A jury has ordered a US hospital to pay the parents of Sierra Wilson, a baby who sustained permanent brain injuries at birth, $4.4 million for birthing malpractice. According to the family’s medical malpractice lawsuit, Sierra, who was born in 2003, suffered a lack of oxygen during birth that caused her to sustain a permanent birth injury. She died in February 2008.
The complaint also contends that a nurse trainee assigned to her mother’s care at Piedmont Medical Center neglected to correctly monitor the fetal heart strips and, as a result, did not realize that Sierra was in fetal distress and needed to undergo an emergency procedure as soon as possible.
According to Sierra’s family, she was never able to talk, walk, or eat solid food throughout the duration of her short life and spent a great deal of time undergoing occupational therapy, speech therapy, and physical therapy. Her parents and two siblings say they worked hard together to take care of her.
Following the announcement of the jury verdict, the hospital expressed surprise at the outcome and continued to maintain that their staffers provided Sierra and her mother with quality care and acted appropriately at all times.
Cerebral palsy is a permanent condition that affects muscle coordination and body movement. Some signs of cerebral palsy include spasticity, inadequate muscle coordination when making voluntary motions, tight muscles, stiff muscles, a crouched gait, dragging one foot or leg while walking, and floppy or stiff muscle tone. Birthing errors made by medical staffers before, during, or right after delivery can sometimes result in a baby becoming afflicted with Cerebral palsy.
Couple Says $4 Million Verdict Is Justice For Late Daughter, WSOCTV.com, February 17, 2009
Jury awards $4.4M against hospital, Herald Online, February 17, 2009
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