BIRTH INJURY – Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Failure to Appreciate Fetal Distress Results in Brain Damage and Cerebral Palsy.
Mom presented to the hospital with a diagnosis of pregnancy and labor approximately one week before her due date. Her obstetrical history included a vaginal delivery at 36 weeks in 2003 of a five pound, 8 ounce infant, with no complications. Risk assessment included history of gestational diabetes. Fetal heart tracings began at approximately 2:40 pm. Nursing notes indicate that Pitocin was started at 4:40 pm.
The start of variable decelerations was around 7:24 pm. There was a pattern of greater than 5 contractions per 5-minute window is recorded at 1924, indicating hyper-stimulation. The failure to decrease to decrease or stop the pitocin administration was a departure from the standard of care as hyperstimulation is well know to cause consumption of fetal oxygen reserve and may cause or contribute to the development of a non-reassuring fetal heart rate pattern, fetal academia and hypoxemia. It was also a breach of the standard of care not to place an internal uterine pressure monitor as well as an internal fetal scalp electrode in order to adequately assess the uterine contraction patter and the response of the fetal heart activity. The pattern of uterine hyperstimulation continued with decreased fetal heart rate variability and loss of accelerations, indicating a non-reassuring fetal heart rate patterns.
The doctor and midwives failed to appreciate that the bay was suffering from fetal distress and never offered a caesarian section to the parents. As a result, the child suffered severe oxygen deprivation and was born with brain damage, and cerebral palsy.
Following mediation, the case was settled for the amount of $4,000,000.00.