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Jury rules against nurses in birth injury case

There are many important responsibilities that hospital nurses here in Illinois have. One is to alert a patient's doctor of any significant changes they notice in a patient's condition. The sooner a patient's doctor is made aware of such changes, the sooner the doctor can take steps to address the changes. Thus, when a nurse, after noticing a major change in a patient's condition, fails to notify the patient's doctor of the change in a timely fashion, great harm can occur. For instance, when such a failure occurs in relation to the delivery of a child, it can sometimes lead to the infant suffering birth injuries.

Recently, in another state, a jury reached its verdict in a case involving birth injuries and allegations of nurse negligence.

The case involves a girl who was born in November 2009 at a hospital in Pennsylvania. A representative of the girl says that, while the girl's mother was in labor, two nurses noticed that the girl's heart rate had significantly dropped, but failed to notify the doctor who was caring for the girl's mother of this drop. According to the representative, this resulted in a 13-minute delay in the doctor becoming aware of the girl's heart rate drop.

The representative claims that this and other delays in the delivery process resulted in the girl being born with severe brain injuries. The girl has cerebral palsy.

A lawsuit was brought against the two nurses in relation to these allegations. A trial was held and the jury found that the two nurses were negligent. The jury granted the girl a monetary award upwards of $30 million.

Source: The Delaware County Daily Times, "Jury gives $32.M to girl in Chesco medical malpractice case," Michael P. Rellahan, Jan. 22, 2014

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