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Injury to a Child at Birth Leads to Brain Damage

In a recent medical malpractice case, an injury to a child during birth has lead to a large settlement. According to a recent SF Gate article, Iowa has agreed to pay $3.75 million to settle a lawsuit that claimed negligence by University of Iowa hospital employees during a birth that caused a baby to have brain injuries that left him severely retarded.

Furthermore, the case was part of a cutting-edge area of medical malpractice involving the use of Pitocin, a synthetic hormone that is meant to speed up the labor process as women give birth.

The drug is given to a large percentage of women, and the problem in a growing number of cases is that the medication causes excessive contractions in some women that may actually prolong delivery and can cause a lack of blood flow to the baby’s brain. The drug is still being used across the country, though hospitals vary in their approaches to how Pitocin is used and monitored.

Lawyers who represented the University denied claims of negligence related to the use of Pitocin and said the child’s brain injuries were likely caused by other factors, not complications during birth. They argued that the theory that excessive contractions can cause brain injuries to babies “is not supported by scientific evidence.” However, the judge and the appeal board, which handles legal claims against state government, each signed off on the settlement.

Injury to a Child

A child injured or deceased as a result of negligence can be a very hard experience for any parent and family to deal with. When a child is hurt, parents or guardians of a minor under the age of 18 can bring a claim or lawsuit on the child’s behalf.

An injury to a child can result from:

  • An airway obstruction injury, which is the leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among infants under age one.
  • Auto accidents
  • Bicycle accidents: In 2003, nearly 285,600 children ages 14 and under were treated in the US for bicycle-related injuries. Nearly half (47%) of children ages 14 and under hospitalized for bicycle-related injuries are diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury.
  • Falls are one of the leading causes of injury to a child: children ages 14 and under account for one-third of all fall-related visits to hospital emergency rooms.
  • Fireworks
  • Ingestion of household products, such as medication or cleaning substances
  • Medical malpractice
  • Pediatric lead poisoning
  • Playground equipment
  • Premises liability
  • School bus accidents
  • Severe burns
  • Sexual abuse by a teacher, coach, or clergy member
  • Swimming-related accidents: drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children ages 1-14. The majority of drownings and near-drownings occur in residential swimming pools and in open water sites. However, children can drown in as little as one inch of water.
  • Traumatic brain injuries

Additionally, the most recent accident statistics from the National Safety Council, the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, and other sources tell us that:

  • Injury is the leading cause of death in children and young adults. According to the most recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were approximately 2,800 children, ages one to 14 years, who died from an unintentional injury.
  • Approximately 45% of unintentional injury deaths occurred in and around the home. Unintentional home injury deaths to children are caused primarily by fire and burns, suffocation, drowning, firearms, falls, choking and poisoning.

Abels & Annes, P.C. has represented many hurt minors and their families, and we understand the importance of recovering compensation for injuries. Serious injuries can require lifelong medical care and treatment, and that treatment can be extremely expensive for parents or guardians. We look to recover present and future costs when representing an injured minor.

If you have witnessed an injury to a child, or if your child has been injured, request a Free Case Consultation to speak with a lawyer.

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