Child Suffers Permanent Brain Damage During Birth

    Neonatology Expert WitnessThis case takes place in Kentucky and involves a middle-aged mother who presented to the hospital while pregnant with her second child. At some point during her third trimester of pregnancy, the mother presented to the emergency room with complaints of headache, blurry vision, and dizziness. The patient was admitted to the hospital, at which point it was discovered that her blood pressure was extremely high. The patient was  placed under observation, however she received minimal treatment and was not given any drugs to prophylactically treat pre-eclampsia. The patient was eventually induced. During labor she developed eclampsia, and suffered tonic/clonic seizures. As result, the infant was delivered vaginally with hypoxic brain injury.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. Do you routinely treat patients similar to the one described in the case?
    • 2. Have you ever had a patient develop the outcome described in the case?
    • 3. Do you believe this patient may have had a better outcome if the care rendered had been different?

    Expert Witness Response E-007483

    I frequently care for late preterm (34-37 weeks gestation) infants and well as infants whose birth complication results in hypoxic brain injury. I am very familiar with the standard of care in delivery room resuscitation, the provision of neonatal and convalescent medical care, and expected medical and developmental outcomes for these infants. Often times delaying delivery or proceeding with a vaginal birth (versus urgent cesarean delivery) can lead to very unfortunate outcomes, as appears to have occurred in this case. Depending on the course of events and how it was handled, the birth injury and poor outcome very likely could have been prevented.

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