Physician’s Negligence Results in Spastic Quadriplegia for Colorado Child

Tracy Ray | October 19th, 2012

A doctor’s negligence in delivering a Colorado baby caused the child to suffer cerebral palsy resulting from a birth injury, according to a lawsuit filed on behalf of the child, referred to as S.R.

S.R. has been diagnosed with spastic quadriplegia (a severe form of cerebral palsy in which all four limbs are affected) and cognitive impairment, and has been certified mentally incompetent and a “person under disability” under Colorado law, according to the lawsuit, which was filed on June 11, 2012 in the U.S. District Court, District of Colorado in Denver by Steele Street Bank and Trust, acting as conservator for S.R.

The lawsuit states that S.R.’s mother was admitted to Centura Health-St. Thomas More Hospital on March 1, 2001. Defendant Pelham Staples, M.D. attempted to induce labor by administering prostoglandin gel intracervically. The doctor documented that he administered 1.0 milligrams of prostoglandin to the patient, but the nurses in attendance documented that the amount was 1.5 milligrams.

Soon after S.R.’s mother received the prostoglandin, she experienced uterine hyperstimulation, and the electronic fetal heartrate monitor strip showed signs of fetal distress. Dr. Staples performed a C-section, and S.R. was born.

Newborn had critically low Apgar score

At 1 and 5 minutes after birth, S.R.’s Apgar score was only 1, and after 10 minutes, her score was only 2, indicating that she was in critical condition. (The Apgar is a routine assessment of newborns: a score of 7 to 10 is normal, but 3 or below is critical.) The medical professionals gave the baby resuscitative measures, including endotracheal intubation, external cardiac massage, and live-saving drugs.

Lawsuit brings multiple counts of negligence

The lawsuit brings a number of counts against Dr. Staples, alleging that he administered 1.0 or 1.5 miligrams of prostoglandin, failied to properly interpret the fetal heart monitoring strip, failed to respond in a timely fastion when he was notified of abnormalities on the strip, and failed to perform a C-section in a timely manner.

The plaintiffs are seeking compensation on behalf of S.R. for both economic and non-economic damages, including lost earnings, lost home services, medical expenses, pain and suffering, inconvenience, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Balkin & Eisbrouch: experts in birth injury litigation

If your child suffered a birth injury that was caused by medical negligence, Balkin & Eisbrouch is here for you. Our expert birth injury lawyers will fight on behalf of you and your child to obtain financial compensation for your child’s pain and suffering, medical expenses, and ongoing care. Call us today for a free evaluation of your individual situation. You pay nothing unless we win your case.