(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this birth injury/personal injury case and its proceedings.)
When she arrived at the hospital at 0615, Ms. Jackson was in early labor. She also had a blood pressure of 171/108, which is quite elevated (above normal). Her previous blood pressures were approximately 100/60, so Ms. Jackson’s blood pressure was dangerously high. She also had 3+ protein in her urine, which is also elevated. (Normal is 0.) She also had pedal edema (swollen feet).
Ms. Jackson thus had a condition known as pre-eclampsia; in fact, it was severe.
Severe pre-eclampsia increases the risks to the mother and the child. Those risks include: heart failure, stroke, seizure, and placental abruption. These can cause severe brain injury or death to the baby. This condition indicated that Ms. Jackson’s labor must be closely monitored. A woman with severe pre-eclampsia should be delivered as expeditiously as possible in order to avoid these serious consequences. For more information about this topic, please visit http://www.sacramentopersonalinjurylawyerblog.com/.
At 12:30, Ms. Jackson was placed on Pitocin. Pitocin is a drug that is used to induce labor or augment labor. For Ms. Jackson, it was being used to augment labor because she was having inadequate contractions. If a patient in Ms. Jackson’s condition is on Pitocin, then the baby is at greater risk for hypoxia. This is because Pitocin increases the contractual forces of the uterus, reducing placental blood flow and its ability to transfer oxygen and carbon dioxide to and from the fetus. The standard of care in 1998 required a physician, whether attending or a resident, to be aware of these greater risks to the baby associated with the use of Pitocin in women with Ms. Jackson’s condition.
At 1 7:00, according to the nursing notes of Universal Hospital, Ms. Jackson’s cervix was completely dilated and the child’s head was descending. This means that Ms. Jackson’s cervix was opened as far as possible and the baby’s head is in the correct position for a vaginal delivery.
According to the nurse, Ms. Patty Mills, she telephoned Dr. Lee and told her (Lee) about (1) Ms. Jackson’s vital signs (which she described as blood pressure, temperature and respiration), (2) the “variables” (explained below), and (3) that Ms. Jackson was “complete, complete and zero.” The nurse also told defendant Lee that Ms. Jackson had no feeling of having to push and was vomiting. (See Part 3 of 13.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.