Malpractice Lawsuit Filed Over Cerebral Palsy From Birth Injury

A Kansas couple has filed a birth injury lawsuit against two doctors and a medical center that they allege committed medical malpractice during the delivery of their baby, resulting in the child developing cerebral palsy. 

The complaint was filed last month by Michael and Christy May against the Western Plains Medical Complex, Dr. Tanya Williams and Dr. Samir Shaath.

According to allegations raised in the malpractice lawsuit, an attempt to induce labor with the use of Cytotec and Oxytocin went wrong, causing their son, Jaxson, to suffer permanent brain damage.

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During the birth, on March 5, 2010, physicians detected that the unborn child suffered from a slowed heart beat and failed twice at attempts to perform a vacuum extraction, according to the complaint.

Vacuum extraction involves the use of suction on the child’s head to speed up delivery and help remove the infant from the birth canal. The process is primarily used when the baby is in distress.

The parents allege that after the doctors failed at delivery via vacuum extraction, and with the child still having a dangerously low heart rate, they attempted a Caesarean section, during which May’s uterus ruptured. By that time, the child had reportedly gone 40 minutes with a lowered heart rate, and health care personnel noticed he had erratic movements and may have suffered a seizure.

The child was diagnosed with respiratory distress, metabolic acidosis, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy and potentially suffered a sepsis infection as well. He was later diagnosed with spastic quadriplegia, a form of cerebral palsy that affects the muscles of both arms and both legs. The condition is commonly associated with mental retardation, seizures and difficulty swallowing.

Cerebral palsy is caused by a brain injury that can occur before, during or shortly after birth. If the brain of a baby is deprived of oxygen, it can result in irreversible damage that leaves the child with developmental problems, loss of motor functions and other life-long injuries and disabilities.

Although cerebral palsy can occur without a medical mistake, when the exercise of the proper standards of medical care could have prevented the child’s brain from being deprived of oxygen, medical malpractice lawsuits over cerebral palsy are often filed to obtain compensation for the child.


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