Meconium Aspiration Syndrome Fatality
Injuries: Meconium Aspiration Syndrome Fatality
Facts and Claim of Liability:
Infant was born on October 12, 2007 at approximately 9:00 p.m. at Defendant Hospital New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and was pronounced dead less than an hour later.
Prior to giving birth, plaintiff mother had a relatively uneventful pregnancy. She had no prenatal surgery, significant injuries or other illnesses; nor did she have high blood pressure, protein in her urine, or blood changes. She tested negative for Group B streptococcus (GBS) and urinary tract infection (UTI).
On the day of delivery, plaintiff mother presented to defendant hospital’s emergency room at around 5:10 p.m. complaining of severe labor pains and leakage of blood-tinged amniotic fluid. She was put into a room and examined, and told that she was only 2 cm dilated. A fetal heart rate monitor was placed on her stomach. Plaintiff mother recalls being told that the fetus had passed meconium in the womb, and that a caesarian section would likely need to be performed.
About three hours later, at around 9:00 p.m., the fetal heart rate monitor began to detect a drop in the baby’s heart rate (known as bradycardia). Plaintiff mother was rushed to the operating room, where an emergency caesarian section was performed. Half an hour later the baby was born; however, he did not cry at all. His Apgar scores were 0 and 0 at 1 and 5 minutes, respectively. The baby was dried off and suctioned, and then intubated and rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
At approximately 10:00 p.m., doctors told plaintiff mother that they had lost the baby, and that he had died from meconium aspiration.
Currently, plaintiff mother is extremely depressed and despondent over the events surrounding the death of her baby. She still sees a psychiatrist every week, and is prescribed Trazodone, Zyprexa, Cytalopram, and Benapentin. She also attends group therapy sessions every week.
Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald filed suit in Queens County Supreme Court, arguing that defendant hospital departed from good and accepted medical practice in the care of the infant in failing to properly monitor fetal heart rate monitoring, failing to timely respond to the infant’s nonreassuring fetal heart rate, and failing to timely deliver the infant in light of the presence of meconium and infant’s nonreassuring fetal heart rate. Ultimately, Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald settled with defendant for a total of $375,000.00.