7. Description of Liability Aspect of Case:On or about March 14, 2011 Baby K was born. Baby K was born with a congenital defect known as gastroschisis. Gastroschisis is a congenital anomaly where parts of the baby’s organs, including intestines or internal organs are born on the outside rather than inside the baby’s body. Baby K had a serial reduction of her intestines over a period of approximately one week for her internal organs to be put back inside little by little. On or about March 22, 2011, approximately one week after her birth, the surgeons correctly did what is referred to as a closure surgery. After the closure surgery, Baby K began to have difficulty breathing. Baby K’s oxygen levels were slowly decompensating over a period of a few days. Baby K became hypoxic and suffered from metabolic and respiratory acidosis.On or about March 22, 2011 Baby K’s ph.’s were becoming increasingly concerning for her physicians. The physicians used what is referred to as a high frequency oscillator ventilator and unfortunately that was unsuccessful. The doctors then added cardiac medicine, including Dobutamine and Dopamine, which was appropriate but also unsuccessful. Baby K’s oxygen saturation levels continued to decrease and she became increasingly sick.The Hospital and Doctors began administering nitric oxide, one of the medicines of last resort. At that time the Plaintiffs contend that the doctors and the hospital should have been contacting another facility to provide what is referred to as “ECMO”, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. This particular hospital did not have ECMO which is basically a heart and lung machine for babies. With ECMO the doctors cannulate the baby and have the blood flow outside of the child and at that time it is oxygenated and warmed and returned to the child allowing the remaining organs a chance to rest and recover. Unfortunately, the particular primary hospital did not have ECMO and did not make any appropriate and timely plans to transfer the baby to a facility that had ECMO.
On or about March 23, 2011, the baby began to further decompensate despite the fact that she was on nitric oxide all night. Baby K had a massive cardio pulmonary arrest on the morning of March 23, 2011 and at that time the secondary facility came with a portable ECMO unit and cannulated the baby and saved her from a near death experience and transferred her to their facility where she remained for three months. Unfortunately, during the cardio pulmonary arrest Baby K was severely and profoundly brain damaged. Baby K lived for two years and then succumbed to her weakened condition and died on June 4, 2013.
As a result of the Baby K’s death, the pleadings had to be amended and the case turned from a personal injury medical malpractice case to a wrongful death case. The only survivor to Baby K was her biological mother and the case was settled for a total of $2,959,000.00. The settlement of the case was restricted based on the Florida 2003 caps on damages.
8. Expert Witnesses:The Plaintiff retained experts in many fields of medicine due to the complexity of this case. Experts from around the Country in fields, including but not limited to the following were part of Baby K’s team:
- neonatology and pediatric:
- critical care medicine;
- life care planning;
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