Medical Verdicts

Gravida sent home bleeding, in pain


Jefferson County (Tex) District Court

A 23-year-old pregnant woman went to the hospital and was discharged without a physician examination, despite vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain, absence of fetal movement, a nonreactive stress test, and absence of fetal response on acoustic stimulation. Her fetus died several days later.

The woman faulted 2 physicians for not examining her despite signs of placental abruption, and claimed the nurse failed to recognize and report subtle late decelerations in the fetal monitor strip.

The defendants denied negligence and maintained that the fetal heart strip showed movement.

  • The parties reached a confidential settlement.
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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