Ohio man sues hospital and doctor for daughter’s death

A medical malpractice case against Cabell Huntington Hospital and Dr. Carolyn Clark has been filed in the Cabell Circuit Court.

Aspen Smith, a baby girl, was born to parents Robert and Chastity Smith at the Cabell Huntington Hospital on June 23, 2014. On June 24, just a few hours after her birth, she was declared dead.       

Chastity was admitted in the hospital on June 23, to be induced to give birth to their daughter. As per the complaint, Dr. Clark had placed an intrauterine pressure catheter on her and noticed some bloody amniotic fluid in the face of increased resting tone, which indicated a clear sign of placental abruption. Within twenty minutes of this, fetal bradycardia was documented and the fetal heart rate readings were classified as a Category 3 under the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring protocol. According to ACOG, this is an abnormal state requiring prompt evaluation. Such a reading may require providing oxygen to the pregnant woman, changing the woman’s position, discontinuing labor stimulation, or treating maternal hypotension, among other things. If the tracings do not return to normal, the fetus should be delivered.[1]

It is alleged that Dr. Clark did not call for a caesarean delivery in time, due to which Aspen was born with severe neurological deficits, metabolic acidosis and no spontaneous respirations. She was diagnosed to be suffering from a medical condition i.e., perinatal asphyxia or deprivation of oxygen. She could not survive and was pronounced dead late night.

The parents allege that Dr. Clark knew or should have known the after effects and precautionary measures to be taken, given the circumstances Chasity was in and had experienced. Dr. Clark as well as the nurses at Cabell breached their duty and deviated from the standard of care by failing to closely evaluate Chasity and Aspen’s condition. They also failed to timely deliver Aspen causing severe medical conditions.

Robert Smith is seeking compensatory and punitive damages from the defendants. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge F. Jane Hustead.

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