A Maryland medical malpractice lawsuit filed in federal court in May 2016 alleges that a series of medical mistakes and the failure to provide timely and proper medical care committed by various physicians and hospitals led to a pregnant woman who was suffering from severe hypertension during pregnancy to suffer cardiac arrest during an emergency Cesarean section delivery that was unnecessarily delayed. As a result, the woman remains in a coma and has had no brain activity since her daughter was delivered at less that 30 weeks in December 2014.
The woman was seen in a local clinic in Maryland in early December 2014 when she was 27 weeks pregnant, at which time her blood pressure was dangerously high. The clinic physician referred the woman, whose pregnancy was considered high risk due to her history of preeclampsia during an earlier pregnancy that resulted in the death of her fetus at 23 week, to a prenatal specialist to evaluate her medical condition. The prenatal specialist prescribed blood pressure lowering medication and referred the woman to be seen by another specialist the following day.
The woman was seen by the second prenatal specialist and, despite being advised regarding the woman’s history of preeclampsia during her earlier pregnancy, did not recommend that the woman be evaluated for preeclampsia but instead instructed the woman to return in three weeks.
The woman returned to the second prenatal specialist on December 22, 2014. at which time she complained of headaches, fatigue, and blurred vision in one eye. The specialist determined that the woman’s blood pressure readings at that time indicted that she was suffering malignant hypertension but did not consider the woman’s condition to be an emergency but instead instructed the woman to be evaluated for preeclampsia in a local hospital’s labor and delivery department.
When the woman arrived at the local hospital to which she was referred by the prenatal specialist, she was advised that the hospital did not handle women who were less than 32 weeks pregnant, and she was not screened at that hospital. She was referred to a second hospital but the first hospital failed to contact the second hospital regarding the woman or the referral.
Once the woman arrived at the second hospital, she was not screened or examined but instead was told to get lab work done in the hospital. The lab attendant determined that the woman was uninsured and therefore referred her to the financial office of the hospital to make financial arrangements for payment before lab work would be done. Her blood was ultimately drawn at the second hospital but she was sent home before the results of the tests were available.
The following morning, the second prenatal specialist called the woman at home to advise her that her blood test results were concerning and was advised to return to the second hospital to prepare for delivery. At the second hospital, the woman was severely hypertensive and was short of breath. As an emergency Cesarean delivery was being performed, the woman experienced cardiac arrest and has been in a coma ever since.
The Maryland federal medical malpractice lawsuit alleges violations of the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) and medical negligence, and seeks unspecified compensatory damages from the multiple medical malpractice defendants.
If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury or death while giving birth in Maryland or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer or a medical malpractice lawyer in your state who may investigate your birth injury medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a birth injury medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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