It is common for expectant mothers to put themselves and their unborn child in the hands of a physician who will help them through childbirth. It may frequently take a fair amount of time after the patient is admitted to the hospital until the newborn is delivered. During somepart of this time doctors tend to rely on the nurses and staff to track the woman’s situation and to let them know about of any issues that may arise.
The doctor is stil responsible for supervising the nurses and staff. Also, the nurses and staff are accountable for having the knowledge, training and experience to recognise signs of complications and for telling the doctor when they do arise. However, nurses and staff in some cases do not meet these requirements.
Look at the documented claim in which a pregnant woman at full term commenced experiencing contractions at at home. On the way the local hospital she commenced having unrelenting severe pain. When she showed up at the hospital she told the nurse that she was in extreme pain alerting the nurse that she thought something was wrong. But the nurse either did not register or disregarded her complaints and did not call the doctor, who had not yet arrived at the hospital, to inform him.
Rather the nurse acted like this was a typical pregnancy. Precious time passed before she even started following the fetal heart rate. As soon as she at last did determine that the unborn baby was in fetal distress. Finally the nurse did advise the obstetrician, who still was not in the hospital, by telephone. Another physician on the unit took charge and performed an emergency C-section. The severe pain was due to a placental abruption. The placental abruption cased the unborn baby to suffer from a restricted supply of oxygen causing serious brain injury. The newborn is permanently disabled and has to have full time care. The law firm that handled this matter documented that they were able to reach a recovery in the amount of $ 4,500,000 from the hospital for the nursing staff’s failure to recognize that the pregnant woman had suffered a placental abruption.
In this matter the patient in fact flagged the nurse of her impression that a complication had developed in the pregnancy. At this stage in the pregnancy major persistent abdominal pain can be due to a placental abruption. It is not clear why the nurse did not connect these. If she disregarded the woman’s complaints, did not hear them, failed to have the necessary knowledge, training or experience to properly understand the situation, or discounted her complaints on the grounds that a placental abruption is commonly (though not always) coupled with observable vaginal bleeding, she overlooked symptoms of a dangerous complication.
The result, unfortunately, was a serious injury to the unborn baby producing a lifelong disability. As a result of the damage from the nurse’s mistake the law firm that handled this matter reported that it managed to accomplish a settlement designed to be enough so that the baby has proper care for life.