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Medical Verdicts


Prior tracheotomy delays crash cesarean

May 2004 · Vol. 16, No. 5

<court>Pierce County (Wash) Superior Court</court>

After calling her physician with complaints of decreased fetal movement, a woman at 32 weeks’ gestation presented to the hospital. Fetal heart tracings were nonreassuring and an ultrasound biophysical profile was scored at 0/8. An emergency cesarean was ordered.

The patient, as a child, had had a tracheotomy, but the defendant Ob/Gyn never informed the anesthesiologist of this history. This led to complications in the attempts to intubate the mother, and thus delayed the delivery. The child now suffers cerebral palsy.

  • The case settled for $8 million.

The cases in this column are selected by the editors of OBG Management from Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts, with permission of the editor, Lewis Laska, of Nashville, Tenn. (www.verdictslaska.com) 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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