Greenwich Hospital has instituted a number of changes in its birthing procedures following a state Department of Public Health investigation and wrongful death lawsuit filed this month by a Stamford couple against the community hospital and obstetrician Marjan Hedayatzadeh.
The changes are the result of the public health agency’s finding that the hospital committed several violations of state regulations.
According to the DPH investigation – undertaken after a formal complaint from parents Lauren E. Sorgen and Grant D. Gulyassy – Sorgen was 35 weeks pregnant with twins when she was admitted to Greenwich Hospital on June 3, 2015, with signs that her amniotic sac had ruptured. Upon admission, the medical staff verified the heartbeats of both babies and confirmed that both were moving, consistent with the findings of a full examination of the twins on the previous day.
Shortly after, however, hospital staff documented that they had difficulty hearing heartbeat sounds and could not maintain the fetal heart tracing of both infants on an electronic monitor.
“Despite these difficulties, Greenwich Hospital employees made no effort to obtain an ultrasound of the twins, did not attempt to monitor the infants’ heart rates by any other method and did not initiate an emergency C-section,” according to a statement by the family’s attorney, Peter M. Dreyer, of Silver Golub & Teitell LLP in Stamford. “Dr. Hedayatzadeh waited more than three hours before the C-section delivery of the twins was performed.”
The wrongful death lawsuit, filed earlier this month, alleges that the failure to monitor and promptly deliver the girl, Myriam, allowed her to die from oxygen deprivation prior to the C-section. The other child, a boy, was successfully delivered.
“Sadly, we cannot change what happened to Myriam,” Dreyer said, “but we can hold those trusted with her care responsible for their actions. This family went to Greenwich Hospital because they believed they would receive exceptional medical care. As the Connecticut Department of Health investigation revealed, it was far from that.”
“Every year on June 3, this family will celebrate the joy of the birth of their son and have to relive the deep sadness from the death of their daughter at Greenwich Hospital,” Dreyer added.
The civil wrongful death suit, filed in state Superior Court in Stamford, does not specify the amount of damages sought.
The twins’ mother, Sorgen, is a residential real estate agent at Halstead Property in New Canaan, according to the brokerage firm’s website. Gulyassy, the twins’ father, is an oil and gas industry executive and power trader who served as vice president for New York and New England power at Noble Americas Corp. in Stamford at the time of the hospital death.
“The death of an infant is tragic and our deepest sympathies go out to the family for their loss,” said the hospital’s director of communications, Dana Marnane, in a statement. “While Greenwich Hospital cannot comment on pending litigation, providing safe, high-quality care is our first priority and, as a result, we take this matter very seriously. We remain fully dedicated to meeting that priority every day, with every patient. Following this incident, Greenwich Hospital instituted additional measures related to high-risk pregnancies.”
Those changes were required by the Department of Public Health to address the importance of fetal monitoring in multiple-gestation admissions. The DPH’s requested plan of correction included measures to prevent the recurrence of the violation, the date corrective measures will be in effect and the staff member, by title, who has been designated as responsible for monitoring the individual plan of correction.
The Department of Public Health told the Business Journal that its submitted plan of correction included the following:
- Updating current admission policy to include admission of multiple gestation.
- Updating admission guidelines for multiple gestation to include ultrasound for viability, position and presence of amniotic fluid and educate all physicians and staff.
- Re-educating labor and delivery staff to include multiple-gestation monitoring in obstetrics and the importance of distinct fetal heart rate tracings.
- Re-educating labor and delivery staff to include multiple-gestation monitoring on fetal monitoring equipment and identifying two separate heart rates
- Requiring the biomedical department to ensure calibrations for all fetal monitors are correct.
- Auditing all multiple-gestation charts for six months to ensure ultrasound was completed and documentation of fetal heart rates was completed.