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Parents say hospital is responsible for children's cerebral palsy

For most families, welcoming a new baby is a joyous time of celebration. At times, labor and childbirth don't progress according to plan, and as a result, a child may suffer serious consequences. Three families recently filed suit against a hospital that they believe is responsible for their babies' diagnoses of cerebral palsy. While this medical facility is not located in Maryland, the case may interest expecting parents everywhere.

One family filed a claim against the doctor and delivery department on behalf of their now 6-year-old son. He was born unresponsive after a prolonged labor and subsequent Cesarean procedure. He was eventually revived but with serious medical problems. In addition to having cerebral palsy, the boy suffered other brain damage that has resulted in him not being able to walk without the assistance of braces and other devices. His family is also coping with the child's spontaneous fits of anger.

Two other families allege that their children suffered similar consequences, purportedly due to decisions made by the medical staff at the facility. The first mother also believes that the lack of proper equipment being readily available contributed to the condition of her son at his birth. All of the cases have been slated to proceed to court.

These cases of birth injury occurred with 24 months of each other. The Oregon hospital at the center of this was ranked among the top in the state several years prior to these incidents. However, in the recent past, this facility has been sanctioned repeatedly for lack of successful outcomes and for lack of satisfaction on behalf of patients.

For the families who have been left to try to provide for their injured children, the civil suits, which total about $100 million in claimed damages, are about ensuring the quality of care that their children will receive in the future. Families in Maryland who may be caring for a child diagnosed with cerebral palsy may wish to seek information concerning their rights as caregivers of their injured children to file a medical malpractice claim. If it is established that the baby suffered harm as a result of a physician's negligent decisions or actions, then a successfully presented civil suit may help reduce these types of birth injuries in the future.

Source: kgw.com, "Silverton Hospital sued over cerebral palsy births", Nina Mehlhaf, April 10, 2014

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