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Lawsuit filed over birth injuries that took infant's life

While every medical malpractice case is tragic, the most heartrending involve birth injuries. In Maryland as well as most other states, birth injuries generally refer to labor errors or mistakes in the delivery process that effect newborns. While these injuries typically occur during the delivery process itself, some birth injuries involve harm that arose before birth or during pregnancy.

Cook County, Illinois may be settling a series of medical malpractice cases filed against the county's public health system. According to reports, nearly $20 million of the estimated $24 million settlement will be used to finalize a medical malpractice case filed on behalf of an infant that suffered serious injuries as a result of hospital negligence. The child suffered non-reversible brain damage as a result of cardiac arrest following a rather common surgery.

The fatal accident took place while the infant was recovering from a surgery to repair an undescended testicle. According to court papers, while recovering the baby boy experienced cardiac arrest. The complaint notes hospital staff waited nearly five minutes before initiating cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The child was ultimately revived, but no pulse appeared for nearly 15 minutes. The heart attack and lack of oxygen left the boy with permanent injury to his brain.

Sometimes accidents happen, of course, but fatal accidents due to preventable medical errors or hospital negligence are unacceptable. For those who have lost a loved one, especially a young child, due to such a mistake it may be possible to recover damages. Damages for medical malpractice cases depend on the specific facts of the incident, but they can include pain and suffering, loss of future earning capacity and medical bills. It is just one way to hold the responsible party accountable in an otherwise chaotic experience.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "County could pay $24 million to settle medical malpractice cases," Hal Dardick, February 2, 2013

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