Meconium Aspiration Syndrome, Cognitive Impairment, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Injuries: Meconium Aspiration Syndrome, Cognitive Impairment, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Facts and Claim of Liability:
Infant plaintiff was born on September 9, 1996 at Defendant Hospital Our Lady of Mercy Medical Center at 43 weeks gestation via caesarian section. He weighed 9 lbs at birth.
Prior to giving birth, plaintiff mother had an 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 OB/GYN at his office in the early afternoon complaining of prolonged labor. Defendant OB/GYN examined plaintiff mother and noted that she was about 4 cm dilated and still had a mucus plug that was greenish-colored, as well as meconium-stained amniotic fluid. He sent her to defendant hospital for reevaluation and confirmation of his findings.
At defendant hospital, plaintiff mother was put into an observation room at around 2:40 p.m. and examined by second defendant OB/GYN, who also noted the greenish-colored mucus plug and meconium stained amniotic fluid. Plaintiff mother continued to be observed by hospital staff. Fetal heart rate monitoring revealed late and variable decelerations. Second defendant OB/GYN was notified. However, it was not until around 6:00 p.m. that second defendant OB/GYN informed plaintiff mother that a caesarian section was necessary. Eventually, at 7:04 p.m., infant plaintiff was born.
Plaintiff mother recalls that when infant plaintiff was born, he was born with his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck three times. His Apgar scores were 4 and 6 at 1 and 5 minutes, respectively, and heavy meconium was also noted. Infant plaintiff was intubated in the delivery room and a thick meconium was suctioned below the vocal cords. Infant plaintiff remained intubated, and was eventually transferred to New York Presbyterian Hospital for Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO), although he ultimately did not receive ECMO (he received inhaled nitric oxide). Tests revealed that he had profound hypoglycemia with glucose as low as 13 conspiring to produce high risk of hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy.
Currently, infant plaintiff suffers from developmental delays and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). He takes Concentra on a daily basis for his ADHD. His injuries and disabilities are permanent. He will never be able to live independently and will require supervision either at home or in a residential setting. He will continue to require medical care including orthopedists, neurologists, pediatricians, internists, and physiatrists, as well continuing speech, occupational, and physical therapy.
Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald filed suit in Bronx County Supreme Court, arguing that defendant OB/GYNs and defendant hospital departed from good and accepted medical practice in the care of infant plaintiff in failing to timely perform a caesarian section in the face of evidence of meconium aspiration and non-reassuring fetal heart rate tracings. Ultimately, Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald settled with defendants for a total of $3,500,000.00, including payment for pain and suffering, loss of wages, non-medical damages and future medical costs.