An Illinois birth injury case claims that a child’s cerebral palsy was caused by medical malpractice. Christian Ortega was born January 17, 2011 at the Holy Cross Hospital in Chicago. Although a fetal monitor showed the fetus was suffering from hypoxic stress, the attending physician failed to take proper action, thereby causing a brain injury, according to the lawsuit.
A heart monitor appeared to show that the fetus’ heart rate was normal, prompting the doctor to deliver the baby vaginally, rather than performing an emergency Caesarean section. After delivery, it was discovered that the heart monitor had been showing the heart rate of the mother, not the fetus. Christian was found to have suffered brain damage due to oxygen deprivation, or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE).
Christian now has cerebral palsy as a result of the brain damage caused by oxygen deprivation. His parents filed the medical malpractice lawsuit in state court on November 22, 2011, and it was later removed to U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
The lawsuit alleges that the ob/gyns made several mistakes, causing Christian’s injuries. These include misreading the heart monitor, improper monitoring during labor, using vacuum extraction and Pitocin during delivery, and the failure to conduct an emergency C-section.
The birth injury attorneys representing Christian’s parents claim that if medical professionals had acted appropriately, the child would not be suffering today. Instead, his brain injury and cerebral palsy have caused severe developmental disabilities. The parents are seeking damages for the child’s ongoing medical care.