The Military Times recently reported on a recent case out of Hawaii where a child was injured during labor and delivery (what’s commonly known as a birth injury lawsuit).
Cerebral palsy and HIE can be caused by various issues, such as stroke, brain bleed, failure to diagnose or respond fetal distress, or uterine hyperstimulation.
Sadly, birth injuries occur every day in U.S. hospitals. There are a number of ways in which a birth injury can occur, including failure to diagnose a condition, failure to respond to an emergency situation in a timely manner or misuse of medical equipment.
Birth injury lawsuits can occur when labor and delivery negligence causes a brain or other injury to the child, including cerebral palsy. Often times this negligence will result in an injury that’s known as hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE).
Birth injuries range in severity. In some cases, the injuries will heal with time. However, more severe cases that involve permanent disabilities will affect the infant, parents and family forever.
The Hawaii birth injury lawsuit involved the failure of Government doctors and nurses to respond to the fetal monitor strip in light of uterine hyperstimulation. Sometimes as a result of the drugs administered to the mother to speed up labor and delivery, the mothers contractions will either be too frequent, to strong, or a combination of the two. This is known as uterine hyperstimulation. It is important that the providers monitor the mother for hyperstimulation, because hyperstimulation can deprive the child of oxygen. The child’s oxygen state can be seen by carefully monitoring the fetal monitor strip.
In the Hawaii birth injury lawsuit, a district court approved a $9 million settlement for the child. But in these federal birth injury lawsuit settlements, the Government often requires approval by the Department of Justice. In this case, DOJ did not approve a settlement, leaving the family without the resources to care for the child.