Nurses urge Ob/Gyn to perform cesarean
<court>Hillsborough County (Fla) Circuit Court</court>
After passing 41 weeks’ gestation, a 30-year-old woman was admitted to the hospital and given oxytocin to induce labor. The fetal heart rate tracing was not reassuring and there was a deceleration to 45 beats per minute, which prompted nursing staff to urge the Ob/Gyn to conduct a cesarean section.
When the physician chose not to proceed with a cesarean, the nurses contacted a supervisor, who also recommended cesarean delivery. The doctor ordered an immediate cesarean, but changed the order from “stat” to “ASAP” when the child’s heart rate improved.
At delivery a nuchal cord was discovered. The infant, born with brain damage, was never able to walk, talk, or blink. He died of pneumonia at age 2.
The family claimed the doctor was negligent in not initiating cesarean sooner.
The defendant argued that the child suffered chronic hypoxia throughout pregnancy, and noted that placental pathology revealed significant abnormalities, including profound chorangiosis.
- The jury awarded the plaintiffs $2.4 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.