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Chicago Family Awarded $14 Million in Brain Injury Suit

On Tuesday, a $14 million settlement was reached in the case involving a five-year-old boy’s brain injuries due to a hospital mistake in 2002.

When the boy was being delivered at Northwestern Memorial Hospital staff members allegedly confused his heart rate with his mother’s, which caused to suffer from severe brain trauma.

The Suit

According to the plaintiff, when the baby was born he was not breathing and hospital employees weren’t prepared to resuscitate him due to their monitoring error.

As a result, the child wasn’t breathing for seven minutes, causing him to develop cerebral palsy and the paralysis of his arms and legs.

On May 24, 2002, Georgiann Vlachos, delivered her first child around noon at Prentice Women's Hospital, which is a section of the Northwestern system.

Vlachos’ nurse and obstetrician are said to have misinterpreted the child’s heart rate before the delivery and did not realize that the baby was in fetal distress.

The neonatal resuscitation team was not called on to assist the boy until after his delivery where he appeared blue and limp, explains the family’s attorney, Kurt Lloyd.

When the team did show up, the seven minutes without oxygen had already taken a toll on the boy, causing him to suffer from spastic quadriplegia.

The Settlement

Lloyd reports that the family is pleased with the settlement, although nothing can compensate for the distress that they, or their son, have endured.

The brain injuries the boy has suffered from will prevent him from ever being able to walk or talk.

However, Lloyd claims, "They are very relieved. Now they can provide for the child for the rest of his life."

(Source: Chicago Tribune)

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