Filed January 29, 2016
- Anne Arundel County
- Two hospitalists, OBGYNs at Anne Arundel Medical Center
- Three nurses
- Anne Arundel Medical Group
- Anne Arundel Physician Group, LLC
- Anne Arundel Medical Center, Inc.
- Anne Arundel Medical Center
- Children's National Medical Center
A Calvert County woman is 35 and 5/7 weeks pregnant. She presents to Anne Arundel Medical Center after her water breaks. Several hours after arrival the mother is started on Pitocin to augment her cervix for delivery. At the same time, she is place on a fetal heart rate monitor to track her uterine contractions and the child's heart rate. The fetal heart rate monitoring strips begin showing abnormalities consistent with fetal distress which includes loss of heart rate variability, late decelerations, and changes in heart rate baseline.
These abnormalities are signs of non-reassuring hear rate, fetal distress, hypoxia, and metabolic acidosis. The Defendant nurses do not document the abnormalities nor do they make the Defendant doctors aware of them. As a result, the mother and child are not properly evaluated and monitored leading up to the delivery.
The Defendant doctor first attempts to deliver the child using a vacuum pump, which fails when the vacuum pump pops off. The mother's consent was not obtained for the vacuum pump's use. The Defendant doctor notes that the child has an elevated heart rate, tachycardia, loss of variability, and decelerations. These symptoms should have alerted the doctor of the need for an emergency C-Section. However, the Defendant doctor attempts twice more to deliver the child via vacuum pump. Both attempts fail. The child's heart rate is now ominous and he suffers from tachycardia and fetal hypoxia.
The child is finally delivered via Simpson forceps, again, without the mother's informed consent on the method of delivery. The child's body is extremely flaccid. He has poor color, no movement, and no respiratory effort. The child is immediately transferred to a pre-heated warmer; his heart rate is barely perceptible. He suffers hypoxia and severe metabolic acidosis.
The child is immediately flown by helicopter to Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. where he remains for approximately six weeks. Testing reveals that the child has multiple areas of hemorrhage on his brain as well as a subdural hematoma. Various other medical issues include multi-organ dysfunction, bilateral adrenal hemorrhages, gall bladder surge, left pleural effusion, cardiac abnormalities, hypoxic brain injuries, seizures, electrolyte imbalances, acidosis, and severe renal failure.
The child's parents file a medical malpractice and failure to obtain informed consent lawsuit in Anne Arundel County. They allege that Anne Arundel Medical Center and its doctor/nurses violated the standard of care by (1) failing to properly monitor, assess, interpret and document the child's fetal hear rate and the mother's uterine contractions, (2) failing to properly monitor the mother and child during labor and delivery for signs of fetal distress, including, but not limited to, oxygen deprivation and metabolic acidosis, (3) failing to properly treat the mother and child for fetal distress by performing a C-Section, (4) failing to refrain from using a vacuum to deliver the child on three separate occasions, (5) failing to refrain from using forceps to deliver the child after vacuum delivery failed on three prior occasions, (6) failing to obtain the mother's informed consent prior to attempting a vacuum delivery followed by the use of forceps instead of a C-section, (7) failing to recognize that the child was in fetal distress and required an immediate delivery by C-Section, (8) failing to provide the mother with the option of a C-Section, and (9) failing to deliver the child via C-section.Negligence
- Failed to properly monitor, assess, interpret and document the child's fetal hear rate and the mother's uterine contractions
- Failed to properly monitor the mother and child during labor and delivery for signs of fetal distress, including, but not limited to, oxygen deprivation and metabolic acidosis
- Failed to properly treat the mother and child for fetal distress by performing a C-Section
- Failed to refrain from using a vacuum to deliver the child on three separate occasions
- Failed to refrain from using forceps to deliver the child after vacuum delivery failed on three prior occasions
- Failed to obtain the mother's informed consent prior to attempting a vacuum delivery followed by the use of forceps instead of a C-section
- Failed to recognize that the child was in fetal distress and required an immediate delivery by C-Section
- Failed to provide the mother with the option of a C-Section
- Failed to deliver the child via C-section
- Medical Malpractice
- Informed Consent
- Respondeat Superior
- Miller & Zois
- This is the section where we provide commentary on the case. But because this is our case, it is not appropriate to go into our experts or provide details except to say that we think we have an extremely strong case.
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