A Baltimore-based hospital should have been allowed to present evidence of the nurse-midwife standard of care and the role that violation of that standard might have caused in a medical malpractice case involving a baby born with cerebral palsy and other health issues, a Maryland appeals court recently ruled.
In Enzo Martinez and others v. Johns Hopkins Hospital, Maryland’s intermediate appellate court reversed the Circuit Court for Baltimore City court and sent the case back for a new trial, ruling that The Johns Hopkins Hospital (JHU) should have been allowed to present testimony about the role the midwife used by Rebecca Fielding and Enso Martinez played in their son Enzo Martinez’s injuries.
Fielding went into labor with Enzo on March 25, 2010. She had decided to have a natural birth at home with a woman who was a registered nurse-midwife and a doula. A doula is a labor coach who provides support for a woman in labor. Unfortunately, the baby was not in the proper position, which often leads to the infant not being able to progress through the birth canal. In an attempt to expedite delivery, the midwife took several actions – fundal pressure, intramuscular injections of Pitocin and an episiotomy — which, did not work. Eventually the midwife decided that Fielding should go to the hospital.