A Texas medical malpractice lawyer is no stranger to wrongful death suits, but a new and tragic case from the east coast has come across our desks this week. A South Carolina couple is suing their OBGYN doctor for medical malpractice that they claim resulted in the wrongful death of their newly born infant son. The plaintiff was pregnant with her second child when she entered the hospital to be assessed and treated for her contractions. She was to return two days later for a scheduled induced labor to bring her child into the world; upon her second arrival, she showed symptoms of a fever and pregnancy-induced hypertension.
After admittance to the hospital, antibiotics were ordered, but arrived too late, as she was finishing delivery of her son, who was pronounced dead after more than 40 minutes of attempted resuscitation. The plaintiff then received a total hysterectomy in the ICU and learned post-surgery that her son died of a bacterial infection that inflamed the connective tissue in the umbilical cord.
The suit claims that the OBGYN should have noticed and responded to unusual fetal heart racing as well as ensured antibiotics in a timely manner, not several hours after the plaintiff’s admittance to the hospital with a fever. The plaintiff claims that her doctor’s negligence caused the death of her infant child. In order to understand her claim, we must look at wrongful death and negligence through the score of medical malpractice.
In order to make a wrongful death claim, there are basic requirements you must establish:
- A relationship existed between the doctor and patient
- The doctor acted negligently
- Said negligence caused an injury
- Specific damages occurred from the injury, including pain, bills, or inability to work
Additionally, claims will (usually) fall into one of three categories including: failure to diagnose, improper care, or failure to alert patients of danger to their health. In the aforementioned case, all three are viable options to pursue. The OBGYN failed to diagnose a racing heart in the fetus; the OBGYN did not provide antibiotics in a timely fashion; and the OBGYN did not inform the plaintiff that any issues existed during the last days of her pregnancy and delivery.
If the OBGYN wanted to argue that care was given by ordering the antibiotics, the plaintiff can further argue that the task was done incompetently. In reality, it should not take several hours to administer antibiotics, especially when a patient is showing signs of fever and on time for a scheduled induced labor.
A wrongful death is a tragedy and is all the more devastating when it happens to a newborn child and family. We understand the suffering families go through during these painful events and are always available to assist in working towards righting the wrongs medical malpractice and negligence in Texas. Visit our offices, or call us today, for more information on how a Texas medical malpractice lawyer can guide you through the challenges of processing a wrongful death claim.