Mom and Disabled Son Recover Over $7 Million Dollars due to Hospital’s Failure to Monitor Fetal Heart Rate

An Etobicoke resident mother and her severely disabled son have recovered over $7 million in damages in a settlement with a Brampton area hospital. The hospital failed to monitor the fetal heart rate (FHR) while the mother was in labour, which led to the failure to recognize fetal decompensation during delivery.

After an uneventful pregnancy, Mom arrived at the hospital to deliver her baby. Upon arriving at the triage area, Mom was seen and assessed by a triage nurse, who applied a fetal monitor strip to assess the fetal heart rate. The fetal heart rate, at that time, was normal and reassuring. Almost three hours transpired before the nurses attempted to monitor the fetal heart rate after this initial assessment. Throughout Mom’s labour, the fetal heart rate was monitored by way of intermittent auscultation; at no time was the fetal heart rate monitored electronically. No assessment was done of the mother’s heart rate at any time during labour. There were repeated findings that the FHR went down to 80-90 beats per minute, indicating fetal bradycardia and distress. Despite the indications of fetal distress, no steps were taken to monitor the fetal heart electronically, no proper steps were taken to correct the evident fetal bradycardia, no steps were taken to obtain the opinion of an obstetrician, and no steps were taken to expedite the baby’s delivery.

The child has been left with permanent neurologic injury, cognitive and communication deficits, and cerebral palsy leaving him permanently dependent in all aspects of daily life.

Sommers Roth & Elmaleh Professional Corporation has over 40 years of experience in medical malpractice litigation in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Ontario, and across Canada.

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The above information is not legal advice. Past results of cases and recoveries by our medical malpractice lawyers against hospitals, doctors, midwives, nurses and other healthcare professionals are not necessarily indicative of future results. The amounts recovered and other litigation outcomes will vary according to the facts in individual cases.