Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Sommers Schwartz announces that senior partners Rick Groffsky and Matt Curtis obtained a confidential $7.4 million settlement for an infant born depressed after an emergent delivery. The baby developed brain damage because he was not properly resuscitated in the critical first hour after birth.
Because the baby was not spontaneously breathing after a cesarean delivery, a pediatrician was called to insert a breathing tube. During the course of the first hour of life, the pediatrician attempted four intubations. The baby remained pale and floppy, had low oxygen saturations, low blood pressure, and a bloated stomach – all indicators that the end of the breathing tube was in the stomach, and not in the trachea leading to the lungs, where it belonged. Eventually, a team of specialists in newborn medicine was summoned from another hospital. The breathing tube was removed and reinserted in the correct location. The baby improved immediately. Unfortunately, laboratory studies done at one hour of life showed a marked metabolic acidosis (acid in the blood from oxygen deprived tissues), indicating that the baby’s brain had been deprived of oxygen for a prolonged period of time. Chest films also obtained during the first hour confirmed that the endotracheal tube was at times in the stomach, or too high in the trachea to provide effective oxygenation and ventilation.
Today, the child suffers from spastic quadriplegia and is wheelchair-bound. She is entirely dependant on her parents for all aspects of daily living, and receives physical, occupational, and speech therapy each week.
After conducting their investigation, Sommers Schwartz medical malpractice attorneys Rick Groffsky and Matt Curtis assembled a group of highly qualified experts in the fields of pediatrics, pediatric neurology and neonatal medicine to testify that medical negligence caused a global brain injury. The settlment funds will, in part, be paid out over the child’s lifetime and provide funding for her medical and attendant care needs.