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Newborn left for dead survives, family sues doctor

A doctor in Tennessee decided that a newborn baby was not going to survive the immediate aftermath of birth, and without consulting other hospital staff, placed the baby in a plastic bin "until the family could decide what to do with the body," a lawsuit by the baby's family stated. Medical negligence is being cited in the suit, as well as injuries suffered by the baby as a result of the doctor's actions.

The baby was born gasping for breath and had an irregular heart rate, but still had "movement of arms and legs" according to a nurse. After being placed in the plastic bin for more than four hours, the baby continued to fight for his life until a nurse found him.

After resuscitation was performed on him, the baby spent three months in a hospital while he received specialized treatment. According to the lawsuit, which seeks an unspecified amount in damages, the child suffered a brain injury and various other injuries because of the medical negligence shown by the doctor.

The doctor no longer works at the hospital and also no longer has his medical license. He had never had any medical malpractice or negligence violations, according to the Tennessee Department of Health Records.

It is not clear why a doctor - with no history of medical negligence - made such a decision, but the story brings to light the risks involved when any medical procedure is performed. The child in this case suffered injuries, and while we do not know the severity of those injuries, the medical negligence alleged in this story could have caused long-term damage to the newborn baby.

Source: The Tennessean, "Lawsuit claims Robertson doctor neglected newborn," Brandon Gee, Dec. 22, 2011

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