Sacramento-area Medical Facility Sued For Birth Injury, Part 1 of 11

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the proceedings.)

Plaintiff’s Settlement Conference Brief


This action for malpractice involves severe birth-related brain injuries to Martha Cruz, born XX/XX/2002, at Regional Medical Center in West Sacramento. Briefly, Martha’s mother, Patricia Cruz, was seen for prenatal care by OB/GYN, Gregory U., MD. The pregnancy was uneventful except for gestational diabetes and some elevated blood pressures, neither of which caused or contributed to the infant’s injuries in this case.

Ms. Cruz arrived in Labor & Delivery (L&D) at Regional Medical Center at 8:57 am on Saturday, October 5, 2002, complaining of abdominal pain. A fetal monitor was placed immediately. Nursing documented a non-reassuring fetal heart rate (FHR) and a uterine contraction pattern described as very irritable . At 9:10 am, Ms. Cruz signed a consent for Cesarean delivery. At 9:15 am, nursing first contacted Dr. U. by telephone. At that time, he advised that the patient be admitted for an emergency Cesarean section . As October 5 was a Saturday, an on-call operating room (OR) crew, including anesthesiologist, Sandy Y., MD, assistant surgeon, Michael V., MD, scrub nurse, Robert A., circulating nurse, Elaine B., RN, and pediatrician, Susan W., MD, were contacted for Ms. Cruz’ delivery. At the time of Dr. U.’s arrival in L&D, she confirmed the need for an emergency Cesarean section. At the time, there was a scheduled surgery on another patient for removal of a hysterectomy occurring in OR #1.

At Regional Medical Center, all Cesarean sections were conducted in the main hospital OR, one floor below L&D in the
basement. Dr. U. testified that she expected the surgery to occur within 30 minutes of her order. At approximately 10:00 am, Dr. U. left L&D and went downstairs to the main OR to determine whether the OR crew had arrived yet.
Either before she went to the OR or immediately after her arrival in the OR, Dr. U. was informed that there was a breech
patient at high risk that required an emergency Cesarean section, though the patient was not Dr. U.’s patient.

Dr. Y. had, prior to Dr. U’s arrival in the main OR, already been diverted to the breech patient by hospital personnel and

spinal analgesia had begun in OR #2.. Dr. Y. knew nothing about the Cruz emergency upstairs. Dr.U. agreed to deliver the breech patient before Ms. Cruz. Anesthesia began at 10:10 am. The entire OR crew, called for Ms. Cruz, was diverted to the breech patient. (See Part 2 of 11.)

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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