Delivery Room and Anesthesia Errors in Twin Delivery Cause Preventable Birth Injury
In a recent case, a mother sought damages from her delivering physicians and hospital for birth trauma-related injuries to one of her twins.
The woman began prenatal care at 25 weeks and all ultrasound testing done during her care showed a healthy pregnancy. She went to the hospital at 38 weeks with contractions. Upon admission, she indicated that she would like to proceed with a vaginal delivery and was not given the option of a C-section at that time.
As labor progressed, she was hooked up to a continuous fetal monitoring device. This tracks the babies’ heart rates. Unfortunately, the monitoring device was not working part of the time. The mother was never informed of the monitoring problems nor was she given the option of a C-section.
When the mother was completely dilated and it was determined by her physicians that she was ready for delivery, she was taken to the operating room for a vaginal delivery. It was routine at this particular hospital to perform twin deliveries in the operating room. The mother was then given a C-section dose of anesthesia rather than the dose of anesthesia appropriate for a vaginal delivery. This allegedly caused low blood pressure in the mother, non-reassuring fetal heart tones, numbness from the belly button down, and delay in delivery. The mother was not informed of the delivery room error.
The physicians and hospital staff sent her back to the labor floor to allow the anesthesia to wear off. One hour and 40 minutes later, the mother was taken back to the operating room for a vaginal delivery. It was determined that both twins were healthy at this time. Twin A was born within a few minutes of arriving in the OR. Twin B’s water broke 12 minutes after delivery of Twin A and a cord prolapse was diagnosed.
An emergency C-section was ultimately called in the OR for Twin B and was performed in 18 minutes. Currently, Twin A is normal but Twin B has developmental delays (including speech deficits).
Reiter & Walsh Successfully Secure Settlement for Child’s Care
Birth trauma attorneys at Reiter and Walsh represented the child in this case. They argued that the mother should have been informed of the errors during delivery and offered a C-section. They further contended that if the C-section had been performed in less than 18 minutes, Twin B would be fine today. Reiter and Walsh successfully settled the matter for $2.05 million.