(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this birth injury case and its proceedings.)
STATEMENT OF THE CASE
This is medical negligence action arises out of serious nerve injury suffered by Sean Taylor during birth on 6/4/1998. Sean’s mother, Edith Taylor, was under the care of obstetrician Dr. Vanessa X. when she was admitted to Sacramento’s Universal Medical Center at 1:15 p.m. on June 3, 1998. Edith Taylor was then in early labor, at almost 41 weeks, based upon an estimated date of confinement of 5/29/98.
Dr. X. ordered induction of labor by Pitocin drip and artificial rupture of Edith’s membrane, which reportedly resulted in the release of clear amniotic fluid. Epidural anesthesia was begun, and labor continued throughout the balance of that day and into the early morning hours of June 4. During that time, the patient was started on antibiotics for a temperature of 101.
At 3:40 a.m. on June 4, Pitocin was discontinued, and at 4:00 a.m. a vaginal examination revealed that the patient was 9 cm dilated and at 1 station. I.V. antibiotics were continued and the mother was instructed to continue pushing to assist in delivery, which occurred at 5:10 a.m.
The Popras 6 form for Delivery Data and Problems lists shoulder dystocia as a birth complication. The one minute Apgar scores were zero score for respirations, muscle tone and color, requiring emergency resuscitation. Erb’s Palsy was noted at birth
The handwritten delivery note made at 6:00 a.m. reads:
Spontaneous vaginal delivery of a live male. Apgars 4, 6, 8. Weight 8 lbs, 13 oz. Placenta intact. No pulsatile cord. Umbilical cord ruptured at time of delivery with loss of approximately 8 cc of umbilical cord blood prior to clamping the cord.
Shoulder dystocia for [scratched out portion] approximately 60 seconds was managed by extension of 3rd degree right medial lateral episiotomy. Woods corkscrew maneuver in McRoberts position …..Estimated blood loss 500 cc …
Sean was transferred to the NICU because of his decreased responsiveness, and pallid skin coloration where a right Erb’s Palsy was further documented.
The critical issue in this case is the management of the Sean’s shoulder dystocia during delivery. Dr. Y. states in her handwritten delivery note that she applied the Woods corkscrew maneuver in the McRoberts position, an accepted procedure which involves reaching into the vagina, grasping the fetus by the torso and turning it so as to free the shoulder without contorting the head and neck. The McRoberts’ procedure refers to a separate and simultaneous maneuver of the nursing staff requiring them to hold the mother’s legs far back near the head with the heels upin the air during the Woods Corkscrew procedure. There is evidence that these described procedures were not performed or were improperly performed. (See Part 3 of 12.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.