Delayed C-Section May Have Caused Child’s Cerebral Palsy

A recent lawsuit filed in the U.S District Court of Tennessee alleges that the defendant health care providers failed to properly handle the delivery of the minor plaintiff, which led to the extended fetal oxygen deprivation and brain injury at birth.

Cerebral Palsy

According to the complaint, during the mother’s strenuous labor and delivery, medical personnel failed to recognize and properly respond to clear signs of declining fetal response, which should have revealed the need for an emergency C-section. This alleged malpractice took place in 2005. The lawsuit involved the minor child, who is know ten years old, along with his mother and father. The United States of America is named the defendant in the complaint, due to the fact that alleged acts of medical negligence occurred at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital, which happens to be funded and operated by the government. Civil action for monetary damages was brought under the Federal Tort Claims Act, which relates to substandard nursing, midwifery, and obstetrical care provided to the plaintiff in January 2005.

Delayed C-Section Causes Serious Injuries for Child

The mother plaintiff gave birth to her first child through a C-section in January 14, 2004. After having her first baby, she soon became pregnant with her second child, and was told she was a good candidate for a vaginal birth after C-section (VBAC), according to the lawsuit.

During her counseling regarding her birth, her midwife informed her that “60-80% of women who undergo VBAC will successfully deliver vaginally.” However, the chances for a successful birth weren’t high, considering the mother’s several risk factors:

  • Short stature
  • Previously unsuccessful attempt at vaginal birth
  • Brief time between pregnancies

Despite the fact that the mother preferred another C-section, she took the advice of the midwife and opted for a VBAC delivery. She went into early labor, and initial fetal heart rate tracings were reassuring, but within the first half hour, the EFM strip indicated minimal variability and loss of accelerations: two signs of fetal compromise.

The plaintiff alleges that in this chaotic situation, rather than being admitted into the Labor & Delivery ward, the continuous fetal heart monitoring was stopped and she was told to walk around the hospital for an hour or so. About two hours later, the mother was admitted to the hospital, where labor progression was slow and fetal heart monitoring continued to show repetitive late decelerations, which the plaintiff claims were ignored by staff. After more agonizing hours of FHF tracings, the medical team ordered a C-section delivery.

When the child was born, it was noted that the child was limp, with a bluish-tinged skin and no pulse. Sadly, the child wasn’t breathing and had a high blood acid level indicative of severe acidosis. The baby was immediately sent to the NICU ward, where he spent close to a month. During his stay, doctors used brain cooling to attempt to mitigate the severe damage to his cells. However, the attempts weren’t successful and the child was diagnosed with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy caused by intrapartum asphyxia.

The little boy has since been diagnosed with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy and suffers serious developmental delays. The brain damage has left the boy with impaired motor function, delayed cognitive abilities, and recurring seizures.

The boy’s parents claim that because of the nature of disabilities and brain damage, their child will always be disabled and unable to work, and as a result, has lost his capacity to earn and a lifetime to wages.

The plaintiffs are demanding compensation to account for past and future medical and nursing care, special adaptive living expenses, special education costs, past and future mental anguish, pain, and suffering and loss of companionship for the minor.

While you shouldn’t expect the doctor that contributed to your child’s disorder to admit negligence, you should not be stuck with overwhelming medical bills due to their careless mistakes. Contact us today for a 100% free legal case review today.