Medical Verdicts

Did failure to respond to nausea, discomfort lead to infant’s death?


Du Page County (Ill) Circuit Court

A 19-year-old woman at 26 weeks’ gestation—serving a 60-day sentence at a county jail—was transferred to a hospital due to labor pain and contractions. At the hospital, an Ob/Gyn ruptured her membranes. Subsequently, the patient had a placental abruption. An emergency cesarean was performed. Despite resuscitation efforts, the infant died 49 minutes after delivery.

In suing, the patient alleged that she complained to a nurse of nausea and discomfort hours before she was sent to the hospital, but the nurse failed to provide any medical assistance.

The nurse argued that the woman did not complain to jail medical staff until she began experiencing contractions. In addition, the defense contended that the infant died due to oxygen loss during the placental abruption, which took place at the hospital.

  • 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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