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  • Birth Injury – Wrongful Death of an Unborn Baby Due to Anoxia: Chapko v. Halvorson et al.

Sommers Schwartz attorney Matthew Curtis filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a woman and her unborn child who died at 35 weeks gestation.

The plaintiff’s pregnancy was complicated by preeclampsia and morbid obesity, and she was taken to the hospital after experiencing decreased fetal movement. A biophysical profile (BPP) test was performed to evaluate the baby’s health. However, before the BPP was completed, the ultrasound tech removed the fetal heartbeat monitor.

The child’s heart rate decreased from a baseline of 145 beats per minute into the 60s. The birth injury lawsuit claimed that the fetal monitor should never have been removed. Further, the plaintiff asserted that the defendant OB-GYN failed to timely initiate intrauterine resuscitation and did not attempt to address the decreased fetal heart rate before taking the patient off the fetal monitor.

The medical malpractice complaint alleged that had the mother been kept on the fetal monitor and the defendant had performed appropriate intrauterine resuscitation, the child’s hypoxia would have been corrected, and he would not have suffered fatal bradycardia and anoxia. If the intrauterine resuscitation was not successful, then a C-section should have been performed, which would have likely resulted in the child’s being born alive and healthy.

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