The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position as trial approaches. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.
(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.)
It is also worth noting that situations similar to those described in this medical malpractice case could just as easily occur at any of the healthcare facilities in the area, such as Kaiser Permanente, U.C. Davis Medical Center, Mercy, or Sutter.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
Abbey Smith initially presented to Universal Hospital on February 19, 2001, at or about 6:30 p.m., and was shortly thereafter admitted for induction. The records clearly indicate that Dr.Lee was the physician on duty at the time of admission. While on duty, Dr.Lee was responsible for treating the patients from the XYZ Obstetrics and Gynecology group that were admitted to Universal Hospital. The hospital records further note that Dr. Brown relieved Dr.Lee at approximately noon on February 20, 2001. The hospital records, as well as the deposition testimony of Ms. Smith and Mr. Smith, clearly establish that Dr. Brown was Ms. Smith’s obstetrician throughout the remainder of her labor. Such records and testimony further establish that Dr. Brown delivered Mark Smith, Jr., the following day, February 21, 2001.
During the course of her labor, Ms. Smith received several amnioinfusions, the first of which was initiated sometime around 1:15 p.m. on February 20, 2001. An epidural was administered around 3:20 p.m.; a second amnioinfusion was started around 4:30 p.m. and completed around 5:00 p.m. At approximately 6:00 p.m., it was documented that Ms. Smith was complaining of pain secondary to the epidural, vomiting of yellow sputum-like fluid and that the fetal heart rate was reactive with mild variable decelerations. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.
By 7:30 p.m., a vaginal exam revealed that Ms. Smith was 5 cm dilated, 80% effaced and at 0 station. At or around 1:00 a.m., Dr. Brown personally examined Ms. Smith and determined that she had progressed to 8 cm dilated, was 100% effaced, with +1 station.
Dr. Brown was noted to be at Ms. Smith’s bedside sometime around 5:20 a.m. At that time, he ordered another amnioinfusion and also instructed the mother to rest for a period of time. At approximately 6:35 a.m., Ms. Smith was transferred to the operating room for delivery of her infant. Thereafter, Dr. Brown made three attempts to the deliver the infant by vacuum assisted delivery. However, as he was unable to deliver the infant with vacuum assistance, Dr. Brown ordered that the patient be prepared for a Caesarean section. The infant was delivered at 7:44 a.m. The Operative Report with respect to the Caesarean Section, notes that Dr. Brown was the surgeon. The preoperative and postoperative diagnosis, as set forth on the Operative Report, included the following: (1) Arrest of descent; (2) Failed vacuum delivery; and (3) Prolonged fetal heart rate deceleration. Of note, the Anesthesia record and Operative Nurse’s Records also identify Dr. Brown as the surgeon. The infant’s APGAR scores were 1, 4 and 6. The infant was discharged on March 12, 2001. (See Part 4 of 7.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.