Medical Verdicts

Did delayed cesarean lead to infant’s cerebral palsy?


Wayne County (Mich) Circuit Court

Upon presenting to a hospital for delivery, a woman’s labor failed to progress. Oxytocin was therefore administered to stimulate contractions. During this time her labor was handled entirely by residents. This, despite the fact that multiple signs of fetal hypoxia. including nonreassuring fetal heart tracings and thick meconium.allegedly were present.

Approximately 30 minutes after the delivering physician arrived, an emergency cesarean was performed. Upon delivery, the infant demonstrated signs of severe neurological depression from hypoxic ischemic insult. Shortly after birth, the infant had low Apgar scores, severe metabolic acidosis, mul tiorgan failure, and seizures. The child now suffers from cerebral palsy as well as loss of cognitive functions.

In suing, the mother claimed that the cesarean should have been performed at least 6 hours before delivery actually took place.

The physician contended that the cesarean was performed in a timely manner and that there was no violation of proper care.

  • The case settled in mediation for $3.8 million.
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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