A Cook County birth injury lawsuit that alleged a baby boy had suffered severe brain damage during a delay in his birth was settled. The medical malpractice lawsuit was against Northwest Community Hospital, a nurse midwife, and the midwife’s employer. The case was settled and approved by a Cook County Circuit Court judge.
What was particularly interesting about the case was that the delivery was actually a waterbirth. A waterbirth is a birthing method wherein the mother is immersed in a small pool of warm water. Proponents of this method argue that it is safe and offers improved pain relief for the mother and less trauma for the baby.
In this particular Cook County birth injury case, the baby’s shoulder became trapped during the end of the delivery. The plaintiff alleged that the nurse midwife and assisting nurses did not drain the birth tub quickly enough to use the standard birthing maneuvers to free the baby’s shoulder, and that their actions delayed the baby’s delivery. Any delay in delivery can result in harm to the baby, and in this case the plaintiff alleged that the delay resulted in oxygen deprivation and brain damage in the form of cerebral palsy.
The defendants responded to these allegations by contending that the birth injury was the cause of a placenta infection that occurred prior to the labor and delivery. Furthermore, the defense argued that they performed the delivery maneuvers as quickly as possible and that there was no difference in the time it would have taken if the mother was not in the birth tub.
Because the case was settled and did not go to trial we only know the basic facts. However, any time that the damages are this severe the result is one that the child and his family will have to live with for the rest of their lives.
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