Hypoxic-Ischemic Brain Injury Due to Failure to Timely Deliver
Lawsuit Against Anne Arundel Medical Center| August 3,2020
On August 3, 2020, WVFK&N attorney Chris Norman 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 at approximately on May 17, 2019, the child’s mother presented to Anne Arundel Medical Center with complaints of contractions. Upon arrival, a cervical exam was performed and the child’s mother was found to be 4 cm dilated. At 3:09 a.m., a nurse placed orders for terbutaline for tachysystole, which is excessive uterine contractions, and for intermittent fetal monitoring. The child’s mother was 41 weeks and 2 days pregnant. Initial fetal heart monitoring was reassuring. At 4:30 a.m., the electronic fetal monitoring was discontinued. Rupture of membranes occurred at 8:00 a.m., with clear fluid. At 10:00 a.m., the child’s mother was noted to be 6 cm dilated. At 11:00 a.m., the child’s mother was reported to be “very tired” and her contractions were “intense.” Continuous fetal monitoring appears to have been employed starting at approximately 3:10 p.m. At 3:30 p.m., the nurse manager documented that the child’s mother was “exhausted” and feeling the need to push, without success. She also documented that the baby’s head was not well applied to the cervix. The nurse manager documented that there was maternal exhaustion, prolonged active labor, and an inadequate contraction pattern. An epidural was started at 3:52 p.m. At 4:30 p.m., the child’s mother was 9 cm dilated and the fetal monitoring strip was recorded as a category II tracing. At 5:00 p.m., a nurse again documented that the strip was category II, with an irregular contraction pattern. Pitocin was started at 6:12 p.m. and the contraction pattern remained irregular. At 6:45 p.m., a nurse increased the Pitocin. At 7:30 p.m., the fetal monitoring strip demonstrated variable decelerations with irregular contractions. The Pitocin was again increased. At 8:00 p.m., the child’s mother was fully dilated. The contraction pattern remained irregular. At 8:30 p.m., there was a bradycardic fetal heart rate of 105 that lasted for several minutes. At 8:45 p.m., despite these findings, a nurse increased the Pitocin again. At 8:52 p.m., the fetal monitoring strip showed marked variability and an indeterminate baseline. Intrauterine resuscitative measures were employed. At 8:55 p.m., the nurse documented a fetal heart rate of 100, with continued marked variability and an indeterminate baseline. At 9:05 p.m., the nurse documented a fetal heart rate of 105, with an indeterminate baseline. At the same time, the nurse notified the nurse manager to come review the fetal heart strips due to the concerning findings. Many of the notes entered by the nurse, the nurse manager, and the doctor were entered after the child was born and contradict other parts of the medical record. At 9:10 p.m., a fetal heart rate of 65 was documented. The child’s mother was noted to have continuous nausea with dry heaving. The fetal heart rate still was noted to be 65 at 9:18 p.m. The child’s mother was transferred for a STAT caesarian section. During delivery, a large uterine rupture was identified. At birth, the baby was severely asphyxiated. Her APGARS were 1, 3, 4, 4, and 4 at 1, 5, 10, 15, and 20 minutes. She had no spontaneous movements or respiratory efforts for some time, with the initial gasp and irregular respiratory effort not occurring until 40 minutes of age. The exam at 1 hour of age noted the baby to be “comatose.” Seizures were noted at 11:15 p.m. The baby was transferred to Children’s National Medical Center for hypothermia protocol. The baby was diagnosed with severe hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy and metabolic acidosis.
The child has severe hypoxic-ischemic brain injury, seizures, and other injuries as a result of the negligence of Anne Arundel Medical Center and its employees. The lawsuit alleges that the defendants failed to properly respond to signs of fetal distress and the abnormal contraction pattern during labor. The child suffered permanent neurological injuries and damages and will require significant medical care and treatment for the remainder of her life.
The action is pending in the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County, Maryland.