Verdicts & Settlements: Mismanaged Infection

Medical professionals are required to properly detect, address, diagnose, treat, and manage all maternal and fetal infections throughout pregnancy, labor, delivery, and post-delivery. Failure to do so is a violation of the standard of care and an instance of medical malpractice.

At Michigan Cerebral Palsy Attorneys, our birth injury lawyers have extensive and specific knowledge of the legal and medical information necessary to win a case surrounding a mismanaged infection. In this section, you’ll find a brief description of a past verdict and settlement for a case regarding an infection that ultimately, because of medical malpractice, led to a devastating cerebral palsy diagnosis. If, when reading through this case, you have any questions, concerns, of case inquiries, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of birth injury lawyers–you may reach us toll-free at (888) 592-1857 or fill out our online form here.

1. Child Wins $3.5 Million
Failure to Treat Maternal Infection and Provide Timely Delivery Results in Brain Injury, Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, Cortical Blindness, and Physical and Cognitive Impairments

In this case, the failure of medical professionals to properly detect, diagnose, and treat chorioamnionitis (intramniotic infection) resulted in cerebral palsy, cognitive impairments, and physical impairments in the baby. At 31 6/7 weeks, a prenatal ultrasound revealed a shortened cervical length, which indicates risk for preterm labor. Two days later, vaginal exams showed evidence of infection, and the mother was given steroids to develop the baby’s lungs in the case of premature delivery. Three days later, the mother came back to the hospital with signs of infection, and she was prescribed antibiotics for urinary tract infection (UTI) instead of antibiotics to treat vaginal and cervical infections. Three days later, the mother returned to the hospital with contractions, leaking fluid, and high white blood cell count. At 32 5/7 weeks, the mother was admitted under the plan to deliver if any signs or symptoms of chorioamnionitis were present. Four days later, after signs of chorioamnionitis had been present for two days, the doctor ordered a C-section operation in response to fetal tachycardia and decreased heart rate variability.

Medical professionals from the mother’s three separate admissions failed to communicate with each other or obtain information about previous hospital admissions, thus failing to address clear signs of vaginal and cervical infection. The providers should have used these signs to detect intramniotic infection and deliver the baby earlier. Post-delivery placental examination showed the presence of infection in the placenta and umbilical cord, indicating that the infection had ascended from the cervix to the placenta and umbilical cord, thereby infecting the baby.

Brain imaging in the NICU indicated brain injury, and the baby has since been diagnosed with physical and cognitive impairments including cerebral palsy (CP), epilepsy, and cortical blindness.

2. Child Wins $1.995 Million
Delayed Treatment of Spinal Meningitis Infection Results in Hemiparesis, Developmental Delays, and Seizures

In this case, medical professionals failed to diagnose and treat neonatal sepsis despite the presence of several risk factors and symptoms. When the baby was born, a pediatric resident ensured the family that diagnostic tests and antibiotics would be provided to treat the sepsis. However, medical professionals never provided the tests and antibiotics and the child ultimately went into septic shock and developed meningitis. Failure to promptly treat this case of neonatal sepsis resulted in infant brain damage with resultant hemiparesis, seizures, and developmental delays.

3. Child Wins $1.3 Million
Failure to Diagnose and Treat Maternal Infection Led to Infection Injury Resulting in Cognitive Deficits and Cerebral Palsy

In this case, the mother initially showed no overt signs of infection but did have a high white count, which indicates immune system activity. She also had an incompetent cervix. She underwent an emergency cerclage and was placed on a preventative regimen of antibiotics. At 24 weeks, she presented herself to the hospital, claiming she had yellow vaginal discharge. A resident conducted tests which came back normal for infection; six days later, the mother can back to the hospital with prematurely ruptured membranes and inflamed fetal membranes (due to bacterial infection). The child was born at 25 1/2 weeks and has cognitive deficits and cerebral palsy.

Video: Mismanaged Infection, Neonatal Sepsis, and Medical Malpractice

In this Neonatal Sepsis video, Andrea Shea, the Michigan Cerebral Palsy Attorneys on-staff registered labor and delivery nurse, discusses how medical malpractice causes neonatal sepsis. She covers the causes of neonatal sepsis, the signs and symptoms of neonatal sepsis, the relationship between neonatal sepsis and other birth injuries and disabilities (including cerebral palsy), and more. To view the video, press the play button on the following link:

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