Medical Verdicts

Did discontinued terbutaline result in premature delivery?


Maricopa County (Ariz) Superior Court—When a gravida at 27 weeks presented to the hospital with contractions, the OB nursing staff initiated intravenous terbutaline. Once the contractions were controlled, the staff discontinued the drug. The mother then delivered a premature infant who was blind.

In suing, the patient claimed that the nursing staff should not have discontinued the terbutaline.

The hospital argued that even if the medication had been continued, the gravida still would have delivered prematurely.

The jury returned a verdict for the defense.

The cases presented here were compiled by Lewis L. Laska, editor of Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts. While there are instances when the available information is incomplete, these cases represent the types of clinical situations that typically result in litigation.

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