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Did hospital negligence cause child's cerebral palsy?

Michigan readers might surmise that this is the question that will need to be answered by an out-of-state court in a medical malpractice claim filed by a woman on behalf of herself and her child. She alleges that her child was born with injuries and severe cerebral palsy due to mistakes made in her care prior to the child's birth. Specifically, she alleges that if she had been hospitalized the first time she went in with concerns of vaginal bleeding, her child may not have suffered the trauma that led to the child's current issues.

May 23, 2013 was the first date the lawsuit identifies that the then-pregnant woman went to an emergency room in her area because she was experiencing vaginal bleeding. Such bleeding can be indicative of a larger, more serious problem while a woman is pregnant. A midwife and registered nurse conducted the woman's examination, gave her terbutaline (which is given to pregnant women who present signs of preterm labor) and sent her home.

Six days later, she was back at the West Virginia hospital because she was still experiencing bleeding that was accompanied by a large clot. The cause of the bleeding was not ascertained. She was back in the hospital on May 31, 2013 due to abdominal cramping and continued bleeding. Once again, she was sent home. When she returned to the hospital on June 3, 2013 at 25 weeks and 3 days, an emergency C-section was performed.

The woman claims that if the staff that attended to her on May 29 and May 31, 2013 had taken the time to discover what was wrong and acknowledge that her pregnancy was high risk, her child may not have been born with cerebral palsy. The monetary damages she seeks are similar to those that would be awarded here in Michigan in a successfully presented claim. If the court rules that negligence led to her child's current health issues, any restitution awarded could help with the medical and other care the child may require throughout his or her life.

Source:, "Mother, child sue Berkeley Medical Center for malpractice", Kyla Asbury, Dec. 15, 2015

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