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Family of baby sues doctor, claiming newborn was left for dead

Posted on in Catastrophic Injuries

Although many expectant mothers opt for natural childbirth, most still choose to give birth in a hospital, surrounded by experienced professionals who know what to do if something goes wrong. Some births have complications and parents rely on doctors and nurses to provide the best care possible in those circumstances.

The mother of a toddler who suffered brain injuries as a newborn says her doctor caused the injuries through his negligence. According to the lawsuit against the doctor, the baby was born with irregular gasping breaths and heart rate. Although he did cry after delivery and moved his arms and legs, the doctor put the baby in a plastic bin on a counter and left "until the family could decide what to do with the body," the lawsuit states. A nurse passing by noticed the baby was gasping for breath a few hours later. He was resuscitated and transferred to a different hospital, where he remained in specialized care for three months. The lawsuit claims the doctor's actions caused the baby to suffer a brain injury and other injuries.

The complaint says a pediatrician should have been called immediately and the baby sent to a neonatal intensive care unit instead of being left to lie in a plastic bin for several hours on the presumption that he couldn't be saved.

The hospital said the doctor no longer works there and that he has no history of medical malpractice claims or violations, though his medical license expired in May of this year.

It's unclear what the mother was told when the baby was first born, and whether she was led to believe her son had died. But even babies who don't survive long after childbirth are normally cared for until they're pronounced dead. If this baby had received more attention when he appeared unresponsive, the injuries might have been avoided. The lawsuit, if successful, should allow the boy's family to afford the care he'll need in the long term.

Source: The Tennessean, "Lawsuit claims Robertson doctor neglected newborn," Dec. 22, 2011

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