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Medical Errors and Negligence Result in the Death of a Fetus

Confidential settlement was reached

Anaya, a young, soon-to-be mother, was scheduled to be induced. Upon arrival at the hospital, an electronic fetal monitor was placed to monitor the baby’s heart rate and the progress of uterine contractions. The initial monitoring showed minimal variability, so the nursing staff implemented various interventions, including intravenous hydration and maternal repositioning.

The various interventions did not significantly improve the situation. Anaya’s obstetrician was called by the nursing staff approximately one hour after Anaya’s arrival to the hospital. The doctor, in turn, asked that the Certified Nurse Midwife be contacted. The midwife, who was not at the hospital, had the nurses place an internal fetal scalp electrode, which is a more sensitive device for the monitoring of fetal heart rate and fetal heart rate patterns. At the same time, the midwife headed to the hospital.

In the meantime, the nurses lost the fetal heart rate altogether. The external electronic fetal monitor showed no signs of fetal heart rate, and upon placement of the internal monitor, no heart rate could be located, either. At that point, the midwife advised the nurses that she was less than five minutes from arriving to the labor and delivery department. When the midwife arrived, she, too, was unable to locate a fetal heart rate, and she had the doctor rush to the hospital.

An operating room team was assembled for an emergency Cesarean section, which was begun as soon as the doctor arrived. Unfortunately, the baby was born pulseless and not breathing. Hospital personnel were unable to resuscitate the baby.

The Eisen Law Firm analyzed the case and was able to demonstrate that a series of medical errors occurred that resulted in the baby’s death. The initial decision for the doctor to refer the matter to the nurse midwife, and the midwife’s decision to accept the care of Anaya, were both bad decisions, as midwives cannot perform emergency surgery to deliver a baby. Additionally, there should have been someone at the hospital who could adequately care for Anaya and her unborn child; they should not have had to wait for both the doctor and the midwife to arrive at the hospital.

The Eisen Law Firm proved that medical negligence caused the death of Anaya’s baby. A confidential settlement was reached prior to trial.