A failure to monitor the blood flow through an unborn child’s umbilical cord resulted in the development of cerebral palsy and a $30.5 million award from an Alabama jury.
The Case at a Glance
In the 35th week of pregnancy, an ultrasound was performed on the mother. The medical team became alarmed at indications of reversal end diastolic blood flow, an ominous sign of blood flow not reaching the placenta as it should.
Rather than conducting an immediate delivery, the mother was sent by her doctor to Gwinnett Medical Center for further monitoring.
Due to a delay in admitting the mother to the hospital, several hours elapsed before the child was delivered via cesarean section. Unfortunately, enough time had passed for the child’s brain to starve for oxygen (hypoxic brain injury).
The brain injury developed into spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, a seizure disorder and developmental delays.
The child, now 4, will need 24/7 care for the rest of her life.
Was The Mother At Fault?
A defense attorney representing the doctor’s practice expressed stunned disbelief that the mother was not found liable by the jury. He cited examples of her “repeatedly ignoring the welfare of the child” during her pregnancy by not keeping her gestational diabetes under control.
Instead, the jury found that Gwinnet Medical Center was responsible for 75% of the liability, while the doctor and his practice were found to be responsible for the remaining 25%.
How Does Brain Hypoxia Lead to Cerebral Palsy?
Regular readers of our site will probably know that cerebral palsy has no single cause. Instead, it’s a group of disorders affecting control of body movement.
The cause of cerebral palsy in the case of the child described above was the brain hypoxia.
Simply put, if the brain cells are deprived of enough oxygen, they may die. It doesn’t take long for this to occur. In fact, some brain cells will begin to die within five (5) minutes after the oxygen supply is interrupted.
The Fitzgerald Law Firm: Representing Children With Cerebral Palsy and Other Birth Related Injuries
It’s nothing short of devastating for parents to learn that their newborn has an irreversible disability like cerebral palsy.
If this happened in your family, we want to talk with you about your options. We’ll investigate your case and aggressively pursue compensation to help cover medical treatments, in-home care, rehab, surgery and other needs.
The first consultation is always free, so call The Fitzgerald Law Firm at 800-323-9900.