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Medical Verdicts


Infant’s cerebral palsy follows maternal hemorrhage

July 2003 · Vol. 15, No. 7

<court>Muscogee County (Ga) Superior Court</court>

A pregnant woman near term presented to a hospital with severe vaginal bleeding. She had undergone a previous cesarean delivery. The patient was examined by a nurse midwife who was in contact with an obstetrician. The following evening, the infant was delivered via cesarean section with brain damage and subsequent cerebral palsy.

In suing, the parents alleged that the doctor should have examined the mother upon admission. They argued that their son suffered profound brain damage due to inadequate oxygenation prior to delivery.

Both the nurse midwife and obstetrician maintained that their management was well within the standard of care. Further, the doctor claimed that a knot in the umbilical cord could have caused a lack of proper oxygen to the fetus.

  • The jury awarded the plaintiffs $12 million.

The cases presented here were compiled by Lewis L. Laska, editor of Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts. While there are instances when the available information is incomplete, these cases represent the types of clinical situations that typically result in litigation.

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