Articles Posted in Westchester County

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On 8 April 2005, the subject infant was born at a hospital. Allegedly, the infant sustained meconium aspiration syndrome and hypertonia as a result of the hospital’s mismanagement of the labor and delivery. Though the infant was transferred to another hospital on 9 April 2005 for almost two weeks, he was transferred back where he remained until 24 May 2005. Thereafter, he was treated at the same Hospital through 2006.

A claim for medical malpractice against the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation thereafter ensued brought by the infant’s mother, individually and on behalf of her son, the subject infant. It is alleged that the infant suffers from brain injury and severe developmental delays.

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The Facts:

On 30 May 2000, the infant plaintiff was born approximately twelve weeks prematurely in a medical facility operated by defendants. The infant plaintiff suffered from neonatal respiratory distress syndrome, and he was placed in neonatal intensive care, where his blood oxygen and blood acidity was monitored by defendants’ staff. The blood oxygen was continuously measured by a pulse oximeter: a device, attached to the patient’s finger that uses light to measure the amount of oxygen in the blood. A respirator and breathing tube was used when it was noted that the infant plaintiff cannot breathe. At 11:00 AM on the following day,

Defendants’ staff performed arterial blood gas analysis, which is a laboratory analysis of a drawn blood sample that specifies both the acidity and the amount of saturated gas in the sample. The test demonstrated that the pH of the infant plaintiff’s blood was 7.254. At around 2:30 PM, a NYC doctor, also of defendants’ staff, ordered a second arterial blood gas analysis. At 3:00 PM that afternoon, the blood oxygen saturation was over 90%, according to the pulse oximeter. At 4:15 PM, the blood oxygen saturation dropped to around 50%-60% from a previous level of over 90%. Shortly thereafter, defendants’ staff noted that the infant was suffering from a hemorrhage in the lungs. Consequently, the staff cleared the blood from the lungs and then adjusted the respirator settings and breathing tube. The staff then administered a paralytic to immobilize the infant plaintiff and prevent him from removing the breathing apparatus. At 8:00 PM, another arterial blood gas analysis was done, the result of which was a pH of 6.7, which is dangerously low. The staff then adjusted the respirator to administer more oxygen through forced breathing. The following day, medical imaging showed that the infant plaintiff had suffered a brain hemorrhage and hydrocephalus, which is increased intracranial pressure on the brain caused by the accumulation of fluid. The hemorrahge caused periventricular leukomalacia, the destruction of white matter of the brain. This, in turn, caused the infant plaintiff to develop cerebral palsy; a brain injury.

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A woman of foreign descent was pregnant with twin boys. She gave birth at a public hospital owned and managed by the City of New York on October 25, 1981. The twins were born prematurely at seven months’ gestation only. One of the twins was brought to the newborn nursery of the public hospital where he stayed until he was discharged on December 23, 1981.

One month after the son’s birth, the boy’s left thigh swelled. He underwent x-ray and it was discovered that the thigh bone was fractured. The doctors at the public hospital repaired the fractured thigh bone. The doctors put a cast on the left thigh until it healed. The child recovered.

Nine years after the child was born, the mother brought a suit in medical malpractice against the public hospital. She claims that the negligence of the doctors who delivered and cared for her child in the nursery caused the fracture in her son’s left thigh which caused the child’s legs to grown unevenly: his left leg is shorter than the right leg and the child limps.

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A woman was pregnant at thirty-one weeks in August 2001. She was rushed to the emergency room because of premature labor. The doctors found that she was suffering from hypoglycemia or low blood sugar at 26 mg/dl. Her blood sugar levels normalized so she was discharged two days later.

A month later, the woman was rushed to the same emergency room because she was having seizures. She has had a history of seizure since childhood. A month later, the woman gave birth to a baby boy whose new born health rating was excellent. Forty minutes after he was delivered, the baby started trembling and shivering. He was transferred to the intensive care unit where his blood sugar level was discovered to be only 20 mg/dl. A little while later, his blood sugar level was measured at 5 mg/dl. He was given intravenous glucose until his blood sugar levels reached a more normal 71 mg/dl. He was discharged from the hospital two days after he was born.

A year later, the baby was referred back to the same hospital where he was born because he had developmental delays. An MRI was made of his brain and it was discovered that he had lost white matter in his brain. This suggested to the doctor that the baby had an episode where he suffered a brain injury due to lack of oxygen. He was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

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Plaintiff-wife, together with her Westchester husband, has sued her prior physician for alleged malpractice for insertion in 1973 of a Majzlin Spring Intrauterine Device (hereafter known as IUD), a birth control device which was recalled at the medical level by the Federal Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.), allegedly prior to the date of insertion. Plaintiff has also joined, as party defendants, both the developer and the distributor of the Majzlin Spring.

Plaintiffs’ allegations of medical malpractice are twofold: first, that the defendant was negligent in inserting the IUD originally (when it had already allegedly been recalled); and further, that he was negligent in later failing to inform the plaintiff-wife that the IUD had been recalled and should be removed.

Defendant physician moved to dismiss the action against him on the grounds that it is time-barred under the Statute of Limitations; that he inserted the IUD in November of 1972, prior to the recall by the F.D.A.; and that, regardless of when the device was inserted, the then three year Statute of Limitations has long since run in either event, since the alleged malpractice, if any, occurred at the time of insertion.

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When a child is born with a severe birth defect that is genetically based and could have been discovered through fetal testing, there can be civil remedies to assist the family in some situations. If the fetal testing has been performed and returned normal, but the child was born with genetic problems, then the parents of the child might have the basis for an action brought for wrongful life. In one case that was sent to the court of appeals for the state of New York on November 13, 1984, a child who was born with Down’s Syndrome filed a suit to recover damages from the hospital and doctors who were responsible for her mother’s prenatal care.

She contends that her mother ordered the amniocentesis test during her pregnancy to determine if she would have a fetus with any genetic abnormalities. The test results that were given to her mother said that her mother would have a normal, healthy, baby boy. However, her mother gave birth to a daughter with severe Down’s Syndrome. She contends that if her mother had been properly informed by the hospital that she was carrying a child with Down’s Syndrome that she would have had the child aborted. However, since the test results that were given to her mother were totally incorrect, her mother did not have an abortion and she was born.

She seeks monetary compensation to assist her with the extraordinary expenses that she will have in her lifetime for special care. The court in New York City reviewed her application and determined that an action for wrongful life is difficult to conclude. Wrongful life in a case such as this one, where an amniocentesis test was requested and performed, could indicate to a jury that the mother upon information that the child was genetically abnormal would have aborted the pregnancy. If her mother, or her father had filed a wrongful action within six months of her birth, it is likely that they would have been granted the motion to proceed. The option to abort a child that is not genetically normal is one that is recognized by the State of New York and was an option that was likely in this particular case. The fact that the wrong test results were presented to this child’s mother is obvious in that the baby born to this woman was neither a male nor free of genetic abnormalities. There was clearly fault that could be applied to the medical practitioners in this case if the parents of the child had filed the suit early in her life.

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The birth of a child should be one of the happiest days of anyone’s life, however, when that child is injured during their birth, it is heartbreaking. One such injury occurred on June 8, 1990 when a woman was taken to Kingston Hospital in New York. During her labor, the umbilical cord prolapsed and came out before the baby. This is a very dangerous situation because it cuts off oxygen to the infant and can cause the infant to be born with brain damage or even dead. In this case, the doctor put his arm up inside the mother to hold the baby off of the umbilical cord. The baby was in a breech position, coming out bottom first. The doctor ordered an immediate Cesarean section to get the baby out. However, it was 45 minutes before the surgery actually occurred. During that time, the doctor continued to try to hold the baby off of the prolapsed cord.

Several hours after the little baby girl was born, she was transferred to Albany Medical Center where she died on June 10, 1990. The parents of the baby filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor and the hospital where she was born. They claim that the doctor failed to perform proper prenatal tests to determine the position of the infant prior to delivery. If the proper tests had been performed, the doctor would have known that the baby was breech and would have ordered a Cesarean section before she went into natural labor to safely remove the baby. They also contend that the delay in obtaining an operating room contributed to the death of their child.

The doctor from Suffolk County who delivered the baby, maintains that the child was not alive when she was born and that the only life signs were artificially stimulated by the resuscitation devices used in the hospital. The original trial court dismissed the medical malpractice lawsuit. The parents then appealed that decision to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court agreed that the trial court should not have dismissed the initial lawsuit as it regards the causes of action for the mother. They did not agree that the father had any cause for action since he was not in any danger during the incident and would not have suffered any physical injury during the operation or the birth of the child.

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On 2 January 2008, the instant action was commenced, when NYCCS filed abuse petitions against respondent-mother.

On 31 December 2007, respondent allegedly allowed the subject child (herein “subject child”) to sleep in her bed, touch her, kiss her on the mouth, insert his finger in her anus, insert his finger in her vagina, and have sexual intercourse with her to the point of ejaculation.

According to respondent, she did not stop the child because she could not believe that her son would do this to her, and she wanted to see how far he would go. The said incident was alleged to be in violation of Penal Law, sexual misconduct, rape in the third degree, rape in the second degree, and sexual abuse in the third degree. In addition, the petitions alleged that respondent failed to provide adequate care and supervision for the children by misusing alcoholic beverages to the extent that she loses control of her actions. Specifically, the petitions alleged that on 30 December 2007, she drank two Corona beers causing her to become intoxicated. In addition, the petitions alleged that the subject child woke up at 3:00 AM on 31 December 2007 in his mother’s bed smelling alcohol because she drank three quarters of a fifth of Johnnie Walker Red on the previous evening. Finally, the petitions alleged that respondent’s other two children are derivatively abused and neglected children by virtue of the abuse of the subject child.

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A 34 year old woman was pregnant. This was her third pregnancy, the first two had been terminated and this is the first time that she wanted to bring the pregnancy to term. She her last menstrual period in December 1999 and her estimated date of delivery was September 7, 2000.

The woman did not have an abnormal PAP smear; she has never had any surgery on her cervix but she did have a heart murmur, she has had two shoulder surgeries and two abortions and she has a uterine fibroid which caused heavy bleeding and cramping at least one year before becoming pregnant.

The reason why she came to the obstetrician was because she wanted to get pregnant but was having difficulty getting pregnant. The doctor saw a fibroid and told her that her fallopian tubes were occluded. The doctor advised her to have her tubes “blown out.”

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In September of 1974, a woman (1st plaintiff-wife), 37 years of age, conceived a child. After the woman and her husband learned of the pregnancy in October, they engaged the services of defendants, specialists in the field of obstetrics and gynecology. Thereafter, from approximately the tenth week of pregnancy until the birthof their child, the pregnant woman remained under defendants’ exclusive care.

On 10 May 1975, the woman gave birth to a retarded and brain-damaged infant who suffers, and will continue to suffer for the remainder of her life, from Down’s Syndrome, commonly known as mongolism.

The plaintiffs claim that throughout the period during which the 1st plaintiff-wife was under the care of the defendants, plaintiffs were never advised by the defendants of – the increased risk of Down’s Syndrome in children born to women over 35 years of age and the availability of an amniocentesis test to determine whether the fetus carried by the 1st plaintiff-wife would be born afflicted with Down’s Syndrome.

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