Articles Posted in Labor and Delivery Mistakes

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On January 4, 2010, a Fort Drum woman went into labor in her home. By the time that emergency responders arrived, the woman was in labor and the baby was crowning. The baby was delivered in a bathtub and was taken to Samaritan Medical Center in Watertown, New York, for care including difficulty breathing.

Precipitate delivery, which is any labor and delivery lasting less than 2 hours, can be dangerous for the mother and fetus. Generally, a precipitate delivery involves almost constant contractions that may be very intense. The rapid contractions make it difficult for a laboring mother to find a rhythm, and subject the fetus to constant pressure which can lead to umbilical cord compression and inadequate blood flow. Compromised blood flow may lead to low fetal oxygen levels and acidosis. Acidosis can lead to fetal brain damage and lifelong disabilities such as cerebral palsy.

Rapidly born babies also have insufficient time to adjust to life outside the womb and may require assistance with breathing. Many precipitate delivery babies are born with broken blood vessels, which may appear as red spots on the skin or burst blood vessels in the whites of the eyes. Precipitate delivery may also be associated with vaginal and perineum tears, as well as birth trauma, such as delivery of a baby onto the ground or other hard surface leading to lacerations and fractures. A tumble to the ground may also lead to umbilical cord snapping and delayed delivery of the placenta. A torn umbilical cord or late placental delivery can lead to maternal hemorrhaging.

The failure to anticipate a precipitate labor may be due to medical malpractice or hospital negligence. While precipitate labor is difficult to anticipate, their are warnings signs or risk factors, including: a multipara mother with relaxed pelvic or perineal floor muscles and/or a multipara mother with a history of strong contractions.
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Last month, Bottar Law, PLLC partners Edward S. Leone, Esq., and Anthony S. Bottar, Esq., secured $3,250,000.00 in compensation from a group of Syracuse medical defendants. The Syracuse birth injury lawsuit sounded in Syracuse OBGYN malpractice and Syracuse hospital negligence, and alleged that the defendants collectively failed to identify signs of fetal distress, failed to respond to labor and delivery complications, and failed to perform a cesarean section before the unborn baby’s brain was permanently damaged by prolonged hypoxia. Shortly after birth, the infant plaintiff was diagnosed with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, further complicated by seizures, as well as hearing and vision loss.

Plaintiff’s claims included allegations that the defendants: failed to appreciate a lack of beat-to-beat variability, failed to note the absence of accelerations, failed to respond to a hypertonic contraction pattern, failed to respond to minimal variability, failed to appreciate and respond to thick meconium after rupture of membranes, prescribed Pitocin in the face of a non-reassuring fetal heat rate and uteroplacental insufficiency, and wholly failed to continuously monitor for and respond to prolonged decelerations.

Plaintiff’s settlement proceeds will be used to fund a trust (for future medical care), with a lifetime value of nearly $10,000,000.00.

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ndian River Central School District, located in Jefferson County, New York just minutes from Fort Drum, recently received a $125,000 grant to combat teenage pregnancy. School administrators plan to use the funds to create programs that will create respect and responsibility when it comes to sexual activity.

Fort Drum (89.2 per 1,000), Evans Mills (78.7 per 1000) and Calcium (93.1 per 1,000) consistently have teenage pregnancy rates that are higher than the New York State average (58.4 per 1,000). According to the North Country Prenatal/Perinatal Council, one reason for higher teenage pregnancy rates in Fort Drum is the age of many Fort Drum couples. Statistics show that many Fort Drum soldiers marry young, often at age 18 or 19, and quickly have children. When those children reach age 18 or 19, they too marry and have children, leading to generations of young families.

There are many health risks associated with teenage pregnancy, including labor and delivery complications such as premature delivery and low birth weight babies. Premature delivery can cause cerebral palsy, respiratory and cardiovascular deficits, and disabilities from persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn. Other risks include mental retardation and difficulty controlling body temperature or blood sugar levels.
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