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When a patient comes into the hospital, especially a woman who is pregnant, doctors must take all of her complaints seriously, as not only could the patient be in danger, but so could the woman's unborn baby. In fact, these doctors and nurses have a legal duty to uphold a reasonable standard of care.

Recently, a county board of supervisors approved a $7.5 million medical malpractice payout to a toddler. The claim was this toddler was born with a brain injury due to negligence on behalf of staff at the county run hospital where his mother sought treatment while pregnant.

In looking at what happened, according to the lawsuit, the mother was 39 weeks pregnant when she went to the hospital complaining she was experiencing severe abdominal pain. However, the lawsuit claims she spent 14 hours at the hospital and was never seen by any of the three obstetricians who were currently working. Rather, she was discharged by a medical resident. 

At the time, the mother was staying at a homeless shelter with two other young children.

With something wrong though, the woman ended up returning to the hospital just 12 hours after being discharged and going in for an emergency cesarean section. 

According to the lawsuit, the mother had suffered from a ruptured uterus. In turn, this led to oxygen deprivation to the baby. He ended up being born with a brain injury. 

However, with this recent medical malpractice settlement, which includes more than $300,000 for her son's medical care, the mother will be able to move herself and her family into a house. 

In looking at a case such as this one, it goes to show that patients do have rights when it comes to medical care. If there is reason to believe medical negligence led to an injury, an attorney can better explain these rights and the legal options that may be available.

Source: Insurance Journal, "Los Angeles County Settles $7.5M Medical Malpractice Suit," Nov. 7, 2013

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