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Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers > Newborn Brain Injury Due To Delayed Delivery May 2023

Newborn Brain Injury Due To Delayed Delivery

Lawsuit Against Legacy Emanuel Hospital

On May 9, 2023, WVFK&N attorneys Mary Koch and Robert Lewis filed a medical malpractice claim on behalf of a baby who suffered an avoidable brain injury.

The complaint alleges that on November 2, 2021, the baby’s mother was diagnosed with preeclampsia without severe features at 33 weeks 4 days gestation. On November 6, 2021, the mother was seen at CMH Hospital with reports of lower abdominal pain, along with reports of swelling and a cramping pain in her lower abdomen. The mother denied headache, visual changes, bleeding, or leaking of fluid, and reported positive fetal movement. The first dose of Betamethasone was given. On November 7, 2021, a repeat NST was performed which was noted as reactive with a baseline of 125, with moderate variability, positive accelerations (“accels”), and no decelerations (“decels”). The second dose of Betamethasone was given to ensure fetal lung development, and BPs were reported as normal. The mother was seen at CMH Hospital on November 9, 2021 for elevated BPs, but reported no headache, vision changes, pain, and reported good fetal movement. FHT was noted to be 145 bpm baseline, with moderate variability, accels present, and no decels. The mother was noted to be a Jehovah’s Witness at this time. It was recommended that she be transferred to Legacy Emanual, which held its bloodless surgery program out as “internationally renowned,” for induction of labor, and she was transferred by ambulance with BPs improved after administration of nifedipine and magnesium sulfate (“MgSo4”). The mother arrived at Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanual Medical Center by ambulance and was admitted to inpatient care by 17:00 on November 9, 2021. Over the next several days, the providers at Legacy Emanuel Hospital administered cervical ripening agents and induction medications in an effort to induce labor. During this multi-day period from November 9th to November 13th, the fetal heart rate tracings consistently and repeatedly demonstrated a non-reassuring category II tracing with minimal variability and variable and late decelerations, however, the providers failed to move toward immediate delivery, despite these non-reassuring findings. At 0321 on November 13th, it was noted that the mother was completely dilated, and would begin pushing. The fetal heart rate tracing still showed minimal variability with late decelerations at that time. Additionally, the mother’s blood pressures began to rise steadily, consistent with severe preeclampsia. The baby was delivered at 05:23 on November 13th at 35 weeks and 1 day gestational age and was given positive pressure ventilation with Neopuff device with up to 70% O2, and continued to require PPV, and was transferred to NICU for management of ongoing respiratory distress. The baby was assigned Apgar scores of 2, 3 and 4 at 1, 5 and 10 minutes of life, respectively, and on admission to the NICU was noted to have “global hypotonia.” A Brain MRI was performed on November 16, 2021, was notable for: “Findings most consistent with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy,” and further noted that, “diffuse white matter involvement suggests there may have been prolonged ischemic event.” The baby now suffers permanent and severe injuries as a result of his injuries at birth, including permanent brain damage, physical and cognitive impairment, cerebral palsy, and will never be able to live independently or be employed.

The lawsuit alleges that the injuries were a result of the negligence of Legacy Emanuel Hospital and its employees in failing to properly and timely respond to concerning clinical signs.

The action is pending in the Circuit Court for Multnomah County, Oregon.

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