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Failure to communicate: delay in c-section severely injures boy

Communication is crucial in the delivery of medical care.

Modern medicine has become highly fragmented, carved up in all sorts of silos and specialized niches. With so many medical professionals involved, it is imperative that they keep in touch with each other in order to deliver proper care.

In this post, we will discuss a birth injuries case in which they failed to do so.

The case concerns a boy who was born with cerebral palsy after suffering a serious brain injury during birth. His family sued the hospital, contending that doctors failed to perform a c-section in a timely manner despite indications of uterine rupture.

The boy’s mother was only at 35 weeks when she arrived at the hospital suffering from acute abdominal pain. She had a medical history that included previous miscarriages. She also had experienced a complicated birth with her first child.

Because of these things, the injured boy’s lawsuit asserted, the mother was at an elevated risk of uterine rupture. But the hospital apparently failed to communicate with the mother’s obstetrician, who could have provided key information about this risk and the reasons behind it.

Instead, without this information, the hospital took too long and respond to respond to signs of fetal distress. And as a result of this, the boy suffered a brain injury that his family described as catastrophic. According to the boy’s lawsuit, he will require round-the-clock care for the rest of his life.

The hospital and the boy’s family have now settled the suit for a reported $9 million. It will be paid in two parts. There will be a lump-sum payment of $5 million, with the remainder to be paid throughout the boy’s life.

Source: The Republic, "Lawyers: $9M proposed settlement for Virginia boy with cerebral palsy born in Hawaii hospital," Jennifer Sinco Kelleher, Jan. 29, 2014

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