Earlier this week, a public hospital in Colorado issued a financial report showing a $700,000 settlement paid to a fund for a baby who suffered irreparable brain damage during delivery.
The baby, now four years old, Dulce Rodriguez-Gallardo, has the intellectual level of a six-month-old infant. She has not and will never stand, sit or walk. She will be dependent on others for her care every hour of every day, for the rest of her life.
This unimaginable tragedy could have been prevented, had Dulce and others like her received proper care during labor and delivery.
Fetal Monitoring Strips
Current medical technology allows hospital staff to monitor fetal heart rate before and during delivery. Using a pair of sensors fitted to the mother’s abdomen, Doppler ultrasound helps the delivery team establish a baseline fetal heart rate. They can then watch for extreme variations from the baseline, which can indicate hypoxia – a lack of oxygenation in the fetus.
Vital Role of Oxygen
The baby’s heart rate is the key to determining whether or not a baby is receiving enough oxygen. At these stages of childbirth, oxygenated blood is still being delivered via the mother and umbilical cord, however, the natural trauma and extended time periods of labor can sometimes cause this supply to be diminished. Maintaining an adequate blood-oxygen level is crucial to preventing the sort of brain damage suffered by Dulce.
Solutions During Delivery
In some cases, complications can be so great and so severe that even a skilled doctor’s finest efforts may not be enough to prevent hypoxia and subsequent brain damage. But negligence of the sort claimed by Dulce’s family attorney is another matter. An emergency Caesarian section (C-section) could have been performed, or a better attempt made at getting her the oxygenated blood she needed during delivery, especially once the medical team knew Dulce and her mother were having serious trouble.
If your son or daughter has been born with severe disabilities, hypoxia during delivery may have been the cause. The Brain Injury Law Center attorneys specialize in all types of brain injury law, including injuries sustained during childbirth. Please contact us today for a free, confidential consultation.