Last month it was announced that a New York medical malpractice case that had been filed in the Westchester County Supreme Court against the Westchester Medical Center had been settled for $4,098,273.00, for an infant who suffered severe spastic quadriplegia with severe microcephaly and profound mental retardation that will require that the infant have ongoing care for the rest of the infant’s life.
The medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that the woman had an uneventful pregnancy until the 25th week of her pregnancy at which time she was hospitalized for over one week when she experienced moderate pain and spotting. One week before she gave birth, she returned to the hospital where she was diagnosed with advanced cervical dilation. The woman gave birth by Cesarean section during her 27th week of her pregnancy due to issues with the fetal heart rate and the fetus’ vertex presentation. The baby was born weighing 850 grams (one pound fourteen ounces) and was immediately admitted into the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit.
The medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that it was determined five weeks after birth that the baby had contracted Group B streptococcus (GBS) and meningitis that resulted in the baby’s catastrophic permanent injuries. The medical malpractice lawsuit claimed that the defendant hospital departed from good and accepted medical practice in the care of the baby by failing to diagnose and treat the infant’s Group B streptococcus and meningitis that resulted in the infant’s severe and permanent injuries.
It appears that the defendant hospital was able to successfully deliver the premature baby and preserve its life. Premature babies born in hospitals with neonatal intensive care units tend to survive nowadays but some may experience issues due to their births before they are fully developed. Many premature babies live normal lives without permanent injuries or disabilities. However, premature babies need specialized care and their medical conditions must be constantly monitored and medical care and attention adjusted accordingly as their conditions require.
Premature babies are susceptible to infections that may be acquired in the medical unit in which they are treated. The prompt diagnosis of infections and the prompt and correct response to infections are critical to the babies’ survival and their quality of life. The failure to timely diagnose infections and/or the failure to timely treat such infections may be the basis for a medical malpractice claim if the baby suffers permanent and serious injuries due to the failure to provide adequate care that is required by the applicable standard of care.
If your baby or the baby of a family member or a friend suffered serious and permanent injuries during birth or shortly thereafter and the lack of appropriate care may be the reason for the baby’s condition, you should promptly seek the advice of a local medical malpractice attorney to investigate the cause of the baby’s injuries and whether medical malpractice was the cause or contributed to the harm suffered by the baby.
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