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Landmark settlement reached in hospital negligence case

The birth of a child is supposed to be one of the most exciting times in a parent's life. Sadly, for many parents across the country, including some here in Oregon, the joy is short lived. In some of those cases, hospital negligence steals their joy. 

One woman's joy at the birth of her child in Jan. 2013 was cut short by an error that nearly cost her newborn daughter's life. The girl, who is now 3 years old, was born five weeks early. Therefore, she needed to spend some time in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for newborns. It was then that the life of her daughter changed forever.

The California girl's mother went in to feed her and discovered that her daughter, who was described as feisty and healthy at birth, was lifeless and pale. She also discovered a puddle of water on the floor and that her daughter's diaper was full. It turned out that the feeding pump had not been properly calibrated, and the baby was given so much glucose that it caused a chemical imbalance that led to brain damage. Her daughter now suffers from cerebral palsy and brain damage for which she will need lifelong care.

The mother filed a lawsuit alleging hospital negligence, and the case recently settled for approximately $20 million, which is the largest of its kind in California. As might be the case for many Oregon parents who find themselves in a similar situation, the mother hopes that changes are made in hospitals in her area and elsewhere to prevent this from happening to another person's child. In the meantime, the money will be used to care for her daughter.

Source: 10news.com, "Family awarded $20 million for hospital's error", Michael Chen, April 13, 2016

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