligence and that it caused the injuries.
Source: mlive.com, "Lawsuit accuses Spectrum Health of causing brain damage to newborn baby", Sue Thoms, Aug. 4, 2014