A Buffalo, New York jury has awarded a couple $845,000 in a medical malpractice case against two obstetricians, after a three week trial. The plaintiffs claimed that the woman had to have an emergency hysterectomy after she started bleeding heavily after giving birth to a healthy son. The plaintiffs argued that the doctors should have hastened the mother’s labor, which lasted 20 plus hours, to prevent the bleeding.
I have successfully handled a number of serious injury cases in Baltimore and other counties in Maryland. Many of those medical malpractice / medical negligence / medical error cases involve birth injuries. A recent case that settled for a substantial sum involved almost exactly the same set of facts. A woman gave birth to a healthy child, after which she experienced substantial vaginal bleeding. The hospital, however, did not timely address the situation and, as a result, she lost so much blood that her blood stopped clotting properly. This is called Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (“DIC”) or Consumptive Coagulopathy. She eventually underwent emergency surgery which saved her life, but during the surgery doctors had to remove her uterus. This was a classic case of a woman slipping through the cracks of a hospital. Everybody knew what was going on, but no one assumed responsibility for the matter. The tragedy of this was that the woman was unable have children again as a result.