Birth Injury Lawsuit at South Shore Hospital Settles for $2 Million Just Prior To Trial
2013 Medical Malpractice Trial Report
Fetal monitor showed evidence of distress yet obstetrician failed to expedite delivery, and labor nurse fails to provide intrauterine resuscitative measures
The plaintiff was expecting the birth of her first child in November 2006. At 39 weeks she was admitted to South Shore Hospital for induction. All prior fetal testing had been reassuring and indicative of a healthy baby.
Pitocin was begun at approximately 10:30 a.m. and was steadily increased until 1:30 p.m. at which point, changes in the fetal monitor pattern began. From this point in the afternoon through 10:17 p.m. when the minor plaintiff was finally delivered, there was evidence on the fetal monitor strips of decreased or minimal variability and late decelerations. Despite the defendant obstetrician’s presence in the room and assessments of the monitor strips nothing was done to expedite delivery and the defendant labor nurse failed to take any steps to provide intrauterine resuscitative measures to help support the infant despite evidence of fetal hypoxia on the monitor strips. The minor plaintiff was delivered through thick meconium and transferred to the NICU where she was found to have severe metabolic acidosis and began experiencing seizures. Brain imaging on day two of life was consistent with infarct as well as a global anoxic injury and she was diagnosed with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy.
After delivery the plaintiff was diagnosed with a clotting disorder that caused thrombi in the placenta resulting in placental insufficiency. This would explain the changes seen on the monitor once labor was initiated with Pitocin and reinforces the need for the defendants to intervene and delivery the baby as quickly as possible. The defense was prepared to testify that this clotting disorder was a chronic problem and the infant suffered injury in utero prior to labor and delivery because the placenta was compromised by these clots. However, all prenatal testing and head circumference at birth was normal indicative of a well-functioning placenta until labor and delivery.
Today, the minor plaintiff is 6 ½ years old and she continues to struggle with developmental, speech, gross and fine motor delays. She is entering the first grade with other special needs children. The case was scheduled for trial in June 2103 and resolved for Two Million Dollars just prior to trial.
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