A Florida jury verdict awarded $23 Million in compensation to a mother whose baby sustained permanent brain damage and severe cerebral palsy after her birth was mishandled. The child will require a lifetime of specialized care.
The story began in 2010 with a 24-year-old Miami woman expecting her first child. Well into her 2nd trimester, she developed high blood pressure and dangerous signs of preeclampsia. Her OBGYN referred her to a hospital that does not deliver babies that are less than 33 weeks gestation when she was only 24 weeks along.
The young mother followed her prenatal care doctor’s instructions and was diagnosed with severe preeclampsia upon arrival to the hospital. Her medical records indicate that the baby was not receiving enough blood flow which signaled potential warning signs of impending brain damage. Despite an urgent need for medication that could have helped prevent brain damage in her baby (who was already at increased risk for premature delivery), the 24-year-old was not transferred to a specialized hospital that would have been able to provide the appropriate care.
Approximately two weeks later, the young mother presented to a hospital well-equipped for premature deliveries with skyrocketing blood pressure and injuries to her organs. Unfortunate by that point, the fetal heart rate was suggestive of injury to the baby’s brain. She was given an urgent C-section and her baby girl was born at 26 weeks gestation with severe cerebral palsy. The baby is now 4 years old and requires round-the-clock care from her mother.
70% of the negligence was attributed to the young mother’s OBGYN for referring her to a hospital that was ill-equipped to handle her medical emergency. The remaining 30% of the negligence was attributed to the hospital she first presented to for failing to transfer her to a hospital that could have provided her with medication to potentially prevent her daughter’s brain damage. To read more about cerebral palsy, visit our Cerebral Palsy page & our Cerebral Palsy FAQ page. To read more about the above case, visit Daily Business Review’s website for their feature article.