Articles Posted in Labor and Delivery Negligence

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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The Illinois Appellate Court for the First District vacated the decision of a Cook County Circuit Court and a jury verdict.

Marilyn Perez began treatment with a fertility specialist in September 2011. On Aug. 11, 2012, she went into St. Alexius Medical Center emergency room with pelvic pain, and she received a CT scan and ultrasound.

Dr. Gregory Gullo reviewed the CT scan and identified a teratoma on her left ovary. Dr. Jeffrey Chung reviewed the ultrasound and reported finding no mass.
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A Washington State Appellate Court held that a trial court had not abused its discretion in allowing a juror with a connection to the defendant doctor to serve on a jury in a medical malpractice case.

In this case, a child and his parents sued the obstetrician, Dr. Kevin Harrington, alleging his negligence during the child’s delivery, which led to his brachial plexus nerve injury.

The family of the child sought to exclude various prospective jurors for cause, claiming they had a child delivered by the defendant physician, including Juror 25. Although the court excused several of the jurors, Juror 25 ultimately served in a jury, which returned a verdict for the defendant physician. The family of the child appealed from this verdict.
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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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