Decision of Justice Tausendfreund – Alecia Fisher

This post was written by Andrea Girones:

[1] This case is about the clinically compromised birth of Alecia Fisher on February 4, 1991. The parties agree that Alecia suffered an intrapartum asphyxial exposure that is the cause of her neurological injuries.

[2] The central issue of liability is when this asphyxial process should and/or could have been detected. The plaintiffs’ focus in this case is limited to the actions of the nurses for whom the defendant hospital as their employer is responsible.

[3] The parties have agreed on the measure of damages, subject to court approval.

Facts

[4] The plaintiff mother, Wendy Fisher, as she was then known, was expecting her second child. Her pregnancy had been normal and uneventful. She was considered by her family physician and her obstetrician to be a low-risk patient.

[5] Wendy Fisher saw her obstetrician, Dr. Maynard at about 2 p.m. on February 4, 1991. He told her that she would deliver her baby in about five hours that day. Dr. Maynard noted in Ms. Fisher’s Antenatal Record #2 that she was then 4 em dilated and effaced.

(6] Ms. Fisher’s contractions started later that afternoon and by 4 p.m. were repeating regularly every 10 minutes. Her husband drove her to Victoria Hospital in London. She was admitted at 16:37, At the time of her admission, Ms. Fisher presented with a neurologically intact fetus. Ms. Fisher provided her Antenatal Records #1 and #2 to Nurse Disley who saw her upon admission. Nurse Disley recorded a Fetal Heart Rate (FHR) of 132- 144 at 16:45. Ms. Fisher told Nurse Disley that she was experiencing regular painful contractions every 10 minutes and asked for an epidural. It was not then provided.

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