WVU under fire for birth injury case

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A couple is suing a hospital in a neighboring state to Ohio in connection with birth injuries their daughter sustained. The couple claims that physicians at West Virginia University’s hospital system provided the woman with substandard prenatal care, and they were negligent during the birth of their daughter.

The woman had been under the care of WVU physicians since undergoing artificial insemination procedures, according to reports. She says she arrived at the hospital on July 4, 2010, where she told doctors she thought she was losing amniotic fluid. After an examination and short hospital stay, the woman was discharged with instructions for follow-up.

On July 6, the woman followed up with another physician. She was complaining that the baby was not moving as much. He scheduled her for labor induction and started her on Pitocin, which helps speed labor.

After several hours of labor, monitoring devices showed that the baby had shown significantly less movement. The child was delivered on July 7 with no heart rate or respirations, and she was quickly taken to the neonatal intensive care unit in critical condition. The girl has continued to suffer from neurological defects and motor skills deficiencies, and her language skills appear to be stunted.

The lawsuit claims that physicians at the hospital were irresponsible in their monitoring of the woman during labor. They failed to notice critical health indicators, and they did not respond quickly to signs of fetal distress as indicated by monitoring equipment. Furthermore, physicians failed to quickly pursue an emergency Caesarean section after they noticed problems developing.

As a result, the girl has suffered from multiple health ailments including seizures, respiratory distress, heart conditions and developmental delays. The suit is seeking compensation not only for the medical costs that will be incurred because of the girl’s disabilities, but also other punitive damages related to loss of future income and permanent disfigurement, along with pain and suffering.

Source: The West Virginia Record, “Texas couple say WVU Hospitals caused daughter’s injuries after birth,” Kyla Asbury, July 23, 2012