Family of Brain Damaged Baby Settles for $4.3 Million After Botched Delivery

Mom was admitted to the hospital after experiencing abdominal pain, where she was monitored by the defendant. At about 1005 hours, a fetal monitor was attached and the nurses recorded that the fetal heart showed oscillations from 120 to 140 beats per minute. At about 1020, the doctor reviewed the tracing and recorded average long-term variability with a regular pattern of oscillations not observed.

At about 1825 hours, there was a spontaneous rupture of the membranes. At about 0200 hours, Mom’s pains increased. At about 0520, the doctor examined Mom and noted the cervix was 4 cm dilated and 95% effaced. The presenting part was at minus 1 to minus 2. The doctor ruptured the membranes and there was meconium-tinged amniotic fluid. The fetal heart was noted to be 130 beats per minute.

At about 0530 hours, Mom was noted to be very distressed. At about 1055, the cervix was a rim and the vertex was at station zero. At about 1200 hours, the nurses noted decelerations from 120 beats per minute to 90 beats per minute. The doctor examined Mom and found an anterior lip which was pushed partially away. The vertex was at spine and the fetal heart was 140 beats per minute. Oxygen was administered. At about 1255, Mom was fully dilated and she was pushing.

At about 1345, the doctor noted that the vertex was fully presenting as an occiput posterior with +++ caput spines at minus 1 to zero. The fetal heart showed occasional deceleration with recovery and normal variability.

The doctor decided only at that point to perform a Cesarean section (C-section) because of the prolonged second stage.  Twenty minutes later, with the C-section still not performed, an examination of Mom showed the head to be on the perineum.

At about 1440, Mom was transferred to the delivery room. Twenty minutes later an examination of Mom showed the head to be on the perineum. At about 1500 hours, another doctor performed a low forceps delivery with a right medial lateral episiotomy. There were problems with resuscitation with a large amount of meconium.

It was noted that there was a nuchal cord around the neck which was tight and required ligation prior to delivery of the shoulders. There was hyper-reflexion of the maternal thighs bilaterally which required the delivery of the anterior shoulder of the baby.

After birth, continuous seizure activity was noted. The conclusion was that the baby suffered a significant hypoxic insult at birth. The baby was subsequently diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

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