Giving birth is one of the most memorable days in a mother’s life. Unfortunately, sometimes it is memorable for the wrong reasons. Rather than delivering a healthy, happy baby, too many women suffer traumatic deliveries that result in serious injuries to their baby.
For instance, a jury recently awarded a mother nearly $9 million for the damages she and her son suffered during a difficult delivery.
Excessive force, traumatic experience
According to reports, the woman delivered a 10.5-pound baby, which was much larger than the 6-pound baby the woman’s nurse-midwife predicted. Despite the fact that the baby was much larger than expected, the midwife failed to appropriately acknowledge potential size-related complications and discuss possible alternatives, like a C-section, with the mother.
Instead, the midwife reportedly grabbed the baby’s head during the delivery to pull him out when his shoulders got stuck in the birth canal. The force she used was so great that she broke the infant’s arm and tore nerves in his arm.
Eventually, a doctor took over. He performed an episiotomy to complete the birth.
Unfortunately, the medical problems didn’t end there. The infant required immediate intensive care as well as multiple surgeries to his arm. He undergoes physical therapy and has reportedly bitten his own hand in response to the nerve pain.
What can we learn from this case?
While the case occurred in another state, it could just as easily happen here in Ohio.
In these situations, nothing can truly compensate mothers and their children for their devastating physical and emotional injuries, and nothing can undo the trauma of the experience. However, a legal claim resulting in compensation can help parents and their child get the medical attention they need and cope with the effect of birth injuries and related damages.
Of course, there are times when birth complications cannot be predicted or immediately resolved during a delivery, and not every injury or adverse event warrants legal action. However, when a medical professional fails to properly acknowledge risks during delivery and inform patients about alternatives, that party should be accountable.