Mother Sues Hospital After Nurses Held Baby's Head In The Birth Canal, Receives $16M

Caroline Malatesta saw a television ad for Brookwood Medical Center in Birmingham, Alabama and the pregnant mother thought it would be the ideal option. Brookwood advertised amenities to accommodate natural birthing plans and water birthing.

They also promised to work on a birth plan with the mother and her doctor to suit her needs and preferences.

Malatesta did her research, interviewed Brookwood's OBGYN and finally decided to switch hospitals. Brookwood didn’t live up to its promises, though.

"I was on my back for monitoring, even though I was promised I could be mobile during monitoring. My nurse ignored me when I protested being on my back," Malatesta reports.

During contractions, Malatesta had a frantic need to get off her back, but staff members wouldn't let her. "It was a very physical struggle. Once I was forced to my back, it was like touching a hot stove...my body immediately told me to get off my back. The nurse was holding me down and holding the head in...which is also very dangerous. It was pretty violent."

Nurses actually instructed her not to push and held her baby's head in to prevent him from being born for about 6 minutes as they struggled to get the birthing mother on her back. "I was screaming 'stop!' but no one listened. It was scary, because I could feel it hurting me, and she didn't seem concerned that I was screaming 'stop.'"

Malatesta suffered permanent nerve damage due to the incident and has chronic pain. Three years later, she has to spend hours per day taking baths, using ice packs and taking medications with unpleasant side effects to ease the pain.

She filed the lawsuit due to the false advertising. "I wanted validation for what happened to me, and also to other women," said Malatesta.

A jury found Malatesta's horrid birth experience to be the result of the hospital's false advertisements. She was awarded $16 million in damages.

Source: IJ Review
Photos: Yahoo

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