Newborn Death Due to Delayed Delivery | November 2, 2021
Lawsuit Against Javon Bea Hospital
On November 2, 2021, WVFK&N attorneys Christopher Norman and Kieran Murphy filed a medical malpractice claim on behalf of a newborn who suffered an avoidable brain injury.
The complaint alleges that the child’s mother presented to Javon Bea Hospital, formerly known as Rockford Memorial Hospital, at 16:34 on February 17, 2017 with labor that started a short time before at 16:00. She was 39 weeks and 6 days of gestation at that time. She was connected to electronic fetal monitoring shortly after her arrival and the initial tracing demonstrated fetal tachycardia when connected around 16:35. The tracing eventually deteriorated further, with evidence of recurrent variable decelerations that ultimately turned into prolonged deep recurrent variable decelerations. Shortly after connecting the mother to the fetal monitor, the nurse began employing intra-uterine resuscitative measures, indicating her understanding for the need to improve fetal oxygenation. The nurse eventually called the midwife and obstetrician, however, they issued no new orders despite the presence of recurrent variable decelerations, with continued fetal tachycardia and minimal variability, and the repeated use of ineffective resuscitative measures. Eventually, after more than four hours of progressively worsening fetal heart rate tracings, they called for a cesarean section delivery until 20:51. The reason for the delivery was listed as non-reassuring fetal heart tracings, which had been present for several hours before the delivery was ordered. Also, despite ordering the cesarean section delivery at 20:51, the incision was not made until 21:38, more than 45 minutes later. The child was born via cesarean section delivery at 21:38 with a tight nuchal cord around his neck. His APGAR scores were 2 and 4 at 1 and 5 minutes respectively. His NICU admission note indicates he was delivered for “fetal intolerance of labor” and “non-reassuring heart tones.” Resuscitative interventions at birth included endotracheal tube ventilation. An MRI on February 21, 2017 revealed bilateral extensive acute cerebral infarctions which were diagnosed as consistent with a perinatal hypoxic-ischemic insult. The child also suffered from seizures in the NICU. He was ultimately diagnosed with moderate hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy and neonatal asphyxia in the NICU. The child has gone on to be diagnosed with and now suffers from (1) hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (2) gross developmental delays, (3) Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, a complex epileptic encephalopathy that manifests in multiple types of seizures.
The lawsuit alleges that the injuries were a result of the negligence of Javon Bea Hospital 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 Seventeenth Judicial District Court for Winnebago County, Illinois.