In the first hours and days after a baby is born a wide variety of medical complications can put the infant's health at risk. Fortunately when doctors and other medical staff properly monitor newborn's progress complications can often be identified and resolved with timely treatment.
The family of one infant alleges that a failure to properly monitor their daughter's health led to her death. They say that the medical staff was negligent when those in the neonatal intensive care unit failed to recognize and respond to the medical crisis. Earlier this month a jury agreed with the couple, determining that the hospital was responsible for the death of their newborn daughter.
According to a representative for the couple, the hospital took over an hour to respond to the situation. The parents say when they went to see their daughter she was "discolored and unresponsive." They also noticed that the monitors attached to the infant indicated problems with her oxygen levels and heart rate.
After the infant's bowel had perforated and, according to the court filings, the surgical team was not summoned until four hours later.
The little girl who lost her life was a twin. The family says that if the proper care had been provided she would have grown up just as happy and healthy as her sister who just turned seven. The baby girl who lost her life in the neonatal intensive care unit only lived for eight days.
While a jury's determination that the hospital was at fault and the resulting damages cannot fill the void caused by the loss of a baby, it can hopefully provide some measure of justice and encourage the hospital to improve its practices in the future.
Source: AllMediaNY.com, "Massachusetts Couple Awarded $7 Million in Death of Their Newborn," Alex Mangini, Sept. 1, 2011