Doctor, hospital sued, accused of mismanaging delivery of 3 babies
Two infants suffered brain damage, one died
HARRIS COUNTY – A Houston doctor and a regional medical center are facing three lawsuits, accused of mismanaging the labor and delivery of three newborn baby boys.
Two Texas attorneys, who are representing the three families of the infants, have filed suit in Harris County against June Williams Colman, M.D, Serenity Healthcare for Women, the health care providers that provided prenatal care and oversaw labor and delivery, and East Houston Regional Medical Center, the hospital where the infants were delivered.
The first infant was born in July 2012. His mother, Jessica Bonura, was admitted to the medical center to be induced with Oxytocin.
When mismanaged, Oxytocin can lead to outcomes related to fetal hypoxia, which is when a fetus doesn’t have enough oxygen.
According to attorneys, Colman and the nurses at the East Houston Regional Medical Center progressively increased the dosage of Oxytocin over the course of the day, despite clear indications that Bonura’s baby was in distress.
Bonura was allowed to push for over two hours, but the fetus’ shoulders got stuck during delivery, which further compromised the infant’s condition.
At birth, the newborn was not breathing and required bag-mask ventilation for approximately two-and-a-half minutes before some breathing was noted, according to attorneys.
As a result, attorneys said Bonura’s baby suffered severe permanent brain damage.
"During the labor, my son suffered from lack of oxygen. He was also suffers from paralysis of the entire right side of his body. At home my son struggles daily with potty training, completing sentences, he walks on his toes and struggles to feed himself and use unfamiliar utensils," Bonura said.
The second infant born was born in October 2014. His mother, Stephanie Garcia, was admitted to the medical center with contractions.
The family’s attorney said Garcia’s vital signs and lab results indicated a risk for maternal and fetal infection in addition to perinatal asphyxia.
Colman and the nurses at the medical center allowed Garcia to push for over an hour-and-a-half before the infant was delivered. At birth, attorneys said the newborn was not breathing and gasped for air for the first time after 10 minutes.
As a result, the lawsuit said the child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and has been tube fed since he was born. He will require nursing care for the rest of his life, according to attorneys.
"My baby has been tube fed since the time he was born. When he's asleep, I have to turn him every few hours since he can't roll on his own," Garcia said.
In November 2015, Tatyana Phillips was admitted to the medical center to be induced with Oxytocin.
Over the course of the day, Colman and the nurses at the medical center incorrectly interpreted the fetal heart rate tracings, which indicated that the infant was in distress, according to her attorneys.
Phillips was allowed to push for over two hours before Colman applied a vacuum extractor to try and deliver the baby. She stopped using the vacuum when abrasions formed on the infant’s head, according to attorneys.
Phillips was allowed to push for another hour, even though there were clear signs of fetal distress.
The family’s attorneys said Colman reapplied the vacuum until the infant’s shoulders got stuck during delivery. The infant had the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck two times, the lawsuit said. The baby later died after delivery.
"I didn't even get to hear him cry. I went to the hospital with a child and left without one. I do not want another mother to go through what I've gone through," Phillips said.
The families said none of the women were offered a Cesarean section.
The East Houston Regional Medical Center released a statement Friday to KPRC 2 News that read, "Complications affecting newborns are tragic situations, and we extend our deepest sympathies to the families involved. We believe in the legal process, and while our hearts go out to these families over all they’ve been through, we dispute the allegations presented today, and we look forward to all the facts emerging as the legal process allows."