Case #4024 Permanent and Severe Brain Injury Due to the Deprivation of Oxygen Suffered During Labor and Delivery
$7 Million Birth Injury
On the evening of May 9, the Plaintiff presented to the Defendant Hospital in labor. The Plaintiff’s obstetrician was consulted via telephone at approximately 10:20 p.m. and the Plaintiff was instructed to walk. At 5:40 a.m., a positive scalp stimulation during vaginal examination was documented — indicating the ongoing well-being of the baby. The Plaintiff’s obstetrician had previously been telephoned and was en route to the Defendant Hospital at that time.
At 6:04 a.m., a true emergency occurred. The baby’s heart rate suddenly dropped down to the level of 60 beats per minute — indicating a sudden lack of oxygen to the baby and the need for an emergent delivery. The standards of care required the nursing staff at the Defendant Hospital to contact a medical practitioner capable of completing an emergent, operative delivery. The Defendant Nurse failed to timely call for a physician who could effectuate delivery. Instead, the Defendant nurse negligently called the Defendant Midwife to the bedside who was not permitted and/or capable of performing an operative/vacuum delivery. When the Defendant Midwife arrived at the bedside, she took no effective action to complete a delivery.
Finally at 6:16 a.m., the covering physicians present at the Defendant Hospital to handle such emergencies were contacted. Shortly thereafter, the Plaintiff’s private obstetrician arrived to find that the baby’s fetal heart rate still at the level of 60 beats per minute. He performed a central episiotomy at 6:21 a.m., applied a vacuum extractor, and successfully delivered the Infant Plaintiff at 6:23 a.m.
Predictably, the Infant Plaintiff’s APGAR scores were 1 at one minute, 3 at five minutes, and 3 at ten minutes — documenting an acute anoxic event which resulted in overwhelming oxygen deprivation and brain injury as a result. Her discharge diagnosis included perinatal depression with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy and permanent, severe brain injury due to the deprivation of oxygen suffered as the result of these Defendants’ failure to accomplish a STAT/ emergency delivery.