Mercy Medical Center, of Canton, Ohio, has agreed to pay $4.3 million in damages to the family of a baby girl who was born with permanent brain damage.

Jordan Rinker, 3, was born on March 14, 2008 at Mercy. Her mother, Crystal, was administered the drug Pitocin to induce labor. Pitocin stimulates stronger and more regular contractions than would occur in natural labor. One of the potential side effects is a diminished flow of blood to the uterus, thereby increasing the chances of neonatal hypoxia or a lack of oxygen to the newborn.

The local newspaper's report seems to imply this was roughly the effect when nurses gave Mrs. Rinker more Pitocin in the morning: "The lawsuit alleged that nurses didn’t recognize hyperstimulation in the uterus of Mrs. Rinker, or that the baby was displaying intolerance to labor."

Eventually, when they noticed that the baby "had developed a dangerously low heart rate," they rushed the mother to the operating room for a C-section. The child was born near death but the medical team was able to resuscitate her.

The Rinkers hired an attorney, who interviewed several experts and investigated the medical findings. The final verdict was that Jordan Rinker had suffered permanent brain damage. She was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and developmental delay. She would never be able to care for herself without assistance.

The medical negligence lawsuit was filed last year by Jared and Crystal Rinker in Stark County Common Pleas Court on behalf of their daughter.

Attorney John Lancione, of Cleveland from the law firm of Lancione & Lancione represented the family.

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