Last week on our Chicago medical malpractice law blog, we had mentioned that a woman suffered serious complications after a routine Cesarean section because her doctor had failed to properly clean the surgery site before and after the operation. The woman developed an infection and was forced to undergo additional surgeries to get rid of the infection. The woman’s lawsuit is just one example of how quickly women and their babies can be harmed when medical professionals deviate from the standard of care during labor and delivery.
The woman eventually recovered from the botched C-section and her baby was not harmed, but other incidents of malpractice during labor and delivery can be far more damaging and cause permanent injuries, or even death. For example, a lawsuit was recently filed against several doctors and a hospital in Louisiana for failing to properly treat a woman who was 7 months pregnant and bleeding. Because the woman did not receive the medical care that she needed right away, her child suffered disabling birth injuries, including cerebral palsy.
The lawsuit argues that the hospital and doctors knew the pregnant woman was experiencing concerning complications that needed to be addressed very quickly; however, the woman was not treated as quickly as she should have been after arriving at the hospital. Prior to going to the hospital, the woman woke up in the early morning because she was in severe pain. Even though the woman was bleeding and 7 months pregnant, she was told by hospital workers that she needed to fill out forms before she could be seen by doctors. After filling out paperwork, the woman was told to walk to the labor and delivery department without any assistance from hospital workers.
Once the woman made it to the labor department, staff began to monitor the baby’s heart rate. The lawsuit states that the baby’s heart rate was dropping and a C-section should have been performed immediately to prevent the baby’s condition from worsening. However, the operation wasn’t performed until over an hour had passed. This delay caused the baby to be deprived of oxygen. As a result, the child suffered permanent injuries.
The family is seeking compensation for damages, including loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, and loss of their child’s ability to live independently.
Source: The Louisiana Record, “Tulane-Lakeside Hospital and doctors blamed for child’s cerebral palsy,” Kyle Barnett, Jan. 9, 2013