Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit Alleges Response to Anaphylaxis Led to Birth Injuries

Whitney Taylor | July 18th, 2013 | Posted in Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit News

Cerebral Palsy LawsuitA Florida mother who filed a cerebral palsy lawsuit alleges failure of doctors to promptly treat her anaphylactic reaction during labor led to serious and permanent birth injuries in her child.

The plaintiff filed her case in the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Court in Palm Beach County, Florida, on November 15, 2012.

Cerebral palsy lawsuit allegations

The plaintiff claims that she visited the Indian River Medical Center in Palm Beach on January 12, 2011, complaining of vaginal leakage. She estimated she was 25 weeks pregnant at the time of her visit. Indian River Medical Center diagnosed the plaintiff with premature rupture of membranes and transferred her to St. Mary’s Medical Center.

The plaintiff was admitted to St. Mary’s at 8:42 p.m. that same day. She was assigned to the attending obstetrician at the time, Dr. Berto Lopez. Dr. Lopez wrote orders to continue fetal heart monitoring and begin intravenous administration of antibiotics.

External fetal heart monitoring was continued on the plaintiff on January 24, 25 and 26. Also on January 26, a flush of the intravenous lines was done, to maintain flow in the lines. A substance known as Cathflow was used by the nurse on duty to flush the line, according to the plaintiff’s cerebral palsy lawyers.

Immediately after the Cathflow was introduced, the plaintiff states in her cerebral palsy lawsuit that she began to show symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction to the substance. Symptoms included shortness of breath, laryngeal spasms and anaphylactic shock. The incident occurred at 3:05 p.m. on January 26.

Plaintiff goes into anaphylactic shock

Anaphylactic shock during pregnancy can be a life-threatening situation for both a mother and child, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Despite the seriousness of the situation, the plaintiff did not get transported to the operating room until 3:28 p.m. for an emergency Cesarean delivery. The actual procedure did not begin until 3:51 p.m. and the plaintiff’s son was born one minute later, and more than 45 minutes after the incident began.

Although the newborn child had a reported Apgar score of 8, he was immediately intubated for cyanosis and “grunting.” The medical staff failed to perform cord blood testing to determine oxygen levels at the time of birth, despite orders from Dr. Lopez to do so. The child remained in the hospital for treatment until April 20, 2011. At that time, the newborn was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and multiple neurological problems.

Permanent birth injuries suffered by newborn

Cerebral palsy is a permanent movement disorder characterized by impaired movement and exaggerated reflexes. Approximately 60 percent of children diagnosed with cerebral palsy also have another developmental disability and more than 40 percent had an intellectual disability. Only around half of children with this disorder are able to achieve independent walking ability, while one-third were limited or had no walking ability at all.

The plaintiff in this cerebral palsy lawsuit is seeking damages against the doctors who attended her in the hospital, the anesthesiologist who handled her Cesarean delivery, and St. Mary’s Medical Center. Counts against the defendants include negligence, vicarious liability and loss of filial consortium. The plaintiff and her husband, the father of the child, are pursuing compensation for the pain, suffering and ongoing medical care that will be required for their child for the rest of his life.

Speak with cerebral palsy lawyers

The law offices of Balkin & Eisbrouch are well-versed in birth injury malpractice and have successfully litigated cases involving hospital negligence, securing multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements for their clients. To learn more about your options for legal recourse, please contact their attorneys to schedule your confidential case evaluation. We never charge a fee unless we win your case.

  1. Mayo Clinic, Cerebral Palsy http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cerebral-palsy/DS00302

  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Data and Statistics for Cerebral Palsy http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/cp/data.html

  3. National Center for Biotechnology Information, Anaphylaxis During Pregnancy http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22871389