Mother dies 10 h post-delivery
AT 38 WEEKS’ GESTATION, a 20-year-old woman had preeclampsia and a borderline-low platelet count. She was admitted to a US Navy hospital for induction of labor.
When labor failed to progress after 53 hours, a cesarean delivery was performed. The patient suffered uncontrolled bleeding and developed HELLP syndrome (hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, low platelet count). A platelet transfusion was needed, but the nearest supply was at a city hospital approximately 60 miles away. Because of bad weather, the patient could not be flown to the city. She died 10 hours after delivery.
ESTATE’S CLAIM A cesarean delivery should have been performed earlier. Lab results showing the severity of the mother’s condition at delivery were not read for 5 hours.
DEFENDANTS’ DEFENSE The case was settled before trial.
VERDICT A $2.1 million Missouri settlement was reached.