Articles Posted in Labor and Delivery Negligence

When Yong Juan Zhao gave birth to her son “S.,” the baby suffered an avoidable brachial plexus injury, which severely and permanently impaired the function of his right arm. During her pregnancy and S.’s birth, Zhao was attended by an obstetrician employed by a federally supported grant clinic in southern Illinois; the doctor was considered an employee of the U.S. Public Health Service under 42 U.S.C. 233(g).

Zhao sued for medical malpractice under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). The court found that the obstetrician had been negligent and signed a judgment awarding Zhao, on behalf of S., $2.6 million in lost earnings and $5.5 million in noneconomic damages.

S. was 5 years old at the time of the trial.
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Ms. Doe, who had a history of preeclampsia, was admitted to New York-Presbyterian Hospital to deliver her baby. She was administered Pitocin but was discontinued on order by one obstetrician before another doctor restarted it.

Despite all of this, Ms. Doe’s labor failed to progress, and the fetal monitor showed persistent variable decelerations.

Ms. Doe’s baby, a son, was subsequently born in a depressed condition, with Apgar scores of 0 at one minute and 1 at five minutes.
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After Mary Hunt was diagnosed as having possible preeclampsia, she was admitted to a hospital for induction of labor. Her treating physician ordered Pitocin and transferred her to an on-call obstetrician, Dr. Larry Clark.

Dr. Clark delivered Mary’s son vaginally using forceps. As a result of the difficult delivery combined with the forceful use of forceps, the baby suffered abrasions to his head, a cephalohematoma, and bleeding within the brain.

The child is now 3 years old and suffers from right-sided hemiplegia, developmental and speech delays as well as vision problems.
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Anna Scott was admitted to Jefferson Healthcare to deliver her first child. She was at first attached to a fetal heart monitor, which showed that her baby was healthy. She was then taken off the monitor for a six-hour period until her treating physician performed an artificial rupture of the membranes, after which Scott was then reattached to the fetal heart monitor.

The fetal heart monitor revealed that Scott’s baby had developed a worrisome heart rate pattern of repetitive variable decelerations with intermittent minimal variability.

Several hours later, Scott began to push. Her daughter, Lana, was born almost four hours later in a depressed condition with the umbilical cord wrapped tightly around her neck. Lana required 30 minutes of resuscitation. Lana’s Apgar scores were 3 at one minute and 4 at five minutes.
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The Illinois Appellate Court has ruled a woman may be able to hold the hospital liable for injuries her child sustained during labor and delivery.

The Illinois Appellate Court for the 5th District reversed a trial judge’s decision that the patient should have known the doctor who delivered her twins was independent from the hospital.

The appeals panel wrote that there were still questions as to whether the physician and the hospital made it appear the doctor was an agent of the institution rather than a contractor.
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During the delivery of Baby Doe, a shoulder dystocia was encountered. That is the medical condition in which a fetus in labor and delivery has a shoulder caught on the pelvis of the mother. An obstetrician in this case performed maneuvers to try to resolve the dystocia.

However, Doe suffered a severe brachial plexus injury that necessitated surgery to repair the nerve avulsion. Brachial plexus injury to the child is the result of the push and tug that often takes place in a should dystocia situation during delivery. The baby’s shoulder and arm nerves are stretched such that permanent damage often occurs to the child’s arm.

Unfortunately, the surgery in this case was unsuccessful. Doe now has partially lost the use of his right arm and hand.
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Kimberly Kirkwood-Boulter was admitted to Massachusetts General Hospital to deliver her first baby. During labor and delivery, the nurse responsible for monitoring the baby’s heart rate had difficulty differentiating Kirkwood-Boulter’s heartbeat from her unborn baby’s. This occurred during the second stage of labor, which lasted about 6 hours.

In spite of all of this, Kirkwood-Boulter was encouraged to push, and the obstetrical team did not switch from intermittent fetal monitoring by way of a handheld device to continuous monitoring.
Kirkwood-Boulter’s baby boy was born severely acidotic and not breathing. The baby’s Apgar scores were one at one minute and three at five minutes, which are low scores for a newborn. Now the child is 6 years old and suffers from brain damage. He cannot walk, talk or feed himself.

Kirkwood-Boulter and her husband sued the hospital, members of its delivery team, and the employer of the attending nurse, Cross Country Staffing Inc. It was alleged in the lawsuit that these defendants chose not to provide continuous monitoring during the labor and delivery.
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During delivery of newborn Sophie Vergara at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center, there were signs of fetal distress. Nonetheless, the Kaiser treating medical providers continued with a vacuum-assisted delivery.

As a result of this difficult delivery, Sophie Vergara suffered a brachial plexus injury and brain damage that necessitated resuscitation and treatment with seizure medication.

Sophie is now 6 years old and has been diagnosed as having spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy, which requires 24-hour-per-day medical attention.
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Lilia Torres began spotting during the eighth week of her pregnancy. She was 34 years old at the time. She went to a hospital, where an ultrasound was completed, and later followed up with her treating obstetrician after receiving a diagnosis of placenta previa and possible placenta accreta – a condition in which the placenta attaches too deeply to the uterine wall. For the rest of her pregnancy, she received medical care from several obstetricians and midwives.

At 39 weeks gestation, a cesarean section was scheduled and performed one day later by two obstetricians. After the delivery, she suffered a massive blood loss, necessitating a hysterectomy.

Torres, who lost at least 10 liters of blood, suffered cardiogenic and pulmonary shock. Shortly after, she died of complications of hemorrhagic shock and multiple-organ failure. She was survived by her husband and four minor children.
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Talanda Blevins, 38, was admitted to a hospital for an induction of labor. She was attended by obstetrician Dr. James Holzhauer. During her labor, her uterus ruptured, resulting in fetal distress.

Dr. Holzhauer performed a cesarean section, during which it was alleged that Dr. Holzhauer lacerated the patient’s bladder.

She suffered significant blood loss while in recovery, and this was reported to Dr. Holzhauer.
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