The Tripler Army Medical Center has admitted liability in a birth trauma case set for trial on August 15, 2006. The trial next month will focus on damages in the case of a newborn baby who was mistakenly given carbon dioxide instead of oxygen for more than 40 minutes after his birth.
As a result of the mistake, the boy, now 19 months, is severely brain damaged. The parents have sued for medical malpractice and future medical expenses, which are expected to be quite steep given that for as long as he lives, the child will need around-the-clock nursing care, relying on medical devices to eat and breathe.
Upon birth, the boy was healthy but the hospital decided to give his breathing a boost by putting him on oxygen. As it turns out, he didn’t receive oxygen at all. After the infant was given carbon dioxide, his health began to deteriorate. The hospital personnel realized the 40 minutes later that tubing was connected to the wrong gas tank, which caused the child’s heart to stop, necessitating resuscitation.
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