In-utero heart rate fluctuates dramatically but medical team fails to hasten birth. Child born with cerebral palsy.
Date and place of incident: April 19, 2009, Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo.
Facts: During birth of the Blunt's baby, there was an irregularity that caused cerebral palsy. The birth factors that played into this result were in dispute between plaintiffs and defendants.
That the in utero heart rate of the Blunt's baby fluctuated dramatically before birth and the defendant doctor did not hasten the birth of the baby or perform a proper examination of the blood cord, resulting in cerebral palsy in the newborn.
That the baby was diagnosed with an airway obstruction following birth and multiple resuscitation attempts were unsuccessful. Her heart rate was greater than 100 beats per minute during the first 5 minutes of her life, but dropped to 0 because of the NICU team's inability to establish an airway. The baby had a heart rate of 0 for a minimum of 18 minutes. Once an airway was established, the baby's heart rate returned to normal and she was subsequently transferred to Lucille Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford Medical Center where neuroprotective treatment was initiated in a timely fashion.
The fetus did not have any evidence of "fetal distress" on the fetal monitor tracing as testified by the charge nurse, attending labor and delivery nurse and Dr. Druzin. This was a Class 2 tracing according to ACOG Guidelines and did not warrant an expedited delivery via an episiotomy, forceps, vacuum or cesarean section. The defendant did not testify during trial. The cerebral palsy was caused by an airway obstruction which prevented enough oxygen from getting to the brain for more than 18 minutes.
Daughter born with cerebral palsy.
Future medical costs and future loss of earnings.