Air Force Hospital Named Defendant in Birth Injury Case

Kara Schenk | February 11th, 2016 | Posted in Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit News

cradled baby headParents of a minor child filed a lawsuit over the negligence that they say led to their child’s serous birth injuries at the U.S. Air Force hospital in Nevada on April 3, 2014. Allegations in their complaint include not recognizing that the baby was in distress and required expedited delivery and not having anesthesia ready in time to perform a C-section.

The child was born with no heartbeat and subsequent evaluations suggest that the heart was not pumping blood for at least half an hour before resuscitation was finally successful.

The parents, who are residents of Clark County, filed the birth injury lawsuit in the United States District Court, District of Nevada on January 27 of this year. They had previously presented their claims to the USAFWC/Judge Advocate at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada and to counsel at the Joint Base Andrews, Maryland on Jan. 22, 2015.

Failure to perform timely C-section delivery

The baby’s father served in the U.S. Air Force from 1986 to 2006 and the mother received all of her prenatal care at Mike O’Callaghan Federal Medical Center at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. On April 1, 2014, the child’s mother presented herself at the medical center at 38 weeks for induction of labor. Fetal monitoring initially indicated that the baby’s heart was behaving normally.

However, at 4:18 pm the next day, Captain Brandon Jones, MD noted “late decelerations and a non-reassuring fetal heart pattern” and jotted down that a C-section might need to be considered. At 11:45pm, Captain Amanda Tipton, MD noted increased changes in heartbeat and that the mother was requesting a C-section. Captain Tipton recorded that anesthesia was not available and backup was anticipated in 40 minutes.

The baby was delivered at 3:04 am the next day after increasing decline in the quality of the heart rate. Apgar scores were low: there was no heart beart or breathing and the baby was limp, with no tone. The infant was resuscitated and transferred to Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas and diagnosed with severe hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy.

The baby had no heart rate for thirty minutes, hypoglycemia at birth, liver dysfunction, and many other medical issues. Hemorrhage in the brain was suspected following a cranial ultrasound.

Allegations of hospital negligence

The complaint charges that medical staff was negligent in the following ways: they failed to recognize fetal acidosis and the need for faster delivery; they failed to have anesthesia available; they failed to perform a C-section within 30 minutes; they failed to have a resuscitation team in place; and they failed to provide adequate resuscitation for the infant.

Requested damages include past and future medical expenses; loss of earnings, earning capacity, and other benefits for the parents; pain and suffering (past and future); mental and emotional anguish; physical impairment and disability; and loss of the child’s earning capacity.

Free consultation with birth injury lawyers

If you believe that your child’s birth injury was due to the negligence of medical staff at the hospital or birthing facility where your child was delivered, please contact the medical malpractice lawyers at Balkin & Eisbrouch, who can provide an assessment concerning possible legal action. Call 855-60-BIRTH to set up a free consultation with one of our lawyers.

Cerebral, Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy, or HIE, also known as Intrapartum Asphyxia