A woman had been having premature contractions so she was given pitocin, a hormone that would stop the contractions. She nevertheless still gave birth prematurely on April 4, 2008, on the thirtieth week of her pregnancy. The child developed bleeding and inflammation in the brain as soon as it was born. The bleeding and inflammation in the infant’s brain caused him to develop cerebral palsy.
The mother then filed a suit in damages in behalf of her infant son, claiming that the child suffered brain injury due to the of the obstetrician-gynecologist who assisted at his birth. She claims that the obstetrician gave her too much pitocin which made her placenta break. This break in the placenta caused air to leak into the child’s lungs while it was still inside her uterus and caused the bleeding in the infant’s brain. The mother stressed that instead of giving her pitocin to stop her contractions the obstetrician should have just gone ahead and delivered her baby through cesarean section. The mother claimed that because the obstetrician did not timely remove her child from her womb, the rupture of the placenta caused air to leak into the child’s lungs which caused his bleeding in the brain and which caused him to develop cerebral palsy.
The doctor presented her own testimony that there were no indications that the mother’s placenta was already ruptured or was about to rupture at the time that she was admitted. She claimed, as did the experts she presented that the cesarean section performed was performed at just the right time. And she further testified that there is no medical evidence that the bleeding in the child’s brain was caused by anything other than its prematurity. There is also no evidence that an earlier delivery by cesarean section could have prevented the bleeding in the brain. The bleeding in the brain of the child are expected complications of premature birth and are not due to the mismanagement of the mother’s labor and delivery.