Hospital Failed To Diagnose Placental Abruption
$2.15 Million Settlement
Published Missouri Lawyers Weekly
The plaintiff was a 2-year-old child who sued an obstetrician and hospital after he suffered brain damage during childbirth.
The child was born in December 1997. The mother presented to the hospital at 30 weeks with complaints of back pain and little or no movement of the baby. She was admitted and connected to a fetal monitor, which showed the baby’s condition was normal. But she continued to complain of severe back pain and inability to urinate. Suspecting kidney stones, the doctor ran tests on her blood and urine, which came back negative. Six hours after she was admitted, an ultrasound was performed that showed a large placental blood clot, which indicated that a placental abruption had occurred.
The defendant doctor performed an emergency Caesarean section, and the baby was born in fetal distress. It was later determined that he had suffered a grade 4 intraventricular hemmorrhage with resulting loss of blood and oxygen to the brain. As a consequence, he developed spastic quadriplegia.
The plaintiff contended that the doctor and hospital were negligent in failing to timely diagnose the placental abruption. He contended that the ultrasound should have been done no later than two hours after admission, when the blood and urine tests came back with indications of a possible placental abruption, and that earlier diagnosis would have prevented the hemorrhage and brain damage.
The defendants contended they took the mother to the operating room at the earliest opportunity, that the placenta was 30 percent non-functioning, and that the hemorrhage would have occurred regardless of the care the mother received.
Type of Action: Medical Malpractice
Type of Injuries: Brain damage, fetal distress
Court/Case Number/Date: U.S District Court, Eastern District of Missouri/not disclosed /July 1999
Judge and Jury of ADR: Jury
Name of Judge: Confidential
Special Damages: $5 million past and future medical expense
Verdict or Settlement: $2.15 million settlement
Allocation of Fault: N/A
Last Demand: N/A
Attorney for plaintiffs: Herman Praszkier, St. Louis
Insurance Carrier: Confidential
Plaintiffs’ Experts: Confidential
Defendants’ Experts: Confidential
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