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Medical Verdicts


Did ignoring nonreassuring FHR cause encephalopathy?

August 2002 · Vol. 14, No. 8

<court>Dallas County (Tex) District Court</court>

A woman presented to the hospital for delivery. During labor, fetal monitors revealed a nonreassuring fetal heart rate (FHR). As a result, the baby was delivered via emergency cesarean section. At birth, the infant had no heart rate and was apneic, asystolic, cyanotic, and flaccid. He now suffers from static encephalopathy.

In suing, the mother alleged that the hospital and nursing staff were negligent in monitoring the fetus and ignored the presence of a nonreassuring FHR.

The physicians and nurses argued that they acted within the standard of care and that the infant’s birth injuries were a result of a maternal infection and gestational diabetes.

  • The case settled for $11 million.

The cases presented here were compiled by Lewis L. Laska, editor of Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts. While there are instances when the available information is incomplete, these cases represent the types of clinical situations that typically result in litigation.

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