Case #4020 Medical Negligence Lead to Massive and Irreversible Brain Injury
On August 20, the Plaintiff, a 21-year-old female, presented to the Defendant Hospital’s outpatient labor center at 27 weeks gestation. After various tests and studies were completed, the Plaintiff was diagnosed with pre‑eclampsia. The Defendants appropriately treated the Plaintiff for her pre-eclampsia, and stabilized her prior to delivery.
She underwent an emergency cesarean section, with the baby being born at 4:04 a.m. At the time of birth, blood studies confirmed a cord pH of 7.27 — indicating that the baby had not suffered any significant hypoxia or brain injury. However, the baby was in need of emergency resuscitation which, tragically, was not provided within the standards of care. At birth, the baby was thrombocytopenic with a platelet count of 37,000. The baby also had a heart rate of 60 (a normal rate being 120-140 beats per minute) at birth. Notwithstanding the decreased heart rate, the Defendants delayed beginning chest compressions for a full ten minutes, when they should have begun them immediately. Additionally, the Defendants required three separate attempts to get an endotracheal tube properly in place to provide adequate oxygenation.
After one minute of life, the baby’s heart rate was not significantly improved. Yet, the Defendants negligently failed to provide Epinephrine in a timely fashion and took 22 minutes to place a UV line to provide access for medications for resuscitation. The standards of care required that the line be placed in one minute — not 22 minutes.
Finally, the Defendants negligently utilized adult doses of Heparin instead of normal saline on two separate occasions to flush the line after it was placed. The Plaintiff alleged that the utilization of adult Heparin doses represents a flagrant violation of the standards of care and caused bleeding in the baby’s brain. Predictably, by 4:45 a.m., repeat laboratory studies revealed a pH of 6.88 — indicating severe acidosis. Subsequently, at 7:20 am., the Infant Plaintiff was transferred to a specialty hospital for ongoing care and treatment. On August 21 and 25, head ultrasounds were completed that revealed hemorrhagic and ischemic changes in the baby’s brain.
Thereafter, the Infant Plaintiff was transferred to a long term care facility. The Infant Plaintiff has suffered massive and irreversible brain injury. Currently, she is ventilator dependent and has a G-Tube for feeding. She cannot sit up, walk or speak.
She will not enjoy a normal childhood or adolescence, will not attend normal schools, will not enjoy all of the activities and experiences of a normal child, will not grow into a normal adult, will not marry, will not have children, will never seek and/or hold gainful employment, and will be dependent upon others for all of her daily activities on a permanent basis. The Infant Plaintiff now resides at home with her mother and will require specialized nursing and medical care for her entire lifetime.