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She wanted to labor on hands and knees.

DURING PRENATAL VISITS, a woman, pregnant with her fourth child, discussed undergoing labor and delivery in any position other than on her back; the ObGyn agreed. When she arrived at the hospital in labor, the patient told the nurse that she preferred to labor on her hands and knees. The nurse disagreed because of the fetal heart-rate monitor.

When the patient began hard labor, she turned herself over onto her hands and knees and again informed the nurse that she could not labor on her back. The nurse flipped the patient onto her back by taking her wrists and pulling the patient's hands out from under her. The nurse then delayed delivery until the ObGyn arrived by putting pressure on the baby's head. During delivery, a second nurse forcibly pressed the patient's left knee back toward her chest, leaving her legs in an asymmetric position.

Two months later, the patient reported chronic severe pelvic pain and was found to have pudendal neuralgia. She underwent nerve blocks and takes medication for chronic pain.

* PATIENT'S CLAIM: The ObGyn did not assume responsibility when he arrived for the delivery. The nurses did not follow the standard of care. The patient's injury was the result of tension and compression due to mal-positioning of the patient's legs during delivery.

* DEFENDANTS' DEFENSE: There was no breach in the standard of care. The patient's injury, if any, had not been caused by the delivery.

* VERDICT: A $16 million Alabama verdict was returned.

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Title Annotation:Medical Verdicts: NOTABLE JUDGMENTS AND SETTLEMENTS
Publication:OBG Management
Date:Mar 1, 2017
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