Kansas Hospital, Physicians Sued for Medical Malpractice

Kansas Hospital, Physicians Sued for Medical MalpracticeTwo Dodge City doctors and the Western Plains Medical Complex in Kansas are the subject of a new medical malpractice lawsuit, which alleges the healthcare providers' actions resulted in severe brain injuries in one couple's newborn baby.

According to the Kansas Morning Sun, Michael and Christy May filed the medical malpractice lawsuit earlier in March, which seeks more than $75,000 in damages, however this amount will likely change as the case moves toward trial. The complaint names Dr. Tanya Williams, Dr. Samir Shaath, Western Plains Medical Complex, the medical center's parent company LifePoint Hospitals and several registered nurses as defendants in the case.

The news source states court documents show Williams presided over Christy May's pregnancy in 2010. At 14 weeks, an initial obstetric consultation showed her prenatal health was sound save for a small gall bladder issue. On March 4, at 34 weeks gestation, May was admitted into the hospital for elective induced labor.

May had allegedly spoken with Williams prior to delivery about the possibility of induced labor, to which Williams allegedly responded that hospital protocol was to use drugs Misoprostol and Oxytocin to induce labor.

"Plaintiff Christy May was concerned about the use of Misoprostol, also known as Cytotec, and Oxytocin," the lawsuit said. "Defendant Williams advised Plaintiff Christy May that she had personally used these two inducing agents without any complications. Defendant Williams also advised Plaintiff Christy May that her delivery would be fine."

In the suit, May claims she was instructed by Williams to push to hasten the birth process, however two minutes after doing so, a fetal heart rate strip indicated the unborn child was suffering from severe bradycardia, or slow heart action. Williams then attempted vacuum extraction two separate times, but when the baby was still not born, May was prepped for a cesarean section. By this time, May's uterus had allegedly ruptured with fetal expulsion, according to the news source.

The fetal heart monitor showed major slowing of the baby's heart for about 31 minutes. By the time the baby was delivered, its heart rate had been dangerously slow for about 40 minutes. Staffers in the delivery room noted that the amniotic fluid had blood in it after the baby, Jaxson May, was born, and that the infant's heart rate was at 60. This prompted the medical officials to attempt several methods to bring the baby's heart rate back up to speed.

When seizures were expected, the baby was given a dose of phenobarbital to combat metabolic acidosis – a condition that arises when the body's acidity level is too high, according to the Sun.

The baby had to be rushed to Wesley Medical Center in Wichita, where he received treatment for 23 days. One year after his birth, Jaxson showed signs of microcephaly with spastic quadriplegia, a form of cerebral palsy. The lawsuit accuses the physicians and nurses who delivered Jaxson of improperly monitoring the the baby's fetal heart strip, and did not performing the necessary tests to ensure his safe delivery. The lawsuit also claims the actions of the hospital's employees caused the baby to suffer injuries to his central nervous system, which may have contributed to his cerebral palsy.

The lawsuit comes shortly after a survey was published that found induced labor for non-recognized reasons was linked to a 67 percent increase in relative risk of having to delivery through cesarean section, and a 64 percent relative increased risk in the infant requiring time in the neonatal intensive care unit.