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Case Example: Failure to Treat Ketoacidosis

Posted on January 20, 2015

In this case, an expectant mother underwent a scheduled outpatient fetal non-stress test at 36 weeks gestation. The mother expected to return home following the test, but the non-stress test revealed an abnormal fetal heart monitor tracing, with a low heart rate. The mother also had a mild case of diabetic ketoacidosis and hyperglycemia.

Appropriately, it was recommended she go to the labor and delivery floor of the hospital for further monitoring, where she remained all day, but tragically she was not carefully monitored. Only upon a change of shift at 5:30 p.m. did a new physician recognize the tell-tale signs of fetal distress. She was rushed into the operating room for an emergency caesarian. Her son was delivered almost stillborn, but survived with severe and permanent brain damage. He will require medical care and assistance in all activities of daily living for the rest of his life. The mother came to us to help her understand what happened and if it could have been prevented with proper care.

Ketoacidosis is a serious and potentially life-threatening complication of diabetes where the body produces excess blood acids, or ketones, and in pregnant women impacts the mother and her unborn baby.

Our investigation pre-suit and through extensive discovery and numerous depositions revealed that the ketoacidosis was not timely addressed and corrected, and when the fetal heart monitor tracings failed to improve as the day progressed, the obstetrical residents-in-training failed to appreciate their gravity.

Through our firm’s work and the help of some of the best medical experts in the country, we achieved a substantial recovery that will ensure all of the child’s needs will be met for the rest of his life.

Do you have a situation regarding injury at birth that you would like to discuss? We will discuss it at no charge to you. Contact us today at 215-238-8700.