A plaintiff from Pennsylvania has filed a medical negligence lawsuit against the hospital and medical professionals for showing negligence during the birth of their baby. The lawsuit was filed on November 9, 2012, in the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas (Bucks County) by the grieving parents seeking punitive damages and proper action against the defendants. According to the lawsuit defendants were named as Catholic Health East, St. Mary Medical Center, Traci Cook, D.O.; and the Women’s Specialists of Bucks County.

According to the lawsuit filed by the plaintiff and their personal injury lawyer, on June 13, 2012, the mother was admitted to the hospital in active labor where the doctor and assisting medical staffs performed a Kiwi vacuum extraction during labor, which caused the fetal heart beat rise leading the baby suffer from “shoulder dystocia”. The lawsuit also stated that due to the exaggerated external pressure the infant couldn’t clear the vaginal canal and went into heart tone tachycardia.

Finally the infant was diagnosed with fatal brain damage also known as hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) which generally occurs when the infant is deprived of oxygen supply.  The degree of hypoxic ischemic was so severe that the baby would never be able to survive without artificial life support and ultimately the infant died. In the lawsuit the plaintiff has claimed that health professionals and nurses performed kiwi vacuum extraction which was not needed. They also claimed that if normal delivery was allowed instead of using excessive force the infant could have been saved.

What is Cerebral Hypoxia?

Cerebral hypoxia is a form of disease where the brain suffers reduced supply of oxygen which ultimately leads to cardiac arrest and death. In case of cerebral anoxia the brain is completely deprived of oxygen. There are various forms of Cerebral Hypoxia that can be categorized in order of their severity as follows:

  • Diffuse Cerebral Hypoxia (DCH)
  • Focal cerebral ischemia
  • Cerebral Infarction
  • Global Cerebral Ischemia

What is Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy?

Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) is a neurological injury or impairment that infants suffer due to lack of oxygen. Inadequate supply of oxygen not only impacts the brain but other organs as well. Some of the signs and symptoms that infants suffer due to the disease are:

  • Heart damage
  • Abnormal blood pressure
  • Liver damages
  • Elevated liver enzymes
  • Kidney damages
  • Low urine output
  • Impaired control of breathing
  • Requiring permanent ventilation
  • Death