Rebecca Fielding was in the second stage of labor, her uterus involuntarily contracting, when she was rushed to the emergency room by ambulance after complications arose during a homebirth. Once she arrived at the hospital, expecting to undergo an emergency C-section, Fielding ended up waiting two hours before her baby Enzo was delivered.
Enzo is now two years old. He suffers from cerebral palsy and has severe developmental issues. The family recently won a medical malpractice suit against the hospital - Johns Hopkins Hospital - for errors and delays a jury believed caused or contributed to their son's need for lifelong care. The jury awarded the Enzo Martinez's family $55 million in the birth injury trial.
Cerebral palsy and Erb's palsy are two of the most common birth injuries that affect newborns in the United States. Cerebral palsy may result if the newborn:
- Suffered from hypoxia or asphyxia (lack of oxygen)
- Was distressed while still in the womb (fetal distress)
- Was exposed to serious infection or illness during the pregnancy
Cerebral palsy can also be caused by genetic disorders or reasons other than a complication during delivery.
The effects of CP can be mild to severe; although there is no cure, physical therapy, speech and language therapy and behvioral therapy can improve the quality of life of individuals suffering from CP and their families.
A spokesman for Johns Hopkins says the hospital intends to appeal the jury verdict, maintaining that medical staff operated within the appropriate standard of care when handling Enzo's emergency delivery.
Source: WBAL, "Jury Awards Family $55 Million In Medical Malpractice Suit,"Phil Yacuboski, June 26, 2012
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