Two years ago, a pregnant woman suspected that she was beginning to go into labor because her water had broken. When a pregnant woman’s water breaks, amniotic fluid begins to leak which often signifies that a woman is close to labor. Typically, doctors and hospitals will conduct a test to determine whether a pregnant woman’s amniotic sac did indeed break. In many cases when the test reveals that amniotic fluid is leaking, a woman can expect to go into labor within a few hours.
But when the woman went to the hospital after she believed that her amniotic sac had broken, doctors sent the woman home telling her that a test revealed that she was not leaking amniotic fluid. The woman is now filing a lawsuit against the hospital. Her baby suffered life-threatening injuries at birth and now her child’s development is delayed. Her lawsuit claims that doctors are responsible for causing her child’s birth injuries because they had mistakenly delayed the birth of the child.
Two days after the woman was sent home, she returned to the hospital for a scheduled induction of labor. The woman was concerned when she was admitted to the hospital because she had noticed that her baby was not moving as much. The woman told staff about the baby’s decreased movement. In response, staff gave the woman pitocin to help with contractions and fetal monitoring strips were applied so that the baby’s vitals could be monitored while the woman was in labor.
Over the next few hours, the electronic fetal monitoring system showed decreased activity, but staff did not attempt to perform a cesarean section in order to deliver the child before the baby suffered harm. The baby was not delivered until the next day.
When the baby was born, doctors reported that they could not detect a heart rate. The child was resuscitated, but she suffered critical injuries due to oxygen deprivation. Instead of leaving the hospital within a couple of days after birth, the child remained hospitalized for two weeks.
Two years later, the child is still affected by her birth injuries. She needs therapy to help cope with her injuries, and she suffers from speech and physical impairments. The child’s parents believe that these injuries could have been avoided had doctors properly monitored the baby while the woman was in labor.
Source: The West Virginia Record, “Texas couple say WVU Hospitals caused daughter’s injuries after birth,” Kyla Asbury, July 23, 2012