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Brain damaged child awarded $7 million in lawsuit

Childbirth is supposed to be a joyous time. Unfortunately, there are times when things do go wrong. Sometimes when things go wrong it is impossible to attribute blame. In other cases, a delivery error or medical mistakes made in the days immediately after delivery are the result of hospital negligence. If negligence or medical errors are the cause of an injury, the family may be entitled to compensation for the child's future medical expenses.

A jury recently returned a $7 million medical malpractice verdict after a nine-day trial in Allegany County. The case involved a Maryland newborn that was severely injured due to brain damage caused by her heart stopping due to an aortic condition. The jury, however, agreed with the plaintiffs that multiple prior visits that showed an excessive heart rate should have put the physician on notice. The defendant clearly disagreed.

According to the family's attorney, the young girl was brought to Children's Medical Group twice before the incident occurred and both times a nurse recorded an excessive heart. Normal rates are between 130 and 160 beats per minute. The young girl reportedly had a heart rate between 184 and 192 beats per minute in both visits. The majority of the award will be used to provide the child with the ongoing care she needs.

While not every medical mistake leads to serious injuries, when they do it can be incredibly costly. This is even truer when it comes to infants. Birth injuries and other injuries that occur in the earliest stages of life can have profound developmental and cognitive effects that require life long care. To afford to provide for a child with life-long medical injuries, sometimes a medical malpractice lawsuit is necessary.

Source: Cumberland Times-News, "Jury renders multi-million verdict in malpractice lawsuit," Matthew Bieniek, Oct. 25, 2013

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