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5-year-old faces lifelong consequences of birth injury

Most Pennsylvania parents will do everything necessary to protect their children. To explain to a child why he or she is different than other children because of a birth injury is a heartbreaking undertaking. Knowing that the injury was caused by negligence of medical professionals and that it could have been avoided is certainly a bitter pill to swallow.

The $8.4 million award by a jury in another state may assist a family to adequately take care of their son who suffered a birth injury that resulted in cerebral palsy. In their lawsuit, the family claimed negligence on the part of the hospital. They claimed that their newborn son needed to be resuscitated immediately after birth because the process was delayed. However, they asserted that it took medical personnel a full eight minutes to insert a breathing tube. It was determined that the institution's resuscitation team was unavailable at the time of the boy's birth as it was reportedly attending to another patient.

The jury found that negligent management of the birthing process caused the severe brain injury that was subsequently diagnosed. The boy -- now 5 years old -- is being taken care of by his grandmother. He is unable to talk or walk and is apparently bound to a wheelchair. In addition, he is unable to eat without the aid of a feeding tube. It was reported that the proceeds of the lawsuit will be put in a trust to provide him with the medical and personal care required for the remainder of his life.

Pennsylvania families who are facing the high medical and other costs associated with caring for a child who suffered a birth injury may obtain some relief by successfully litigating a medical malpractice lawsuit against the parties believed responsible. If medical negligence is properly documented and presented, a civil court may award a monetary judgment to cover specified damages. While no amount of money could alter the underlying consequences of the birth injury, it may ensure the best available care.

Source: gainesvilletimes.com, "Hospital must pay $8.4 million after boy's injury at birth", Nick Watson, Oct. 22, 2014

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