A 20-year-old mother was awarded $5 million was awarded in suit filed against the hospital and staff who were responsible for her newborn’s extensive birth injuries that left the baby with severe brain damage.
According to a report from The Bronx and Brooklyn, medical records submitted into court, the plaintiff’s medical history showed nothing to be concerned about. She had progressed through her first pregnancy normally, but found herself being admitted into the hospital in the stages of early labor. Her cervix was 2cm dilated.
An external fetal monitor was placed upon her abdomen. Her midwife reported that approximately seven hours later, her fetal heart monitor started detecting a decline in the baby’s heart rate. The monitor was also failing to show a complete tracing of contractions.
There are standard procedures put into place to further monitor action in the womb, primarily because of how difficult it is to know if deceleration of a baby’s heart rate is a direct cause of concern. However, none of those procedures were implemented.
Even though other concerns surfaced, still an emergency Cesarean was not performed. Such a deliver would have provided a faster fetal exit and lessened any chances of birth injuries.
At the trial, testimonies and court records were brought up one incident after another where alternative measures should have been considered. For instance, when the plaintiff herself began to show signs of distress, the staff still opted to handle the deliver for another 12 hours before calling for the attending obstetrician who quickly decided that an immediate delivery, at that point, was necessary.
The doctor thought he could deliver her child more quickly with vacuum assistance rather than a Cesarean, and he did, but the baby was still damaged. After standard delivery procedures, a bag and mask ventilation were placed on the infant. In NICU, he had no tone and was unresponsive. The infant began having seizures and the resulting CT and MRI scans showed extensive brain damage.
Sadly, these birth injuries could have been avoided had the proper procedures been carried out during the entire birthing procedure.