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Hypoxic-Ischemic Brain Injury Due To Failure To Timely Deliver

Lawsuit Against Mississippi Baptist Medical Center | December 10, 2019

On December 10, 2019, WVFO attorneys Keith Forman and Dave Grzechowiak filed a medical malpractice claim on behalf of a minor child who suffered a brain injury due to a delayed delivery.

The complaint alleges that on October 25, 2017, the child’s mother was admitted to Mississippi Baptist Medical Center with complaints of abdominal pain at 40 weeks’ gestation for induction of labor. A consent for cesarean section delivery was signed by the mother prior to her arrival. At approximately 5:23 a.m., the mother was connected to continuous external fetal heart rate monitoring, which was initially interpreted as overall reassuring for fetal well-being thus ruling out preexisting fetal neurological injury, hypoxia, and acidemia. Pitocin was initiated at 6:26 a.m. for labor augmentation. Following initiation of Pitocin augmentation the fetal heart rate tracing remained overall reassuring. At 9:31 a.m., a nurse increased the Pitocin infusion to 12 mU/min. At approximately 1:50 p.m., the doctor proceeded to artificially rupture the mother’s membranes revealing a moderate amount of clear odorless amniotic fluid. Variable decelerations in the fetal heart rate tracing were observed and at 1:59 p.m. intrauterine resuscitative measures were undertaken. Decelerations in the fetal heart rate tracing continued during this time and the nurse restarted intrauterine resuscitative measures vis-à-vis maternal oxygen at 5:33 p.m. At 6:38 p.m. the Pitocin augmentation was increased to 12mU/min. which was followed by late and variable decelerations in the fetal heart rate with a slow return to baseline. The nurse failed to notify the doctor of these changes. At 7:59 p.m., a nurse repositioned the mother to her left side which was followed by a deep variable deceleration to 90 bpm requiring nearly 60 seconds to return to the baseline. At 9:20 p.m., a sterile vaginal examination revealed that the mother was fully dilated. At 10:38 p.m. the nurse restarted the Pitocin augmentation at 6 mu/min which continued until birth. From 11:00 p.m. until 11:30 p.m. the nurse continued documenting late and variable decelerations in the fetal heart rate tracing and at 11:30 p.m. nursery and respiratory staff from Baptist Mississippi Medical Center arrived at the bedside. At 11:42 p.m., the baby was born by spontaneous vaginal delivery. At the time of delivery the baby was severely depressed with Apgar scores of 1, 5, and 6 at one, five, and ten minutes of life respectively. The baby required immediate neonatal resuscitative efforts before being transferred to the NICU for respiratory distress, hypotonia, and poor color with initial arterial cord blood gases demonstrating severe metabolic acidosis with a pH of 7.06 and base excess of -11. Today the child is permanently disabled as a result of the severe brain injury he suffered shortly before birth, due to the acts and omissions of the defendants at Mississippi Baptist Medical Center.

The child suffered significant and permanent neurodevelopmental and physical injuries as a result of the defendants’ delay. The lawsuit alleges that the defendants negligently delayed delivery via cesarean section despite the obvious signs of hypoxia and ischemia. The child suffered permanent neurological injuries and damages and will require significant medical care and treatment for the remainder of his life.

The action is pending in the Circuit Court for Hinds County, Mississippi.

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