A lot can go wrong during labor and delivery, causing irreversible damage in the process. While some complications are unanticipated, doctors and nurses must take reasonable measures to prevent all the most likely issues by following their specialty’s standards of care.
Unfortunately, one Florida family believes their medical team failed to do just that last November, when their son was born. On November 10, 2020, Dr. Suzanne Clemons performed a Cesarean section on Kameisha Smith at St. Joseph’s Hospital, and during the procedure, the Smiths’ baby boy sustained a severe facial laceration.
In the lawsuit filed this past July, the Smiths’ attorney Wesley Straw of Emerson Straw claimed Dr. Clemons failed to use the recommended tools, which are comprised of blunt devices, when performing the surgery. Instead, she allegedly entered the uterus with a scalpel, which proceeded to penetrate the infant’s skin and pierce through the underlying musculature.
Roughly 6 centimeters in length, the resulting laceration spanned from the corner of the baby’s mouth to where his ear meets his head. Straw claimed it was the most severe injury of its type that he saw in his research, and it was inarguably the result of the doctor’s carelessness. Some obstetricians will use the handled end of a scalpel when performing a C-section; however, medical providers should know using the bladed end increases the risk of lacerations immensely.
Although the wound was not life-threatening, it could have a lasting impact on the boy’s overall wellbeing. The associated scarring has disfigured the victim’s face, and his parents aren’t sure how—or even when—they should address it.
Plastic surgery is a viable option, but there are limitations to what it can address, especially when it comes to facial scarring. The Smiths are also unsure whether they should wait until their son is fully grown to schedule any procedures, since the scar tissue could change over time. What’s more, they don’t know how their son will handle the challenges that come with being disfigured since much of his personality has yet to develop.
In other words, the Smiths are facing a host of unknowns, all of which are going to impact their son’s quality of life in one way or another. While suing Dr. Clemons and the co-defendant, Women’s Care of Florida, won’t erase what happened, the plaintiffs are hoping it will yield the funds needed to secure the best care possible for their son. With adequate compensation, they’ll be able to enlist help from both highly skilled plastic surgeons and exceptional psychiatrists, so their son does not have to bear any more burden than necessary.
Speak with a Florida Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you or your child was seriously hurt during labor and delivery, your family can count on Wesley Straw of Emerson Straw for help seeking justice. Our firm has secured more than $27 million in successful settlements and verdicts for our valued clients. To schedule a free consultation with a medical malpractice attorney in Florida, call (727) 821-1500 or fill out our Contact Form.