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NV Parents File Birth Injury Lawsuit Against USA

newborn child in hospital

A military veteran and his wife have filed a $25 million birth injury lawsuit against the United States of America over severe disabilities their young daughter allegedly suffered because of medical negligence.

The complaint, filed in the United States District Court for the District of Nevada on January 27, alleges that doctors at a military hospital were negligent in waiting too long to deliver the baby by C-section.

The plaintiffs are a father who served in the U.S. Air Force for two decades and his wife. As her husband’s dependent, the wife was eligible to receive prenatal care from the Mike O’Callaghan Federal Medical Center, the 99th Medical Group, and Nellis Air Force Base. They allege that the doctors and nurses who treated her were employees of the United States, making the federal government liable.

Hospital allegedly delayed C-section

The plaintiffs, from Clark County, Nevada, say that their baby was born April 3, 2014, after a prolonged labor. On April 1, 2014, at 38 weeks, the 39-year-old high-risk mother arrived at the Mike O’Callaghan Federal Medical Center, operated by the 99th Medical Group, to have her labor induced. Her labor began early the next morning just before 4 a.m. and at 7 a.m., her water broke.

According to the lawsuit, the medical staff placed a fetal heart monitor that initially showed that the baby had a healthy heart rate pattern – this showed that the baby was doing well in labor. But by 4:18 in the afternoon of April 2, the doctor noted that the heart rate was showing signs of fetal distress and he documented that she might need to deliver by C-section.

Throughout the evening, the baby continued to show signs of trouble and at 11:45 p.m., another doctor on duty noted that the mother was requesting to deliver by C-section but that an anesthesia physician would not be available for another 40 minutes.

Baby seriously injured during long labor

The baby was ultimately delivered by C-section but the delivery did not take place until 3:04 a.m. on April 3, 2014. The newborn was in severe danger, with Apgar scores of zero at one, five, and 10 minutes; she was not breathing, had no heartbeat, and was limp. The baby did not show a pulse until nearly 40 minutes after her birth.

According to the complaint, at about 5 a.m., the little girl was transferred to Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas, Nevada. Once there, a pediatric neurologist diagnosed her with severe hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy related to the thirty minutes she went without a heart beat and the high blood sugar, liver dysfunction, and metabolic problems that resulted. She also experienced several cranial hemorrhages.

Parents seek $25 million in damages

The plaintiffs’ lawsuit alleges that the doctors and nursing staff were negligent and also caused a negligent infliction of emotional distress that was brought on by watching the severe brain damage to their baby. They request compensation for past and future medical expenses, the economic losses of the child who will not have an earning capacity, and physical and mental pain and suffering.

The demand for damages is $25,000,000.00.

Justia, Aguilar v, The United States of America,