Mother Bleeds to Death After Childbirth

Mother Bleeds to Death After Childbirth

Verdict: Not Guilty

Date: September 2010

Settlement: $1,500,000 – Swedish American Hospital prior to trial

County: Winnebago

PLTF Medical: Harriet Vance, R.N. (Nursing)

DEFT Medical: Dr. Mary Jo Ironside (Family Practice)

PLTF Experts: Dr. Paul Gatewood (Ob/Gyn)

DEF Experts: Dr. Julian Ullman (Ob/Gyn)

Summary: Plaintiff was admitted to Swedish American Hospital at 6:30 a.m. for the labor and delivery of her second child. At 11:00 p.m. that night a decision was made to deliver the baby via C-section. Dr. Schleicher was called to perform C-section. He was assisted by her family practitioner. After procedure, Plaintiff was transferred to Post-Anesthesia Care Unit at 1:03 a.m. Her pulse rates were elevated in the PACU, but all other vital signs were stable. Her care was transferred to a floor nurse at 2:15 a.m. Her vital signs were not checked again until 3:00 were it was discovered that her pulse rate had risen to 150 and her blood pressure dropped. Tests were performed and when the floor nurse checked the results at 4:10 a.m., Plaintiff’s hemoglobin had dropped to a critical level of 6.9. The family practitioner immediately ordered a transfusion and instructed the floor nurse to call Dr. Schleicher, who returned to hospital immediately. When he arrived, Plaintiff was in cardiac arrest and died of hemorrhagic shock. Defense argued that Dr. Schleicher properly performed the C-section. Defense also asserted that the cause of death was the nursing staff’s delay in taking her vital signs between 2:15 a.m. and 3:00 a.m., the delay in getting tests to the lab, and their lack of communication with Dr. Schleicher and other physicians.

Category: Medical Malpractice, Wrongful Death

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