Newborn Brain Injury Due to Delayed Delivery
Lawsuit Against Allina Health System | June 9, 2021
On June 9, 2021, WVFK&N attorneys Stephen Offutt and Katrina Wallace filed a medical malpractice claim on behalf of a newborn who suffered an avoidable brain injury.
The complaint alleges that on or about August 23, 2010, a physician stripped the mother’s membranes during a prenatal appointment. On the morning of August 29, 2010, the mother presented to Allina’s Health System’s mercy Hospital at 6:00 a.m. for labor and delivery. Between August 23, 2010 and August 29, 2010, the mother leaked amniotic fluid and no membranes were present by the time she arrived at the hospital for delivery. Initial fetal heart tracings were reassuring. Nursing assessments failed to document any observations related to the stripped membranes for several hours and at 9:45 a.m., the fetal heart rate tracing deteriorated to a Category II tracing with recurrent variable decelerations. During her labor, the mother requested a cesarean section delivery but her request was ignored. Throughout this period, the fetal heart rate tracings became more concerning, however, this was not brought to the doctor’s attention. At 12:20 p.m., nurses documented signs consistent with infection from the prolonged membrane rupture, including an elevated maternal temperature, elevated maternal heart rate, and elevated fetal heart rate. Tylenol and antibiotics were eventually ordered, however, the mother’s and baby’s signs continued to worsen. Eventually, at 2:45 p.m., several hours after signs of infection were first present, the doctor attempted delivery with forceps and vacuum assistance because he became concerned that the baby was suffering from sepsis. The baby was delivered at 3:25 p.m. He was blue and limp and without respiratory effort at birth. The baby had severe metabolic acidosis and bruising of the head. An MRI on September 7, 2010 revealed damage to the baby’s brain consistent with hypoxic-ischemic injury. As a result of the negligence in failing to timely deliver the baby, he now suffers from spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, profound developmental delays, and intellectual disabilities.
The lawsuit alleges that the injuries were a result of the negligence of Allina Health System and its employees in failing to timely respond to concerning clinical signs and failing to timely deliver the baby.
The action is pending in the Fourth Judicial District Court for Hennepin County, Minnesota.