In Harris County, Texas, three families filed lawsuits against a physician and a hospital in connection with the mismanaged labor and delivery of newborn baby boys. One boy died, while two others suffered severe brain damage. None of the mothers were offered a cesarean section.
The medical facility the doctor defendant is connected with is Serenity Healthcare for Women. The doctor and the medical facility gave prenatal care and oversaw labor and delivery. The defendant hospital is CHCA Bayshore, L.P. d/b/a Bayshore Medical Center and CHCA Bayshore, L.P. d/b/a East Houston Regional Medical Center. This hospital delivered the boys.
On July 19, 2012, one mother was admitted to East Houston Regional Medical Center for induction of labor with Oxytocin. Oxytocin is a hormone and medication used to cause contraction of the uterus to start labor or increase the speed of labor, and to stop bleeding after delivery. Oxytocin is given either by injection into a muscle or into a vein. When not properly managed, Oxytocin infusion may lead to adverse perinatal outcomes related to fetal hypoxia.
The medical staff at East Houston Regional Medical Center increased the dosage of Oxytocin, despite indications the mother’s baby boy was distressed. The mother was permitted to push for over two hours. A shoulder dystocia (a case of obstructed labor) was encountered. After the delivery of the head, the anterior shoulder of the infant cannot pass – or needs manipulation to pass – below the pubic symphysis. The pubic symphysis is the midline cartilaginous joint uniting the superior rami of the left and right pubic bones. In the case of shoulder dystocia, the shoulders fail to deliver after the fetal head.
At birth, the newborn had no respiratory effort and needed bag mask ventilation for about two-and-a-half minutes. The boy suffered severe permanent brain damage.
On October 18, 2014, another mother was admitted to East Houston Regional Medical Center with contractions. Upon admission, the second mother’s vital signs and lab results showed a risk for maternal and fetal infection and perinatal asphyxia, where deprivation of oxygen to an infant during the birth process leads to physical harm.
The doctor and the nurses at East Houston Regional Medical Center allowed the second mother to push for over one-and-a-half hours before delivering the infant. At birth, the second newborn was not breathing for 10 minutes. The second baby boy suffered severe brain damage and diagnosed with cerebral palsy. The second boy has been tube fed since he was born and require nursing care for the rest of his life.
On November 4, 2015, the third mother was admitted to East Houston Regional Medical Center for induction of labor with Oxytocin. The doctor and the nurses at East Houston Regional Medical Center did not correctly interpret the fetal heart rate tracings. The infant was in distress. The third mother was allowed to push for over two hours. The doctor applied a vacuum extractor, but failed twice to deliver the baby.
The doctor discontinued use of the vacuum due to abrasions on the baby’s head. The mother pushed for another hour, despite fetal distress. The doctor reapplied the vacuum extractor and a shoulder dystocia was encountered. The baby had the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck twice. The boy died 15 minutes after delivery.
In the three cases, the doctor and the nurses and staff members of East Houston Regional Medical Center allegedly did not manage the labor and delivery and did not intervene when there was fetal distress.
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