Medical Verdicts

Brain damage detected after surprise birth


Dauphin County (Pa) Common Pleas Court

A 15-year-old girl with no history of prenatal care and no diagnosis of pregnancy presented to the hospital complaining of abdominal pain. The girl gave birth 3 hours later; 27 hours later the infant had a seizure. The infant was later diagnosed with severe brain damage and microcephaly and now has an IQ of 55.

In suing, the mother claimed fetal heart rate monitoring strips showed severe decelerations prior to delivery and that the physician failed to expedite delivery.

  • A defense verdict was returned.
The cases in this column are selected by the editors of OBG Management from Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts, with permission of the editor, Lewis Laska, of Nashville, Tenn ( 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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