Stillborn Baby Malpractice Settlement is $2M
2015 Medical Malpractice Trial Report
Lawsuit claims standard of care was not followed during delivery resulting in birth of lifeless baby boy
The decedent’s mother, a 34 year old with her first pregnancy, presented to the hospital in active labor at 41 weeks gestation. A biophysical profile score of 8/8 was reassuring.
As labor progressed, an arrest of dilation was noted, along with maternal fatigue. The mother was medicated with morphine intramuscularly for therapeutic rest.
The mother was removed from the fetal heart monitor after receiving morphine and while having a few early decelerations, variable decelerations, and one late deceleration. She was then given Pitocin and not put back on the monitor again for approximately 3 ½ hours.
When the fetal heart monitor was reapplied, there was a loss of information for 13 minutes. It was noted that the battery on the contraction monitor was dead and it was replaced with another monitor.
The tracing was occasionally difficult to interpret and it continued to reveal variable decelerations. There were deep variable and late decelerations that resolved with repositioning, administration of oxygen by mask, and shutting off the Pitocin. When mother was fully dilated, her membranes were artificially ruptured and blood tinged fluid was noted. After membrane rupture, mother began pushing.
The plaintiff claimed that despite obvious signs of fetal intolerance to labor, the defendants failed to place a fetal scalp electrode for improved quality of fetal heart rate monitoring. The plaintiff claimed the tracing remained non-reassuring and revealed an indeterminate fetal heart rate baseline with persistent and prolonged decelerations. These findings continued despite the cessation of Pitocin, position changes, and oxygen administration. Thus, an emergent cesarean delivery was required.
After three hours of pushing, mother delivered a lifeless baby boy.
The case was resolved after a c.231, section 60L notice letter was sent to the defendants outlining the deviations from the applicable standard of care resulting in the death of the baby.
The settlement was for $2,000,000.
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