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Woman blames failure to do a timely C-section for son's death

Fetal monitoring is a standard aspect of modern labor and, when used correctly, is likely responsible for countless favorable outcomes of the birthing process. Ignoring the warning signs that a fetal monitor can provide can have devastating outcomes, from fetal distress to infant brain damage. A woman who labored and delivered at a hospital outside of New Jersey believes that negligent fetal monitoring practices contributed to a failure to do a timely C-section, ultimately resulting in the death of her child. 

In July 2013, the pregnant woman was admitted to the hospital to have labor induced. At the time her obstetrician was not in attendance, but a nurse attached a device to monitor the baby's heart rate. According to the woman's suit, it did not take long for warning signs to begin to pop up on the monitor. Twenty minutes into the process, three issues were detected with the baby's heartbeat. 

A labor and delivery nurse called the woman's OB to report the ongoing issues with the heartbeat twice within an hour, but the woman claims that the doctor had no intention of coming to the hospital at that time. The next time the nurse called the doctor with an update, the OB gave instructions to have the woman prepared for a C-section. That call had come at 9:40 p.m., but according to the claim, the child's time of birth was not until 11:24 p.m. Unfortunately, the newborn boy's time of death came exactly an hour later.

According to her medical malpractice lawsuit, the OB's refusal to come to the hospital at the first sign of issues with the fetal heart rate and her failure to do a timely C-section directly resulted in the loss of her child. The claim further alleges that the C-section should have occurred within a 30-minute timeframe after determining that a Cesarean was necessary. The loss of a child is never easy for New Jersey families, and while no amount of compensation could ever replace a life, legal recourse recovered through a successfully navigated medical malpractice claim is often one of the most appropriate choices for affected families.

Source:, "Mother alleges negligence after son's delivery-related death", Dan Harkins, July 14, 2015

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Alan D. Bell
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