Grieving Mom Accuses Docs of Using Recalled Fetal Monitor
ARLINGTON, Va. (CN) - A grieving mother claims in Arlington County Circuit Court that a recalled fetal monitor and hospital staff’s delayed responses resulted in a stillbirth.
Iris Rivera sued Virginia Hospital Center Arlington Health System dba Virginia Hospital Center, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States, Inc. and Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, PC for wrongful death.
Although the lawsuit alleges the stillbirth took place at Virginia Hospital Center, it describes several of the doctors and nurses mentioned as “actual and/or apparent agents, servants and/or employees” of the Kaiser defendants.
According to the lawsuit, Rivera was about 36 weeks pregnant when she went to Virginia Hospital Center’s labor and delivery department with back and abdominal pain. Nurses put her on a Phillips Avalon FM Fetal Monitor, Serial Number DE53104525, Rivera says.
The manufacturer had issued a Device Safety Alert for that model in Sept. 2009 and the FDA had recalled it in Nov. 2009, yet Virginia Hospital Center had continued to use it, the lawsuit alleges.
Signs of possible fetal distress were recorded several times over the next two hours before the baby was delivered by Caesarean section, not breathing and with no heartbeat, according to the lawsuit. CPR was unsuccessful and baby Jessenia was pronounced dead, it says.
Iris Rivera seeks $3 million in wrongful death damages, statutory damages, costs of suit, interest and punitive damages. She is represented by David M. Kopstein of Kopstein & Associates in Seabrook, Md.