Settlement In Malpractice Claim Between Mother Of Stillborn ChildAnd Doctor
This lawsuit is about a woman who wants to have a child, but for a number of years has had hypertension. She wants to be careful, so once she learns of the pregnancy she meets with her doctor who refers her to an obstetrician to monitor her pregnancy. After after having a discussion about her hypertension with her obstetrician, the doctor discontinues her use of the hypertension medication based on fear about the health risks it could have on her child. Her doctor thus decides to control her condition through diet and is able to keep her blood pressure down for awhile. But a soon thereafter, even with her best efforts, her hypertension returned and the doctor prescribed her one-half of her normal pre-pregnancy dose.
Although she is taking medication for her hypertension, she begins to suffer from headaches, nausea, vomiting and blurred vision, which progressively become more frequent throughout her pregnancy.
As her pregnancy progressed these issues seemed to become more frequent and the doctor recorded that she began to leak amniotic fluid, which could be seen through the amount of protein that was found in her urine. Furthermore the obstetrician noted that calcifications were present on the placenta, indicating that parts of the placenta were not getting adequate oxygen and had died off.
The physician only tells her of the leakage but tells her not to be concerned about it. The mother does not know about the calcifications on her placenta which were caused by a lack of oxygen and that her womb is nutriently deficient, both of which can harm her child. The physician failed to tell her that her unborn child may suffer harm from the lack of adequate oxygen or that her child's central nervous system could be harmed by the lack of nutrients in the womb. moreover, she does not know that other tests should have been performed on her baby to find out how the baby was developing, but that her physician decided not to do them. She is only informed that she has a form of hypertension and that she is leaking some amniotic fluid.
Given these ongoing problems, the the woman's mother accompanies her to the next appointment. The mother tells her obstetrician that since the previous appointment her child has not been moving as much and that she continues to suffer from headaches and now has sinus drainage in her ears. As her situation is getting worse, her obstetrician tells her that he will make an appointment the following week to induce labor. When the maternal grandmother asks if she can be induced now, rather than next week, the doctor tells her not to worry and that the baby is better off where she is now.
The next week the woman and her family, went to her doctor's office expecting to come home with her newborn baby. However, following her ultrasound she realized something was wrong. A nurse guided her into a small non-examination room and had her sit down on a sofa and wait for her doctor. Her physician then comes in to give her the terrible news that her baby did not have a heartbeat. After arriving at a hospital, the physician verified that the baby was dead and that they must induce labor right away so as to not risk injury to the mother. Following this tragedy the mother and her husband filed a malpractice claim against the doctor, asking for damages fro the loss of their child, including emotional distress. With the efforts of the law firm that helped them, the parents were successful in reaching a settlement for $650,000.