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DEFENDANT’S Medical Malpractice – Ob/gyn – Failure to properly admit and treat the plaintiff mother for late pregnancy complications – Wrongful death of fetus.

Allegheny County, PA

In this medical malpractice case, the plaintiffs alleged that the defendants failed to admit the plaintiff mother when she presented to the defendant hospital with seizure like activity. Given the plaintiff mother’s medical history and current placental previa condition, it was imperative that the fetus be monitored. The defendant discharged the plaintiff mother and the fetus was found with no fetal heart tones five days later. The defendants denied all liability and argued that the fetus died in utero from unknown causes.

The plaintiff mother’s history was significant in a past pregnancy for seizures and high post natal liver enzymes. In August of ________, the plaintiff mother became pregnant with the decedent infant. The plaintiff mother again developed seizure activity and this time also placental previa. On January 25, ________, the plaintiff mother was seen at a local hospital for recurrent seizure like activity. The staff at the hospital contacted the defendant ob/gyn practice in order to have the plaintiff admitted, but the practice refused the admission and the plaintiff was discharged home.

On January 26th, the plaintiff underwent a non-stress test at the defendant practice which was read as reassuring and reactive. On the 27th the plaintiff was taken to the defendant hospital by family members after the plaintiff suffered more seizure like activity. She was observed for 23 hours and released. On January 31st the plaintiff mother reported to the defendant ob/gyn that she had not felt any fetal movement since the 30th. She was sent to a facility for an ultrasound where the fetus was determined to be dead in utero.

The plaintiff claimed that the defendants were negligent in failing to consider the plaintiff’s medical history in formulating a care plan, failing to admit the plaintiff on January 27th, failing to order an ultrasound, failing to perform a biophysical profile, failing to place the plaintiff on a fetal monitor, failing to detect that fetal viability was threatened, and causing the wrongful death of the decedent. The defendants all denied all liability. They argued that all care given was within accepted standards of care and the plaintiff suffered intra uterine fetal death of unknown etiology.The jury found no negligence on the part of the defendants.

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