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Schachter, Hendy & Johnson, Attorneys At Law

Failure to Timely Perform Cesarean Section- Baby Suffers Stroke/ $2.3 Million Settlement

Posted on Oct 20, 2009
The plaintiff mother was admitted to a hospital for induction of labor at thirty-seven weeks gestation in September 2001. The defendant doctor assumed her care toward the end of a long, but relatively uneventful, first stage of labor. After two and one-half hours of pushing, the baby had failed to descend and fetal heart rate monitoring indicated a non-reassuring pattern with frequent severe variable decelerations. There were also indications that the fetal head was overriding the mother's pelvic bone and that the mother's pelvis was abnormally narrow. The physician did not perform another exam for about four hours, by which time the baby's heart rate had become tachycardic. The defendant continued vaginal efforts until the end of his shift. The physician who assumed the mother's care after the defendant immediately ordered a cesarean section. The baby appeared healthy at birth, but by the age of nine months he was noted not to be using his right arm and leg as much as the left. A neurologist determined that the child had suffered a prenatal stroke. A work up found no hypercoaguability, but the plaintiff does carry a genetic mutation which could render him prone to clotting. The defendant claimed that the stroke had occurred weeks prior to labor. The plaintiff claimed that the stroke was not caused by a clot, but by lack of blood flow to the "watershed"area of the brain. The plaintiff claimed that a cesarean section should have been performed much earlier.

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