Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Child suffered developmental delays, memory problems, according to mom Defense disputed birth injury ties, said she did not lack motor deficits By: Michigan Lawyers Weekly Staff in Verdicts & Settlements March 17, 2015 Plaintiff mother was admitted to a Northern Michigan hospital one month prior to her due date with premature rupture of her membranes. Although she had developed gestational diabetes, the condition was controlled by diet. An external fetal monitor was applied and for more than 12 hours the fetal heart tracings were reassuring without any evidence of fetal distress. At approximately 8:45 a.m. on the morning after admission, the tracings began to show evidence of variable decelerations. For the next 1½ hours, it was virtually impossible to tell what the baby’s heart rate was. No baseline could be identified and it was impossible to identify variable and late decelerations. Other than a couple of 20- to 30-second periods when the baby’s heart rate was above 180, the baby’s condition simply could not be assessed for more than one hour. No internal monitor was ever placed. The physician’s note reported that prior to delivery, there was a period of about 15 minutes where fetal tachycardia was noted with heart rate in the 180s. There was concern about shoulder dystocia and, according to the physician’s note, the baby’s head remained crowned for a somewhat prolonged period of time. When the baby was finally delivered, she was quite floppy. The Apgar scores were 2, 4 and 6. The baby was immediately resuscitated and transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit. She was diagnosed with perinatal asphyxia, severe metabolic acidosis, multiorgan injury, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy and seizures. Her injuries satisfied all of the ACOG criteria for a neonatal brain injury. The baby remained in the intensive care unit for more than one month. At 9 years of age, she has developmental delays, and memory problems, although the child had no motor injury. Defense maintained that the child’s deficits could not be related to a birth injury because she had no motor deficits. Plaintiff argued that recent medical literature established that the hippocampi, the seat of memory, could be a target structure for neonatal asphyxia. Because of her severe memory deficits, the child requires special education and assistance with activities of daily living. The matter settled for $2 million. Ann K. Mandt, co-counsel for plaintiff, provided case information. Type of action: Medical malpractice, birth trauma Type of injuries: Brain damage, severe memory problems without motor deficits Name of case: Confidential Court/Case no./Date: Confidential; confidential; Feb. 27, 2015 Tried before: Judge Name of judge: Withheld Settlement amount: $2 million Insurance carrier(s): Withheld Attorneys for plaintiff: J. Douglas Peters, Ann K. Mandt Attorney(s) for defendant: Withheld http://milawyersweekly.com/news/2015/03/17/child-suffered-developmental-delays-memory-problems/