(Filed January 13, 2016)Jurisdiction
- Anne Arundel County
- Anne Arundel Medical Center
- An OB/GYN D.O. who was formerly at AAMC
- Anne Arundel Medical Center
- Johns Hopkins
This is a catastrophic cerebral palsy birth injury case. This case was filed in 2016, however the alleged negligence of the hospital was 14 years ago in 2004.
A 37 year-old woman, who is 24 weeks pregnant, presents to Anne Arundel Medical Center (AAMC) in Annapolis, Maryland with preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM). The soon-to-be mother's obstetrician makes orders for steroids and antibiotics, attempting to manage the pregnancy rather than perform a cesarean delivery.
During the next 8 days, the baby's heart rate is barely monitored and no ultrasound testing is performed to determine its well-being. On the 9th day at AAMC, the mother's vital signs reveal that she has a 101 degree fever and that she and the baby's heart rates are both extremely high.
The mother's obstetrician is notified of the fever and elevated heart rates by an AAMC nurse. The obstetrician should have immediately delivered the baby, via cesarean section, given that symptoms such as these in a woman who is just 24 weeks pregnant, coupled with PPROM, greatly increase the risks of placental abruptions, neurodevelopmental problems, and cerebral palsy. Instead of coming to the hospital to deliver the baby, the obstetrician orders the administration of drugs to stop the labor process.
Upon a vaginal examination six hours later, obstetrician discovers that the mother is one centimeter dilated and the baby is in breech position. It is noted that during those six hours the AAMC nurses failed to continuously monitor the baby's heart rate. Rather than perform an immediate cesarean section, the obstetrician orders the administration of drugs to induce a natural delivery.
The mother is in delivery for about one and a half hours during which time the baby's heart rate is allegedly not monitored by the nurses. It is only after the nurses observe bleeding from the mother's vagina that the baby is hooked up to a fetal monitor which shows ominous and deep variable decelerations. The obstetrician, rather than proceeding immediately to an emergency delivery, keeps the mother in the labor and delivery room for another 15 minutes before taking her to the operating room. The mother gives birth to a baby girl in the operating room 10 minutes later.
The baby girl is barely breathing and is suffering from seizures, brain bleeds, and blindness (among other symptoms). No matter how you slice it, this case is an awful tragedy. The now 12 year-old girl has cerebral palsy, is severely brain damaged, and dependent in all activities of daily living. She requires round the clock care.
The baby's parents file a medical negligence lawsuit on her behalf in Anne Arundel County, alleging that the obstetrician and AAMC violated the standard of care by failing to (1) order timely and appropriate antibiotics, (2) conduct appropriate and careful examinations, (3) continuously monitor the baby, and (4) immediately deliver the baby (on multiple occasions). It is contended that due to the Defendants' negligence, the baby was caused to suffer painful and permanent injuries to her body, sustain severe mental anguish and emotional pain and suffering, and incur past hospital and medical expenses, future life care expenses, and future lost wages.Negligence Allegations
- Failed to order timely and appropriate antibiotics
- Failed to conduct appropriate and careful examinations
- Failed to continuously monitor the baby
- Failed to immediately deliver the baby by c-section (on multiple occasions)
- Martin Gubernick, M.D: Board certified in obstetrics and gynecology.
- The Defendants are going to argue that they had a Hobson's choice delivering a child a 24 weeks versus hoping the baby could remain in the womb as long as possible. They are also going to argue causation and contend that the real cause of the child's injuries was not an 8 hour delay before delivery, but the fact that she was born at 24 weeks. Plaintiff's expert does not try to thin slice the injuries in the report. The testimony on that point is going to be critical to the case.
- The causation hill may be the greater challenge for the Plaintiff's malpractice attorneys. After corrective surgery, all of his symptoms have resolved except for his back pain which was significant enough to undergo the procedure in the first place. The expert report filed with the Complaint does not thin slice the extent to which this permanent injury is causally related to the malpractice. This will be a key to the real value of the claim.
- While we cannot know the trial or settlement value of this claim, we do know that the possible damages in a case like this can be extremely high. This is because there is no cap on economic damages in Maryland and the cost of raising a child with the disability can be tens of millions of dollars.
If your child has suffered from cerebral palsy or other birth injury, we can help you help you protect your child. Miller & Zois has a history of results in serious injuries and wrongful death case, earning seven figure verdicts and settlements. Find out what we can do for your child today by calling 800-553-8082 or get a free, no obligation online case review.More Malpractice Claim Information