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Failure To Properly Treat Gestational Hypertension And Pre-Eclampsia

Lawsuit Against St. Joseph Medical Center | September 25th, 2018 - Baltimore County, Maryland

On September 25, 2018, WVFO attorneys Keith Forman and Jermaine Haughton filed a medical malpractice claim on behalf of a minor who suffers from hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.


According to the complaint, on August 6, 2015, the child’s mother presented for a prenatal appointment at Capital Women’s Care at 37 weeks of gestation. She complained of decreased fetal movement, as she had in the recent past, and her blood pressure was notably elevated. As a result of the findings, the mother was transferred to St. Joseph Medical Center. At St. Joseph Medical Center, the child’s mother was diagnosed with gestational hypertension in a patient at or beyond 37 weeks gestation. According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists’ Task Force on Hypertension in Pregnancy, published in 2013: “For women with mild gestational hypertension or preeclampsia without severe features at or beyond 37 weeks and 0 days of gestation, delivery rather than continued observation is suggested.” Under these circumstances, the standard of care required that the child’s mother be admitted for delivery. Nonetheless, the medical staff at St. Joseph Medical Center negligently ordered that the mother be discharged from the hospital and return for her next prenatal appointment. In doing so, the defendants breached the standard of care. Four days later, on August 10, 2015, the mother gave birth to the child via an emergency cesarean section performed at St. Joseph Medical Center. The indication for the cesarean section is listed as “non-reassuring fetal status.” The child was transferred to the University of Maryland Medical Center in “critical condition,” where he was hospitalized from August 10, 2015 until September 9, 2015 and underwent cooling therapy for hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. Post-cooling head imaging showed brain damage consistent with injury from HIE.

The lawsuit alleges that the child suffers from significant neurodevelopmental and physical issues, including but not limited to microcephaly, sensorineural hearing loss, spasticity, tremors, strabismus, lateral rectus palsy, left amblyopia, otitis media, 6th nerve palsy of the left eye, tibial torsion (bilateral), contracture of both Achilles tendons, esotropia, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, femural anteversion, seizures, inability to stand on his own, inability to walk on his own, developmental delays, delays in fine and gross motor skills. The child’s injuries were directly and proximately caused by the defendants’ negligence. Had the Defendants complied with the applicable standards of care, the child would be a normal, healthy child today.

The action is pending in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County, Maryland.

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