Failure To Timely And Properly Treat Preventable Premature Birth
Lawsuit Against Mercy Medical Center | February 28, 2019 – Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Maryland
The complaint states that the child’s mother had a complicated pregnancy history prior to her pregnancy in 2015. Her prior pregnancy history included miscarriages, prior cervical shortening, and prior preterm births, among other things. She was noted to have a shortening cervix during her pregnancy in 2015. On December 8, 2015, the child’s mother was seen at Mercy Medical Center. At the time, she was noted to be 25 weeks and 5 days gestation and to have lost her mucous plug. The doctor performed a pelvic exam but did not perform any evaluation to assess for the presence of contractions, or to determine whether the cervix was shortening further than had been previously documented. The mother was seen again on December 21, 2015, however, no cervical exam was done at this visit. The mother was seen at Mercy’s Center for Advanced Fetal Care for a follow up growth ultrasound on December 28, 2015, which noted funneling of the proximal cervix, with a closed cervical length of only 1.3 cm. She was transferred to Mercy’s labor and delivery unit. Upon arrival at Mercy, her prior pregnancy history was accurately documented for the first time during this pregnancy, including her history of prior preterm birth. Contractions and uterine irritability were noted, and an initial cervical exam revealed that she was 3 cm dilated and 50% effaced. She progressed to 4 cm dilated, and was started on tocolytics and betamethasone. She was monitored until January 7, 2016, at which time she was discharged. Three days later, on January 10, 2016, the child’s mother returned to Mercy with complaints of regular contractions. She was noted to be 30 weeks and 1 day gestation. She was evaluated, and found to have regular contractions which palpated moderate. An initial cervical exam revealed that her cervix had progressed to 5 cm dilated and was greater than 80% effaced. The child was eventually delivered vaginally later that day at 30 weeks and 1 day gestation. The child has since been diagnosed with global developmental delay and autism, which providers have attributed to his premature birth.
The lawsuit alleges the defendants failed to properly document the mother’s pregnancy and related medical history and failed to properly and timely respond to the mother’s conditions during this pregnancy. The child is now developmentally delayed and suffers from other serious injuries as a direct and proximate result of the defendants’ negligence. The child suffered permanent neurological injuries and damages as a result of his preventable premature birth.
The action is pending in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Maryland.