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ARTICLE ID 193940

$________ CONFIDENTIAL – Ob/gyn Negligence – Failure to timely perform Cesarean section when Infant showed signs of distress – Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy

Withheld County, MA

In this medical malpractice matter, the plaintiffs, a mother and infant, allege that the defendants, an ob/gyn, resident, and nurse were negligent in failing to deliver the child who was in distress in a timely manner via Cesarean section. As a result, the child suffered a brain injury. The defendants disputed any deviation from acceptable standards of care.

The female plaintiff presented to the hospital in labor at 2 p.m. The infant’s heart rate at the time of admission was normal. Almost three hours later, the infant’s heart rate was a baseline of ________-________ with persistent, but mild, decelerations. Still later, the plaintiff mother was diagnosed with a fever, but the defendant physicians failed to order antibiotics for another three hours. Despite these worrisome issues, the physicians failed to initiate a Cesarean delivery. At 10:05 p.m. the infant was experiencing fetal tachycardia, and approximately 35 minutes later, the membrane was ruptured by the defendants, and thick meconium was present, yet still, no emergency delivery was performed. The defendants still failed to undertake any emergency delivery of the infant, despite a notation in the medical record that the infant was experiencing moderate fetal distress, and may require an operative delivery. By midnight, there was distinct evidence that the infant was suffering persistent late decelerations with decreased baseline variability and tachycardia, which was all consistent with hypoxia. A Cesarean section was not ordered until 1:30 a.m., and the child was not delivered until 2:14 a.m., 45 minutes after the emergency Cesarean section was ordered. The child had a heart rate at birth in the 50s, was blue and apneic, with Apgar scores of 1, 7, and 9. She was diagnosed with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. The plaintiff brought suit against the defendants, alleging negligence in the care of the plaintiff and infant during the labor, including a delay in the delivery of the child when it was very apparent that the infant was in fetal distress.

The defendants denied that there was any deviation from acceptable standards of care, and disputed the nature and extent of the plaintiff’s injuries and damages. The defendants maintained that any brain injury occurred prior to the plaintiff’s arrival at the hospital.

.The parties agreed to mediate the plaintiff’s claim, and agreed to resolve the claim for the sum of $________ in a confidential settlement arising from the mediation.

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