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    OB ignores nursing supervisor, fractures infant’s skull


    Delayed cesarean blamed for infant death

    A Michigan woman was diagnosed with polyhydramnios and underwent weekly non-stress tests until the fluid level became normal. Near the end of her pregnancy she noticed a decrease in fetal movement (FM) and called her obstetrician’s office. She was told to perform fetal kick counts and go to the hospital if the count was abnormal. The patient fell asleep and in the morning she presented to the office with decreased fetal movement and was sent immediately to the hospital. She was admitted and 2 ½ hours later an emergency cesarean was performed. The infant was severely depressed and died 8 hours later.

    The patient sued the obstetricians involved and their group, alleging that they should have continued the weekly testing even after the fluid measured in the normal range, should have sent the patient to the hospital when she initially called about decreased FM, and should have performed the cesarean immediately upon arrival at the hospital.

    The obstetricians argued that further testing was not necessary once the amniotic fluid was normal, that the phone advice regarding kick counts was appropriate, that any delay in performing the cesarean was out of their control and the outcome would have been the same regardless of their actions.

    The verdict

    A defense verdict was returned.

    Burn during urethral sling operation

    A 39-year-old New Jersey woman was admitted by her gynecologist to a surgical center to undergo urethral sling surgery to alleviate symptoms of incontinence. The patient later sued the gynecologist and the surgery center, claiming that during the operation she was negligently burned on the inside of her left thigh after her skin came into contact with the heat source of a cystoscope, causing a third-degree burn.

    The gynecologist denied any liability and argued that if the patient’s burn was caused by the cystoscope, it would have been the fault of the nurse. He asserted the cystoscope was not giving off intense heat when he was using it and that he was not using it near the thigh.

    The verdict

    A defense verdict was returned.



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