Three medical malpractice wrongful death cases have been filed against one Georgia hospital for the deaths of three babies during a two-month period this past summer. The medical malpractice cases involve claims that physicians and other health care providers at South Fulton Medical Center failed to recognize the signs of early labor in one case, unnecessarily delayed delivery by Cesarean section in a second case, and failed to recognize fetal distress in a third case where the baby was born brain dead and died four days later. A fourth medical malpractice wrongful death case is expected to be filed against the hospital soon regarding a birth that occurred in June 2012.
Claim: Failure To Recognize Early Signs Of Labor
A 22-year-old pregnant woman who was seven months pregnant had a high fever, back pain, lower stomach pains, and decreased fetal movement for which she sought help at the hospital on July 23, 2012. She was diagnosed as having the flu, was given acetaminophen, and then released to home without having tests to rule out if she was in pre-term labor. When her pain became so severe that she had to return to the hospital just hours later, she delivered a less than two-pound baby who died shortly after birth.
Claim: Delayed Cesarean Section Delivery Led To Baby’s Death In The Womb
A 30-year-old pregnant woman was 37 weeks pregnant when she felt decreased movement of her baby. She went to the hospital and was admitted on May 21, 2012. The woman was placed on fetal monitoring that detected the baby’s heartbeat. The hospital staff scheduled a Cesarean section delivery for the afternoon of May 21st but the delivery was later delayed until the morning of May 22nd. On May 22, the baby was dead when delivered. The woman was told by the hospital that her baby had died three days prior to the delivery but an autopsy determined that the baby had actually died within 24 hours of delivery. Had the baby been delivered on May 21st, the medical malpractice claim alleges that the baby would have been born alive.
Claim: Failure To Recognize Fetal Distress Leading To Baby Being Born Brain Dead
An 18-year-old pregnant woman was 39 weeks pregnant when she went to the hospital on July 17, 2012 for delivery of her baby. The medical malpractice wrongful death claim alleges that the doctors at the hospital failed to timely diagnose the need for a Cesarean section delivery. The baby was born with no brain activity, was placed on life support, and died four days later when life support was removed.
In response to the recently filed medical malpractice wrongful death cases against it, the hospital stated, “While it is not appropriate to comment on specific patient care, we deny allegations of negligence in the complaints and will vigorously defend ourselves through the legal process …. We continue to dedicate our efforts to putting patients first and providing quality care to our community.”
The birth of a baby is supposed to be a happy occasion that wonderfully fills the parents’ lives. But lives can be changed and destroyed when medical negligence leads to inadequate or untimely medical diagnosis and treatment that cause catastrophic injuries or the death of a baby. When the unthinkable happens, a local medical malpractice attorney may agree to investigate what really happened and whether physicians or other heath care providers are responsible for the harms that occurred.
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