Physicians And Nurses Pay $4.0 Million Settlement In Lawsuit Regarding Infant With Cerebral Palsy

23rd August 2010
By J. Hernandez in Medical Malpractice
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The fetal heart rate monitor provides doctors and nurses with useful data regarding the health of the unborn baby while the mother is in labor. The tracings from the monitor are interpreted for signs that the health of the unborn baby is in danger. Should such signs appear measures should be taken right away to counteract the situation or to deliver the infant. Any delay can result in significant and lifelong injury to the child. By delaying taking timely and appropriate action physicians and nurses might be acting in a manner that does not meet the standard of care. In the event this does end in harm to the infant, these physicians and nurses might be liable for medical malpractice.

Look at a reported lawsuit regarding what had been a normal pregnancy, the expectant mother was thirteen days beyond her due date. She went to the hospital for a scheduled delivery. After her admission to the hospital, one of the physicians ruptured her membranes in an effort to enhance her labor. An entry in her chart documented that there was “scant to no amniotic fluid” observed. At some point the fetal heart rate monitor started to show non-reassuring tracings. But, six hours later a drug was used in order to promote her contractions. Even though this medication has a possible side effect producing hyperstimulation, progressively higher levels of the drug were administered throughout the following few hours.

During this time, the unborn child’s heart rate exhibited marked late decelerations, an increasing baseline, in addition to intervals of decreasing variability the medication did nothing to further her labor. On more than one occasion, two nurses tried to counteract the decelerations but neither made any attempt to stop or even decrease the drug being used. Nearly seven hours following the first time the medication was used, the fetal heart rate began steadily increasing, a sign that the unborn child was seeking to compensate for the lack of oxygen.

Nearly 4 hours following the first signs of fetal distree this doctor tried a vacuum extraction. The obstetrician made multiple attempts (nine in total) at vacuum extraction. As this physician tried the vacuum extraction, the fetal heart rate readings worsened to the point suspicious for terminal bradycardia. Now the obstetrician finally decided to perform an emergency C-section. This physician delivered the child a bit more than one hour after beginning attempts at vacuum extraction.

The chart noted the presence of dense meconium. On being born, the child did not have a heart rate and was not breathing. Resuscitation attempts succeeded in reviving the child. The child was moved to NICU unitThere, the baby began experiencing seizures and was. The law firm that handled the resulting case documented that a $4,000,000 settlement was reached in the case

You can learn more about fetal distress and other types of birth injuries including erbs palsy matters by visiting the website
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