Iowa settles birth injury suit for $3.75M

The birth of a child is a joyous, life-changing event. However, birth injuries resulting from medical negligence during labor and delivery can change that joyous event to a heartbreaking, life-altering event.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 4.1 million babies are born in the U.S. each year and about 1 in 1,000 will suffer a birth injury during the labor and delivery process.

No amount of money can compensate parents for the injuries their baby suffers during birth, but bringing a medical malpractice claim can make the financial future possible and help prevent similar problems from happening to someone else’s child.

An Iowa woman whose baby was severely injured during birth will receive $3.75 million in damages after bringing a medical negligence claim against the University of Iowa Hospital. According to her claim, the hospital staff gave her Pitocin before determining whether her contractions were frequent or strong. Pitocin is a synthetic hormone given to women during labor to speed up the labor process. Despite evidence of excessive contractions and significant trauma to the baby’s head, the staff continued to give the mother Pitocin.

The baby, later delivered through C-section, suffered brain injuries that left him severely injured. Iowa agreed to pay $3.75 million, one of the largest medical malpractice settlements at the state-owned hospital, to settle the lawsuit.

Medical Errors and Birth Injuries

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) defines a medical error as the failure to complete a planned action or the use of a wrong plan to achieve an aim.

A birth injury is an example of a medical error that can give rise to a medical malpractice claim wherein doctors, nurses, hospitals and others that provide health services can be held liable for negligence. Recoverable damages may include medical expenses (past and future), lost wages, loss of consortium, pain and suffering, funeral expenses and more.

Source: NorthJersey.com, “APNewsBreak: Iowa to pay $3.75M in boy’s injuries,” Ryan J. Foley, July 1, 2012

Posted in: Birth Injuries