Women pick their obstetrician carefully. And then as their pregnancy progresses they come to develop a bond with the doctor and to trust him or her. They often think their obstetrician, who has been monitoring the pregnancy over the course of many months, knows their situation better than any other doctor could.
Now consider the way an expectant mother might feel near full-term, looking at a considerable problem with her pregnancy, being told that her physician is heading to the hospital to meet her and handle the complication. Imagine the numerous emotions that must go through this woman's mind - she wants to wait for her obstetrician as has placed her faither in him or her and yet she grows more and more concerned over the health of her unborn baby as the seconds, the minutes, and then even the hours go by without her doctor appearing. However she would moreover likely trust that the nurses and staff at the hospital would take action if there were any real danger to her baby.
In one published matter an expectant mother who, at near term of her pregnancy, had experienced a fall was transported to a local hospital to check on the welfare of her unborn baby. An ultrasound was read as negative and as not showing harm to the baby from the fall. The expectant mother continued to be concerned about the wellbeing of her baby and requested fetal heart rate monitoring. Because the hospital did not have the right equipment they arranged to have her transported to a different hospital which did. The staff contacted the expectant mother's obstetrician who told them that he would meet her at the other hospital.
The physician was not present when the expectant mother arrived at the other hospital. The staff began monitoring the unborn child' heart beat using a fetal heart rate monitor. The monitor indicated that the baby was experiencing fetal distress and that the baby's health was deteriorating. The staff waited for 2 hours for the physician to arrive. During this time the unborn baby's heard rate went down to perilous levels. At this point the labor and delivery nurse finally called in an on call obstetrician.
This obstetrician performed an emergency C-section. This obstetrician observed that the fetal distress had been caused by a placental abruption which had cut off the oxygen supply to the unborn child. The baby was asphyxiated at birth. Apgar scores were and . The medical staff could not resuscitate the baby.
The law firm that handled this lawsuit uncovered that the mother's obstetrician, after committing to going to the second hospital to see his patient, had rather gone home and just did not bother to tell anyone at the hospital about that choice. And the labor and delivery nurse, the only one who had information that the baby was in fetal distress, made the decision to continue to wait for the obstetrician. The nurse did not contact the obstetrician herself to report the fetal distress and failed to notify the in-house obstetrician until the situation became dire. With this, the law firm published that they achieved a settlement totaling seven hundred fifty thousand dollars for the parents.