According to a recent article in The Washington Post, serious safety lapses forced regulators from the Department of Health to shut down the obstetrics ward at United Medical Center in Southeast Washington, D.C. The article references a pair of mistakes that put both newborns and mothers at risk at the only full-service hospital serving predominantly African American residents east of the Anacostia river.
In a letter obtained by The Washington Post, D.C. officials cited two serious breaches of protocol that allegedly took place earlier this year, both of which involved at-risk pregnancies. As a result, officials placed restrictions on the hospital until November 2017, when the obstetrics ward may reopen and begin delivering newborns once again.
The first count details an incident in February 2017 when hospital staff failed to conduct proper testing and follow up treatment on a child born to an HIV-positive mother. While the standard of care calls for these types of at-risk infants to be delivered by cesarean section, doctors allowed the mother to birth the child vaginally.
Furthermore, the hospital failed to administer antiviral drugs to the newborn within 48 to 72-hours after delivery. These drugs, along with cesarean delivery, are crucial to preventing mother-to-child transmission of the disease.
In the second cause of action, United Medical Center failed to properly monitor a severely obese woman with a history of respiratory distress who was 35-weeks pregnant. Despite presenting symptoms of a potentially serious medical event, hospital staff allegedly failed to conduct a clinical assessment of the patient beyond her known past medical history.
When expecting mothers enter a hospital to give birth to their child, they expect to receive the best care possible and have doctors follow all protocols mandated by law and the underlying standard of care. Unfortunately, many mothers and children suffer unnecessary birth injuries due to the negligence of careless doctors and staff, often times with catastrophic results.
When patients suffer harm due to medical malpractice, the law gives victims the right to hold hospitals accountable by filing personal injury lawsuits against the doctors and hospitals. Many medical malpractice injuries result in serious medical conditions, requiring enhanced medical care and long term treatment and lawsuits help recover the compensation necessary to help pay for these procedures.
The Cochran Firm, D.C. regularly represents victims of catastrophic medical malpractice to help them obtain justice and necessary compensation. Our medical malpractice lawyers in Washington, DC offer free, confidential legal consultations to help victims make sense of their injury and whether or not the hospital may be responsible.
For a free legal consultation, contact our office. Call 1-800-THE FIRM (843-3476) 24-hours a day, seven days a week to speak to a representative or fill out an online contact form with the details of your case and someone from our office will contact you.