$7.5 Million Settlement in Medical Negligence Action Against Hospital PICU For Negligent Monitoring

The patient was a 28 week premature infant who developed a gastric volvulus requiring surgery. After surgery the baby was monitored in the PICU. While in the PICU the baby began showing signs of hypotension. The PICU nurse failed to appreciate the hypotension during her shift or approximately 9 hours. At the end of her shift, the supervising ARNP discovered the problem and immediately instituted countermeasures to raise the infant's blood pressure. The blood pressure ultimately increased over time but not before the low blood pressure caused permanent brain damage. The Plaintiff filed suit alleging that the hospital's PICU nurses negligently failed to monitor the infant resulting in a failure to timely detect and correct hypotension. As a proximate cause of such failure the infant suffered permanent brain damage and resulting economic and noneconomic damages. The hospital denied its PICU nursing staff was negligent claiming that there was no detectable signs of hypotension. Further, the hospital argued that the cause of the infant's brain damage was not low blood pressure but prematurity and an infection. Also, that the administration of medications to increase the infant's blood pressure earlier would not have changed the outcome. The case settled for $7.5 million prior to trial.