Failed to Perform a C-section Results in Death of Baby

A Confidential Settlement was Reached

Joy was at full term and all signs pointed to a normal and healthy baby on the day she went into labor. As is standard in deliveries, an electronic fetal monitor (EFM) was placed on Joy’s abdomen to measure her contractions and the baby’s heart rate during her labor.

Initially, the fetal monitor strips showed that everything was fine. But after several hours of labor, there was cause for concern (fetal heart rate decelerations with a slow return to baseline and an erratic uterine contraction pattern). Despite the ominous signs that the baby was in distress, the doctor negligently failed to take action. Protocol would dictate that the doctor place an internal fetal monitor, a more sensitive device that can provide more accurate information about the baby’s status.

An hour after the internal monitors should have been used, the baby’s heart rate repeatedly and severely decelerated and was slow to return to baseline. Experience would say that this likely was due to developing fetal hypoxia (not enough oxygen reaching the baby’s tissues). A Cesarean section should have been performed immediately, as it was evident that the baby was in danger. The doctor, however, failed to take the proper measures. He failed to perform a C-section which resulted in the death of baby Joey.

After an hour and several failed attempts at vacuum extraction, the baby, whose given name was Joey, was finally delivered vaginally. He had no detectable vital signs and was completely limp. Despite efforts to resuscitate him, Joey did not survive. In follow-up tests, including an umbilical blood gas study and a fetal autopsy, it was found that Joey died due to intrapartum asphyxia -- he did not get enough oxygen during labor and essentially suffocated to death.

In the immediate aftermath of Joey’s death, the doctor repeatedly promised to “get to the bottom” of Joey’s cause of death. But, the results were never shared. Instead, Joey’s parents were intentionally and repeatedly misled as to the cause of Joey’s death. In fact, the doctors tried to conceal and misrepresent the autopsy findings.

The Eisen Law Firm took the depositions of multiple doctors and medical staff. While each party blamed the other party, it was very clear that the proper procedures had not been followed, and Joey’s death should have been prevented. A confidential settlement was reached, and Joey’s parents finally knew the real story surrounding his death: it was caused by medical negligence.