PA Couple Blames Vacuum Extraction for Newborn’s Death

Shay Morrigan | January 8th, 2013 | Posted in Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit News

Courthose Thumbnail 7A Pennsylvania couple, on behalf of their deceased son, has filed a new birth injury malpractice suit in the Court of Common Pleas, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The parents blame St. Mary Medical Center, Catholic Health East, Women’s Specialists of Bucks County, and Traci Cook, D.O. for their son’s untimely death. The couple’s birth injury attorney filed the case on November 9, 2012.

Birth injury attorney represents grieving parents

According to their complaint, the couple’s son was born on June 13, 2012, at the St. Mary Medical Center (SMMC) in Pennsylvania. He died a day later, on June 14, 2012, at St. Christopher’s Hospital in Philadelphia.

The mother was admitted to the hospital on June 13 at about 5:17 a.m. She had received all of her prenatal care at Women’s Specialists and SMMC. Doctors augmented her labor with oxytocin around 7:30 a.m. The mother began to push with contractions at 7:19 p.m. After nearly two hours of pushing, and with no indication of maternal exhaustion, Dr. Cook applied a vacuum extraction device to the baby’s scalp. These devices are known to potentially cause injury if not used extremely carefully.

Parents claim birth injury malpractice

The doctor performed at least eight pulls with the extractor during which there were at least two “pop-offs” of the extractor from the baby’s scalp. At 9:36 p.m., the external fetal heart rate monitor showed an abrupt increase in heart rate. At 9:42, the baby’s head was delivered, but the body would not come out, indicating shoulder dystocia. The baby’s shoulder was trapped.

The doctor and nurses attempted to free the shoulder, but did not succeed. They finally rotated the baby, fracturing his right clavicle. The infant was then delivered. He did not have a pulse, was described as “floppy,” and had a bluish color, indicating low oxygen.

The baby was taken to ICU and resuscitated, treated, and transferred to St. Christopher’s Hospital. There he received continued life support and head cooling therapy. On June 14, 2012, he was diagnosed with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), with minimal potential for recovery. HIE is a condition in which the brain does not receive enough oxygen.

Plaintiffs seek birth injury settlements

The doctor recommended that the parents take the baby off artificial life support. They consented, and the child experienced terminal respiratory and cardiovascular abnormalities over time, leading to his death.

The parents in this case are convinced that their son’s injuries were caused by birth injury malpractice. The doctor allegedly failed to appropriately manage the mother’s progress during her first stage of labor, failed to perform a cesarean delivery, and used unnecessary excessive force with vacuum extraction.

The plaintiffs, through their birth injury attorney, bring claims of medical professional negligence, corporate negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress, survival action, and wrongful death.

If you or a loved one has been victimized by medical negligence, please contact the law offices of Balkin & Eisbrouch. We understand that no amount of money can make up for the loss of a child, but we can help you seek justice. Contact us today for a free consultation.