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WV Medical Center Sued for Failure to Hospitalize Pregnant Woman

woman holding pregnant bellyA mother is suing Berkeley Medical Center in West Virginia on behalf of her child for failure to hospitalize her during her pregnancy, a failure that she claims led to her infant developing Cerebral Palsy. The plaintiff claims that she was seen several times with such symptoms as vaginal bleeding and low fetal heart rate but was not admitted to hospital for several days. Her child was finally delivered prematurely via C-section and diagnosed with CP and other injuries.

The complaint charges that the defendants failed to make sure that the plaintiff was seen by a physician while she was experiencing symptoms suggesting a high risk pregnancy by not admitting her to the hospital. It also alleges that she was not provided adequate health care by nurses and midwives who did see her. She is suing the medical center for compensatory damages. Also named in the suit are: University Health Care; University Medical Center; Shenandoah Medical Center; Shenandoah Women’s Health; Shenandoah Community Health Center; Shenandoah Midwife Inc.; Shenandoah Valley Medical System Inc.; Dr. Consuela Cruden-Parham; Lisa Wyatt; West Virginia University Hospitals Inc.; and Rebecca Pfender.

Complaint outlines events leading to Cerebral Palsy-related injury

The complaint,filed on July 30 in Berkeley Circuit Court and removed to federal court on Nov. 23 of this year, outlines the events allegedly leading to the plaintiff’s child contracting CP. It begins on May 26, 2013 with the plaintiff’s preliminary visit to the ER of University Healthcare-City Hospital in Martinsburg with vaginal bleeding. Her unborn child had a heart rate of 135. She was given Terbutaline after being seen by a registered nurse and a nurse midwife and then was discharged.

She returned on May 29 with continued bleeding and clotting. Records indicate the fetus in breech position, an amniotic fluid index of 14.1cm, and a placenta positioned low in the uterus. She also reported significant pain and pressure. She was again discharged. Once more, she returned to the hospital with bleeding and cramping. She had a heart rate of 100-110, with her child’s heart rate at 130-140, and was experiencing regular contractions. She was given Terbutaline once more and discharged with a promise to review her case the next day.

Finally, on June 3, 2013, the plaintiff went to Winchester Medical Center, where she was administered a C-section at 25 weeks and 3 days.

Complaint alleges that child’s Cerebral Palsy was the result of malpractice

The causes of CP are not always known. However, in some cases the condition can be the result of medical mishandling of pregnancy or childbirth. In Case no. 3:15-cv-00129, the plaintiffs argue that the Cerebral Palsy and other injuries experienced by the child delivered on June 3 two years ago were the result of negligent and insufficient medical care.

Compensatory damages sought in this case would cover the cost of such damages as medical expenses, future care and medical assistance for the child, lost wages and earning expenses for the child, loss of quality of life, and pain and suffering for both mother and child.

  1. WV Record, Mother, child sue Berkeley Medical Center for malpractice

  2. Cerebral, Cause of Cerebral Palsy