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Shoulder Dystocia & Hypoxic-Ischemic Brain Injury Due To Failure To Timely Deliver

Lawsuit Against New Ulm Medical Center & Consulting Radiologists, Ltd. | June 23, 2020

On June 23, 2020, WVFO attorneys Keith Forman and Jermaine Haughton filed a medical malpractice claim on behalf of a minor child who suffered a shoulder dystocia and brain injury due to a delayed delivery.

The complaint alleges that the pregnancy was complicated by gestational diabetes. The child’s mother saw her obstetrician for weekly biophysical profiles and serial growth ultrasounds for her gestational diabetes. The child’s mother continued with her weekly appointments and her original doctor planned for delivery between 38 and 39 weeks. The mother presented to New Ulm Medical Center on December 31, 2018 and requested an induction of labor as initially planned. She was now 39 weeks and 3 days pregnant, with increased risk of serious labor complications, however, she was discharged without being induced that day. The mother returned on January 2, 2019, when she was 39 weeks and 5 days pregnant. She requested an estimated fetal weight measurement, which was done the next day. In violation of accepted standards of care, the estimated fetal weight was performed incorrectly. Most significantly, the abdominal circumference was grossly under-measured. The mother was admitted for delivery that same day, January 3, 2019. After counseling—which was based on the inaccurate estimated fetal weight value—the mother came to believe that her baby was much smaller than his actual size, and that his estimated weight was below the guidelines for a cesarean section. She agreed to move forward with a vaginal delivery. An epidural was placed at 2:32 p.m. At 4:04 a.m., the child’s head was delivered, and a shoulder dystocia was noted. The shoulder dystocia continued despite attempted maneuvers, and at 4:09 a.m., a 5-minute dystocia was announced. The child was finally born at 4:15 a.m. He weighed 5,046 grams (11 pounds, 2 ounces). At birth, the child did not have a pulse. He was severely acidotic, with a pH of 6.98 and a base excess of -24.7. His Apgar scores were 0, 0, and 0. He required aggressive resuscitation, and did not breathe spontaneously until 30 minutes of life. He was transferred to the NICU at Children’s Minnesota Hospital, where he underwent a cooling protocol, and was diagnosed with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), neurological impairment, respiratory distress, shock, and hypotension, among other conditions.

The child has severe hypoxic-ischemic brain injury, seizures, and other injuries as a result of the negligence of New Ulm Medical Center and its employees. The lawsuit alleges that the defendants negligently performed, interpreted, and reported the ultrasound findings. 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 Fourth Judicial District Court in Hennepin County, Minnesota.

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