Ohio Couple Claims Negligence Caused Son’s Cerebral Palsy

Laura Woods | March 17th, 2016 | Posted in Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit News

newborn child

An Ohio couple has filed a birth injury lawsuit against the healthcare team that delivered their three-year-old son back in 2012. The parents claim the negligence of these medical professionals caused their child to be born with cerebral palsy and sustain other severe, life-long injuries.

The mother became pregnant in 2012 and received most of her prenatal care in Erie, Penn., before moving to Clearfield, Penn. right before her July 14, 2012 due date. Her prenatal care went smoothly and all signs pointed to her delivering a healthy baby boy.

On July 19, five days after her expected due date, she started having contractions and went to the hospital around 12:30 p.m. Her doctor put her on a fetal monitor and evaluated her condition. He noted that her contractions were two to three minutes apart and her cervix was 3cm dilated and 80% effaced. About a half hour later at 1 p.m., she was discharged from the hospital and told to come back if her contractions became stronger or her membranes ruptured.

Negligent delivery allegedly caused fetal hypoxia

The mother returned to the hospital a few hours later with complaints of increasing pain and experiencing contractions every two to three minutes. By this point, she was 5 to 6cm dilated and was admitted to the Labor & Delivery Unit under the care of her doctor. As her labor progressed, she suffered artificial rupture of membranes that presented thick meconium-stained fluid. She was in tachysystole — defined as more than five contractions during a 10-minute period, averaged over a 30-minute window — often times throughout this period.

Despite her rapid progression of labor and being in tachysytole, the mother was started on Pitocin. By 7:11 p.m., she was in the second stage of labor and starting to push, but Pitocin was still administered. Fetal heart monitor tracings displayed increasingly alarming decelerations and indicators of progressive fetal hypoxia, hypoxemia and acidosis. While intervention — such as intrauterine resuscitation and emergent delivery — was definitely needed, these actions were not taken.

Baby born with serious brain injury

Shortly after, the baby was born through spontaneous vaginal delivery. While the infant looked normal, he was flaccid and depressed and required immediate advanced neonatal resuscitation and intubation when he was five minutes old. He appeared to have suffered from acute hypoxia during labor.

Hours after his birth, the baby boy was taken to a children’s hospital, where he was treated with therapeutic cooling and diagnosed with severe hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) — a key cause of cerebral palsy and related disabilities in young children. Consequently, the child’s catastrophic brain injury resulted in a cerebral palsy diagnosis and a host of other permanent disabilities.

As a parent, you trust the healthcare team that delivers your child will do everything possible to give your baby a healthy start in the world. If your infant sustained a major injury during the labor and delivery process, it’s important to stand up for their rights. You may be entitled to compensation to help pay your baby’s medical bills, pain and suffering and lost wages.

Contact the birth injury lawyers at Balkin & Eisbrouch today at 855-60-BIRTH to schedule a complimentary consultation.

  1. U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Nicole Welker and Justin Brinkley vs. Thomas A. Carnevale, M.D., Clear-Med OB/GYN, Clearfield Hospital, Penn Highlands Healthcare and Penn Highlands Clearfield http://www.pawd.uscourts.gov/

  2. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, The 2008 NICHD Standard Terminology of Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring http://www.acog.org/~/media/Districts/District%20VIII/FHRTerminology.pdf?dmc=1

  3. U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy in the Term Infant http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2849741/