Maryland Lawsuits AgainstJeanne Sheffield, M.D.
Baltimore, MD 21287
Jeanne Sheffield is a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist and maternal-fetal medicine specialist currently practicing at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Sheffield is a professor of gynecology and obstetrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and director of the hospital’s maternal-fetal medicine division. Her specialities include high risk and medically complex pregnancies with an emphasis on infectious disease management during pregnancy. Although this page is focused solely on Dr. Sheffield, you can find information about medical malpractice lawsuits filed agains Johns Hopkins Hospital here.
Based on the currently available data, Dr. Sheffield has been listed as a defendant or co-defendant in two medical malpractice lawsuits. The entire complaint for each case, as filed with the court, is found below.
The first available complaint filed against Dr. Sheffield lists the following allegations:
- Failing to properly monitor the plaintiff’s condition and the condition of her baby. According to the complaint, the plaintiff presented to the defendant hospital at 31 weeks gestation with reports of abdominal pain, nausea, elevated blood pressures, and swelling of her lower extremities. These symptoms are cited in the complaint as consistent with preeclampsia, a potentially life threatening pregnancy complication that can result in placental abruption. After several hours of fetal monitoring that initially showed reassuring fetal heart patterns, the fetal heart rate allegedly became undetectable. Despite this worrisome development, medical staff purportedly failed to alert an attending physician for input and instead attempted to adjust the settings on the fetal monitor.
- Failing to timely perform an emergency cesarean section. As alleged in the complaint, fetal monitoring consistently revealed a dangerously low heart rate for roughly half an hour before defendant doctors became aware of the situation and determined to proceed with an emergency cesarean section. Upon delivery by cesarean section, the baby was observed to be limp, blue, and lacking a heart beat for the first five minutes of life. Imaging studies of the infant revealed several severe and permanent birth injuries caused by lack of oxygen to the brain, which the complaint cites would likely have been prevented if a cesarean section had been administered at the first sign of fetal cardiac distress.
- Failing to prevent patient injury and death. Per the complaint, when the defendant doctors finally administered the cesarean section it was determined that the plaintiff had suffered a severe placental abruption which likely deprived the fetus of oxygen during labor. The plaintiff also allegedly suffered from extensive blood loss as a result of the abruption and required a blood transfusion during the cesarean section. While the plaintiff eventually recovered, her infant died less than a day after birth from the debilitating effects of oxygen deprivation during labor, an outcome the complaint contends was preventable had the defendant doctors properly monitored the plaintiff and her fetus.
- Failing to provide informed consent. As cited in the complaint, the plaintiff endured over three hours of labor as both her condition and that of her unborn child continued to deteriorate. The complaint further alleges that at no point during this labor process did the defendant doctors fully disclose the severity of distress her unborn baby was experiencing, nor did they detail the benefits of an emergency cesarean section for such a scenario. The complaint maintains that if the plaintiff had been accurately informed of her medical options by the defendant doctors, she would have elected to immediately proceed with a cesarean section to improve the chances of a healthy birth.
Last updated November 20, 2020