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Second twin's birth delayed; brain damage: $1.5M settlement.

A 35-YEAR-OLD WOMAN was 30 weeks' pregnant with twins when she was admitted to a hospital at high risk. At 36 weeks' gestation, she went into labor. A resident called the ObGyn to report that the patient was ready to deliver and waiting to push. The ObGyn advised that he was tied up in another procedure and for the mother to wait until he could get there.

Forty minutes later, the ObGyn arrived and the mother was allowed to push. A first-year resident delivered the first twin without incident. The second twin shifted from a cephalic presentation to a double footling breech presentation and his FHR reflected severe bradycardia. Under the supervision of the ObGyn, a fourth-year resident managed the delivery, which took 28 minutes. The second twin's Apgar scores were low. He was intubated and transferred to a children's hospital for brain cooling.

PARENT'S CLAIM: Although excellent care following the birth reduced the degree of brain damage, the delay caused by the ObGyn's late arrival was responsible for the child's injuries.

PHYSICIAN'S DEFENSE: In pretrial findings, a panel of physicians reported that the child did not have a qualifying injury. However, the case settled before the trial began.

VERDICT: A $1.5 million Virginia settlement was reached.

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Publication:OBG Management
Date:Apr 1, 2018
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