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Legal: Delay in cesarean delivery

Cesarean delivery delayed

In 1995, a Nevada woman went to the hospital complaining of leaking amniotic fluid for about 9 hours and decreased fetal movement. Upon admission to labor and delivery about 3 hours later, meconium-stained fluid with particulate was noted. The FHR had no variability and delivery occurred 3 hours later by cesarean section.

The infant required aggressive resuscitative efforts, was intubated, and diagnosed with a hypoxic injury and permanent residual cognitive deficits. At the age of 12, the child cannot answer simple questions, cannot read, and becomes easily confused.

The patient sued the hospital and doctors involved and claimed the hospital staff failed to notify her obstetrician that she was at the hospital when she arrived, and also that there was a failure to timely perform the C/S delivery.

A $5 million verdict was returned against the hospital and nurses.

Department editor DAWN COLLINS, JD, is an attorney specializing in medical malpractice in Long Beach, CA. She welcomes feedback on this column via e-mail to DawnCF@aol.com