Articles Posted in Labor and Delivery Negligence

At 31 weeks gestation, Linnoska Correa had a prenatal visit with obstetrician Dr. Luis Pardo Toro. Correa’s blood pressure during the visit was 136/86 mm Hg, which was appreciably higher than other blood pressure readings during her pregnancy.

The next day, Correa complained of severe stomach pain. She was admitted to the hospital HIMA-San Pablo in Puerto Rico where she was diagnosed as having severe preeclampsia. She was given antibiotics and magnesium sulfate.

Two days later, Correa’s daughter was delivered by cesarean section. The Apgar scores at the time of delivery were 7 at one minute and 8 at five minutes. Correa’s daughter, who is now 8, suffers from severe neurological injuries and quadriplegia, which necessitates 24-hour care daily.
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On Dec. 16, 2021, the Illinois Supreme Court answered a certified question about whether a doctor who injured a fetus can be sued for wrongful death if the patient later consented to an abortion given the condition of the unborn fetus.

Thomas and Mitchell sued two doctors, Drs. Khoury and Kagan, for the wrongful death of their unborn child. The plaintiffs alleged that the doctors committed malpractice, which injured the fetus. This action later resulted in the plaintiffs agreeing to an abortion.

The trial court submitted a certified question to the Illinois Appellate Court asking whether the Illinois Wrongful Death Act bars the plaintiffs’ lawsuit.
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Ms. Doe, 30, had a history of cesarean section, stillbirth and miscarriage. When she became pregnant again, she consulted with a maternal-fetal medicine specialist. A plan was put in place for a cesarean delivery at 39 weeks gestation.

During the 37th week of Ms. Doe’s pregnancy, she went to a hospital emergency room complaining of nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Although she was sent home, her pain persisted. Ms. Doe was admitted to the hospital two nights later.

The hospital’s hospitalist placed Ms. Doe on a fetal monitor, which changed from normal to indeterminate over a relatively short time span. Ms. Doe’s abdominal pain worsened, but she was discharged with instructions to follow up with her treating obstetrician in the morning.
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After delivering her second child at Roe Hospital, Ms. Doe, 32, experienced postpartum bleeding. Her pulse increased to 180 beats per minute. Her blood pressure plummeted to 74/44 mm Hg.

Ms. Doe’s treating obstetrician and the attending nurses tried unsuccessfully to stop the bleeding. They used a Bakri balloon and administered Hemabate solution. However, 90 minutes later, the doctor ordered a blood transfusion. Despite these efforts, Ms. Doe’s condition deteriorated and she later passed away.

She was survived by her husband and two minor children, including her newborn.
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Ms. Doe presented in active labor on an evening to Providence Regional Medical Center’s Pavilion for Women and Children. Ms. Doe, whose full-term baby was healthy at the time of her admission, was administered Pitocin and remained in labor throughout the night.

The next morning at around 5 a.m., significant signs of fetal distress occurred, including prolonged decelerations. Nurses informed the on-duty obstetrician, who was in surgery with another patient. The doctor ordered an operating room be opened for Ms. Doe.

Approximately three hours later, Ms. Doe’s daughter was delivered by cesarean section; the procedure was performed by a different obstetrician. The baby was diagnosed as having hypoxic-ischemic brain damage and — tragically — died just nine days later. The baby was survived by Ms. Doe, the baby’s mother, and her husband.
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Ms. Doe was admitted to a hospital for an induction of labor due to preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a pregnancy disorder that is categorized by high blood pressure and often a significant amount of protein in the urine. In severe cases, there may be a red blood cell breakdown, low blood platelet count, impaired liver function, kidney dysfunction and other severe health threats for the mother.

Ms. Doe underwent an exam that revealed elevated blood pressure and lab tests, including a complete blood count (CBC) and liver function test. The tests were performed to rule out the HELLP Syndrome, a severe form of preeclampsia.

The HELLP Syndrome is a complication of pregnancy that is characterized by hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes and a low platelet count.The syndrome usually manifests itself during the last three months of pregnancy or even shortly after childbirth.
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D.W. was born at 25 weeks gestation at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center. The baby was diagnosed as having suffered hypoxic-ischemic brain damage resulting in spastic quadriplegia.

D.W. is now in the 6th grade. He attends special education classes and will never be able to live independently as a result of his brain injury.

A lawsuit was filed against the hospital and two doctors who provided care during D.W.’s delivery, alleging that they chose not to timely deliver D.W. by way of a cesarean section; the suit also alleged lack of informed consent and negligent post-delivery care. This included a failure to offer cranium cooling.
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At three different obstetrics appointments during the 37th and 38th week of pregnancy, Ms. Doe’s blood pressure readings showed hypertension. When she returned for another appointment toward the end of her 38th week, she had severe hypertension and decreased fetal movement.

Ms. Doe was sent to a hospital where the fetal heart monitor showed the fetal heart rate of 140 beats per minute, minimal to absent variability, and late decelerations.

The attending obstetrician ordered diagnostic testing and then attended to another patient. By the time Ms. Doe underwent a Cesarean section about two hours later, the fetal heart rate had dropped to zero.
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Ms. Doe, 34, was admitted to a hospital experiencing signs and symptoms of placental abruption and preeclampsia. Although the fetal heart monitor allegedly revealed signs of fetal distress, no action was taken promptly to deliver her baby. Unfortunately, the baby died later in Ms. Doe’s womb. That night, Ms. Doe experienced hypertension and later developed HELLP Syndrome.

HELLP Syndrome is a serious complication of high blood pressure during pregnancy. The acronym HELLP stands for hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes and low platelet count. HELLP Syndrome usually develops before the 37th week of pregnancy but can occur shortly after delivery. Many women are diagnosed with preeclampsia beforehand. Symptoms include nausea, headache, belly pain and swelling.

In the case of Ms. Doe, the baby was subsequently delivered and the mother suffered a stroke. Ms. Doe now experiences balance, cognitive and physical issues and cannot return to her job where she earned approximately $32,000 per year.
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During delivery at a hospital, newborn Destiny Coleman suffered a brachial plexus injury.

The baby’s mother, individually and as her guardian, filed a lawsuit against the estate of Dr. Robert Lipari, the obstetrician who delivered her. He is now deceased. The lawsuit alleged obstetrics medical negligence.

The defense argued that the baby’s injuries resulted from maternal forces of labor, contractions, and maternal pushing, not mishandling the labor and delivery. The plaintiff maintained that that was the cause of the brachial plexus injury and was a result of the doctor’s negligence.
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