Case #4050 Labor and Delivery Negligence
The Plaintiff came under the care of the Defendant health care providers because she was pregnant. It is alleged that the pregnancy proceeded uneventfully until she began to gain a significant amount of weight and had fundal heights which were completely out of proportion with the progress of the pregnancy. It is alleged that fundal heights, measured in centimeters, should coincide with the number of weeks a female is pregnant, so that at the conclusion of a 40-week gestational period, the fundal height is expected to be 40 cm. In this case, it is alleged that when the Plaintiff saw the Defendant health care providers during her prenatal course, her fundal heights continued to grow completely out of proportion with the weeks of gestation.
On April 6, the Plaintiff presented to a local hospital with complaints of preterm labor. At that time, hospital personnel measured her fundal heights at 37 cm while the Plaintiff was only approximately 27 weeks pregnant. Obviously, the fundal heights were totally inconsistent with the duration of the pregnancy. It is asserted that these fundal heights were indicative of multiple births — twins — which the Defendant was obligated to rule out in conformity with the standards of care. Had the Defendant performed necessary tests and studies during the prenatal period, he would have learned that the Plaintiff was, in fact, carrying twins and not a single fetus.
As a direct and proximate result of the Defendant’s ongoing negligence, the Plaintiff presented to her local hospital with the fundal heights as described hereinabove. Hospital personnel determined that they were unequipped to handle the Plaintiff’s preterm labor, and transferred her immediately to the Defendant Hospital and the second Defendant health care provider.
It is asserted that the Plaintiff arrived at the Defendant Hospital on the same date at approximately 9:20 a.m. It is asserted that the Defendant health care provider had an obligation to thoroughly examine the Plaintiff, check her history and perform necessary tests and studies based on his findings. It is alleged that the fundal heights in conjunction with the Plaintiff’s size mandated ultrasound and other tests and studies to rule out multiple fetuses. It is asserted that the Defendant health care provider negligently failed to perform the necessary tests and studies and negligently failed to diagnose the twins. Accordingly, the Plaintiff remained at the Defendant Hospital from April 6 at approximately 9:20 a.m. until April 7 at 12:38 p.m. During this entire time, it is alleged that the Defendant health care provider continually failed to take steps necessary to diagnose the presence of the twins, and failed to even monitor the second twin who languished in utero during the entire course of the Plaintiff’s admission and labor.
Further, it is alleged that the position of the second twin mandated cesarean section rather than an attempted vaginal birth. However, as a direct and proximate result of the Defendant health care provider’s negligent failure to diagnose the twins, the Plaintiff was committed to a vaginal birth while her second baby was in a back down, transverse back down lie — which precluded a vaginal delivery.
As a direct and proximate result of these Defendants’ negligence, the Plaintiff gave birth to the first twin, vaginally, on April 7 at 12:38 p.m. It was not until that time that the Defendant health care provider belatedly discovered the existence of the second twin. It was only at that time that the Defendant health care provider and other hospital personnel understood that a cesarean section was necessary because of the second twin and his position. Accordingly, after birthing the first twin vaginally, the Defendant health care provider had to proceed with an emergency cesarean section which proved to be too little – too late. Because the second twin was negligently left to languish in an unmonitored state throughout the course of the labor, and further because the Defendant negligently failed to birth the second twin timely, he suffered ongoing oxygen deprivation culminating hypoxic encephalopathy and other injuries and damages.
It is asserted that as a result of the Defendant’s negligence, the second twin was born in a severely depressed state with Apgars of 1 and 2. The Infant Plaintiff suffered an ongoing loss of oxygen to his brain rendering him permanently and irreversibly brain injured. It is asserted that the damage inflicted through the negligence of these Defendants was so severe that the Infant Plaintiff was forced to remain confined at the Defendant Hospital for 348 days — almost a full year. It was only at that time that he was discharged to his home with his mother.