Girardi | Keese

Infant Death Blamed on Nursing Malpractice

A Murrieta Hospital was recently cited and fined by the California Department of Public Health for a nursing malpractice incident that killed a fetus during delivery.

 CDPH officials found that nurses at the Rancho Springs Medical Center failed to follow the hospital's procedures concerning infant heart rate monitoring and this failure contributed to the child's death.

The child's mother was already in labor when she came to the hospital in 2010. An investigation by state health officials found that the nurses failed to report their problems determining the fetus' heart rate upon the mother's arrival. Typically, a doctor should be called if nurses are unable to determine a fetus' heart rate because an abnormal heart rate can signal potentially fatal fetal distress.

Nurses measured weak heart rates at least twice without informing a doctor of their findings. The hospital's policies provide that a doctor should be summoned immediately if a fetus' heart rate is under 110 beats per minute. The fetus in this case had 105 bpm levels which are indicative of distress.

The failure of the nurses to notify the doctors of the heart rate abnormalities prevented the proper intervention from being taken and was a direct cause of the child's death according to the CDPH investigation.

A doctor was not notified of the problem until about an hour after the mother's arrival in the hospital. By the time the doctor delivered the child, it was too late and the child was essentially a still birth. The placenta, which provides oxygen to the fetus, separated from the uterus prematurely. This was likely the cause of the low heart rate of the child.

Source: California Department of Public Health, "CDPH Issues Penalties to 13 Hospitals," June 1, 2012

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

IN THE NEWS

The Soto Verdict

Girardi | Keese attorneys have won a $2.3M verdict for a Long Beach resident run over by a Parks & Rec truck. Read more here.

The Madero Verdict

Attorney Christopher T. Aumais persuaded a San Bernardino County jury to deliver an  exceptionally high verdict in an area known for low jury awards.

A Champion of Justice

Partner Amy Fisch Solomon was a Champion of Justice in 2015, proving that success in law isn't just about the size of your verdict or settlement.

Own a VW Diesel?

Read about VW's emissions scandal and 
our class action against the automaker.

Referrals

Learn About Our Referral Network Read More

Our Attorneys

Meet our award-winning team Read More

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

The true measure of a lawyer isn’t the awards, but what the awards say about the lawyer: dedication and commitment to the client.

Super Lawyers Distinguished AV | Lexis Nexis | Martindale-Hubbell | Peer Review Rated For Ethical Standards and Legal Ability American Association For Justice Consumer Attorneys Association Of Los Angeles Consumer Attorneys California Supreme Court Icon 7 Icon Best Lawyers | Best Law Firms 2014 | U.S. News American Board of Trial Advocates Law Dragon America's Top 100 Attorneys | Lifetime Achievement