According to Injury News, a pregnant mother was admitted to a Michigan hospital on July 5, 2012 in order to be induced into labor. At that time, she was in her 41st week of pregnancy.
Physicians gave the mother Misoprostol to induce her labor at about 8:30 a.m on July 5th. Labor continued normally until about 12:38 p.m., when the fetal heart beat monitor showed that the baby’s heartbeat was beginning to slow down. The heart thereafter beat slower and slower for over an hour. This reportedly showed that the baby could have been in distress, but there was no discussion of initiating a Cesarean section until about 3:34 p.m. The Cesarean was finally done at about 4:34 p.m.
When the baby was born, the child’s Apgar scores were both zero, which showed no heartbeat or respiration. Five minutes later, the baby’s score was still a zero. The child was finally resuscitated when intubated and transferred to a second hospital. The second hospital diagnosed the baby with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.
Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy is a brain injury caused by brain oxygen deprivation. This condition causes many newborn deaths and those that do survive will suffer for their entire lives from neurological impairments, developmental delays, cognitive impairment, and motor impairment, as the child in this case does. There is currently no way to reverse the damages that the condition causes.
The baby’s mother has filed a medical malpractice suit on behalf of her daughter in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. The lawsuit alleges that because of the delays in delivery, her child became permanently disabled. The mother has listed the United States of America as the defendant in her lawsuit, claiming the physicians were employees of the federal government at the time of the birth of her daughter.
The young girl also suffers from cerebral palsy and seizures. She will need medical care for her entire life and will need help with even the most simple of tasks. According to another healthcare professional’s affidavit, if the C-section was done just an hour earlier, it is possible none of these injuries would have occurred.
The plaintiff seeks the cost of medical care and other care for her child for the entirety of her life and damages for the mother herself. She alleges she suffered from adverse consequential effects after witnessing her child’s grave injuries at birth. This has allegedly led to severe emotional, nervous, and other mental problems.