It is safe to say all Pennsylvania expectant parents hope for a healthy newborn baby and assume medical professionals will apply their training and expertise to help them along the way. Unfortunately, labor, delivery or postnatal care may not proceed as planned in some cases, and the results can be devastating for parents and child. Sometimes, such unexpected situations can be caused by medical staff who have failed to provide a proper standard of care. This seems to be what happened in a tragic case in a different state that left a boy with various disabilities; his family later filed a lawsuit, and recently, a jury awarded them nearly $35 million.
Baby apneic at birth
According to the lawsuit, the boy and his twin brother were born in 2007, nearly one month early. One twin was healthy at birth, but the other boy had breathing difficulties (known as apneic) and required bag valve mask ventilation. Once the boy was able to breathe on his own, medical staff admitted him to the Special Care Nursery, where he was initially healthy. Shortly after entering the nursery, he suffered an apneic episode, and reportedly, staff used several methods to try to improve his condition. Unfortunately, his condition quickly worsened, and he experienced dangerously low oxygen levels.
CT scan shows brain injury
The lawsuit asserts that medical staff then placed the boy on a ventilator, but he had three seizures during treatment. He was then transferred to the Newborn Intensive Care Unit at a different hospital; a CT scan indicated he had suffered brain injury, likely resulting from lack of oxygen. The boy is now 14 years old, and he has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and needs round-the-clock care. The lawsuit alleges that nursing staff should have contacted the on-call pediatrician earlier, once they saw his oxygen levels declining.
No doubt, the lives of this boy and his family have been significantly affected — physically, emotionally and financially — and will likely continue as such for many years to come. Hopefully, the award resulting from their lawsuit will help them find some comfort in knowing the medical professionals responsible have been held accountable, as well as alleviate some of their financial stress. In Pennsylvania, as in all other states, people who feel they have also been a victim of medical negligence can sit down with a medical malpractice attorney to discuss their options.