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Hospital negligence leads to infant's cerebral palsy

Some Maryland parents may have read about a woman and her 3-year-old daughter, who were recently awarded a $20 million settlement in regards to an out-of-state medical malpractice suit. This is the largest malpractice settlement in that state's history. However, it is not necessarily the award the mother was pleased about, but, rather, the hope that it will bring about a change in policy to prevent the kind of hospital negligence that lead to her child's serious injury.

The woman's daughter was born in January 2013. Although she was born roughly five weeks early, she was healthy. Four days after her birth, the woman said she arrived in the newborn intensive care unit to give her daughter milk, but, upon her arrival, found her child pale and lifeless. 

It turned out that human error had lead to the child's feeding tube being overloaded with food, as it had not been calibrated nor installed correctly. As a result, the right amount of food did not go to the child and she was overloaded with glucose -- this caused an electrolyte imbalance, which, in turn, changed the blood's composition such that oxygen was unable to get to her brain. This lead to the child suffering brain damage. 

Three years later, the daughter is suffering from cerebral palsy, struggling to speak and walk and will need constant care around-the-clock for the entirety of her life. As a result, the mother filed a medical malpractice suit against the hospital and settled for $20 million -- this award will be set aside for the child's life-long care. The mother hopes this will cause additional safeguards to be put in place so something like this never happens again. When Maryland parents' children suffer medical malpractice due to hospital negligence that causes the serious injury or death of their children, the parents typically consider consulting experienced personal injury attorneys to assess the validity of their claims.

Source:, "Family awarded $20 million for hospital's error", Michael Chen, April 13, 2016

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