The Case: Medical Malpractice in Diagnosing and Treating Maternal Infection in Case with Premature Birth Risk
The birth injury attorneys at ABC Law Centers obtained a $1.3 million settlement (total annuity payout $8.3 million) for a child injured by an improperly diagnosed and treated maternal infection.
In this case, our plaintiff began prenatal care after she became pregnant. At 21 weeks gestation, she began spotting and went to the hospital. Exams showed that her cervix was 3 cm dilated, 100% effaced and that her membranes were bulging. While testing showed no infection, there was evidence of an elevated white count (an indicator that the body’s immune system may be fighting off an infection). The plaintiff had an incompetent cervix, a condition that occurs when the cervix starts to widen and thin too early in the pregnancy. She underwent an emergency cerclage to mitigate the concerns this raised. She was told that there was a risk that she would deliver between 23-26 weeks, and was placed on a prophylactic (preventative) regiment of antibiotics.
At 24 weeks, she visited hospital triage, stating that she had yellow vaginal discharge. The evaluating resident who tested her claimed to not have seen any discharge. This resident tested for contractions, urinary tract infections (UTIs), gonorrhea and chlamydia; tests came back normal. After the resident consulted with a maternal-fetal doctor, the plaintiff was sent home.
Six days later, she returned to the hospital with prematurely ruptured membranes and chorioamnionitis (inflamed fetal membranes due to a bacterial infection). Staff ordered a C-section. The child was born at 25 ½ weeks and now suffers from cognitive deficits and mild cerebral palsy.
The Result: Medical Negligence in Testing Resulted in Cognitive Deficits and Mild Cerebral Palsy
Attorney Jesse Reiter argued that medical staff should have performed a wet-mount when the plaintiff came to the hospital at 24 weeks, as this would have showed signs of bacterial vaginosis. This would have ensured two crucial events: the plaintiff would have gotten the antibiotics she needed, and the preterm birth would have been delayed until a safer 28 weeks or later. Had medical personnel provided this test, the child’s birth injuries could have been prevented. The defendants alleged that no vaginal discharge was seen, and, even if it had been seen, it was not the type of discharge that suggested bacterial vaginosis, and that a wet-mount would not have been required. They further suggested that medical literature asserted that there was little-to-no value in treating vaginosis. They further stated that it was likely that the plaintiff had bacterial colonization at 21 weeks (as evidenced by the bulging membranes and high white count) and that delivery at 24-26 weeks was unavoidable.
ABC Law Centers: Focusing on Neonatal and Fetal Injury Cases
Our law firm has helped numerous families and parents nationwide obtain financial compensation to ensure their children will obtain the care, therapy and treatment they need to have a secure future. Our award-winning attorneys provide personal attention to each family and child we represent, and our dedication has resulted in numerous multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. No fees are ever paid to our firm until we win your case. Our cerebral palsy lawyers are available 24/7 to speak with you. Call 866-836-9223 for a free case evaluation.