Houston, Texas medical malpractice attorney Robert Painter files lawsuit that claims: Cypress OBGYN doctors fail to do Rh factor test & cause newborn brain damage
Simple blood test, which every OB/GYN is supposed to order, protects a baby from brain damage
Every person is born with a blood type, which could be A, B, AB, or O. Blood type is also called positive or negative; if Rh factor is present, the blood type of called positive. For example, my blood is O negative, which means that I have O type blood without Rh factor.
Rh factor is the name of a protein on the surface of red bloods of people with Rh-positive blood. In pregnancy prenatal care, OB/GYNs are required by the standard of care to do blood tests to find out the mother’s blood type and Rh factor. These simple tests keep babies safe.
Painter Law Firm’s Houston medical malpractice attorneys recently filed a medical malpractice suit on behalf of the parents of a newborn who has severe brain damage because, in the opinion of our medical expert witness, the OB/GYN providers repeatedly chose not order these simple blood tests.
Our clients have sued Cypress OBGYN and its physicians, Oanh Ngoc Bui, DO, Enyioma Anuli Muolokwu, M.D., Zuleika Goss Pierson, M.D., and Lavoris Renee Brown Smith, M.D. This medical malpractice case is pending in the 152nd District Court of Harris County, Texas, before Judge Robert Schaffer.
This case involves a 22-year-old mother, named Sarah, who promptly went to Cypress OBGYN for a pregnancy test, after she missed her monthly cycle. The pregnancy test was positive and Sarah went to regular prenatal care appointments at Cypress OBGYN, where she was seen by various OB/GYN doctors.
Rh factor blood tests
The standard of care requires OB/GYN physicians to perform an Rh factor antibody screen during the first and third trimesters of pregnancy. The screen is a simple, inexpensive blood test to find out whether the mother’s blood is Rh-positive or Rh-negative.
Despite the fact that several physicians at Cypress OBGYN saw Sarah during the course of her prenatal care, the medical records reflect that not a single OB/GYN doctor ordered the Rh factor bloodwork for Sarah during this pregnancy.
It is dangerous for OB/GYNs to skip the Rh factor tests
In a written report that our Houston birth injury lawyers filed with the court, our medical expert explained how this is extremely dangerous to the baby, when a mother has Rh-negative blood and her baby has Rh-positive blood. If the mother’s and baby’s blood contact each other before delivery, it causes an immune response in the mother. That immune response crosses the placenta and destroys the baby’s red blood cells.
Our expert witness explained that, sadly, that is exactly what occurred in this case. And when it happens, the baby develops a condition called hemolytic anemia, which means that the innocent baby’s red blood cells are being destroyed and cannot deliver oxygen and nutrients to the body. This causes brain damage.
When Sarah was 38 weeks into her pregnancy, she was having contractions and went to the labor and delivery unit at Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center. The electronic fetal monitoring showed a sinusoidal pattern, which is a textbook example of the baby having brain damage from hemolytic anemia, caused by Rh incompatibility.
This type of injury is very rare because of medical advances over the past few decades. In his written report, our medical expert explained that if Cypress OBGYN and its OB/GYN doctors had ordered the simple Rh factor blood tests, standard treatments were available that would have completely prevented the injury to the baby.
Instead, our medical expert explained in his report on file with the court, as a result of the inattention and negligence by the Cypress OBGYN, Dr. Bui, Dr. Muolokwu, Dr. Pierson and Dr. Smith, this poor little baby boy suffers from a permanent brain injury.
If you or someone you care about have been victimized by medical or OB/GYN medical malpractice, resulting in a brain injury to a newborn baby, contact the experienced Texas medical malpractice attorneys at Painter Law Firm, at 281-580-8800, for a free evaluation of your potential case.
Robert Painter is a medical malpractice lawyer at Painter Law Firm PLLC.
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Published in the July/August 2018 edition of "The Houston Lawyer" magazine