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Medical malpractice or negligence?

 
 
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2008 05:46 pm
One of my very good friends just lost her baby girl. - She went into labor at 22 1/2 weeks, because she developed an infection in her uterus. When she got to the hospital, the nurses were telling her "everything is going to be fine, we see premature babies born everyday that survive". As soon as the doctor gets there, he puts her on antibiotics to clear up the infection, but says there's no chance the baby will survive. The baby won't even survive the delivery. The baby was perfectly healthy, not a single thing wrong with her, but the doctor said she would be too small to survive. - Well the baby was born and did survive the delivery, but the doctor still did absolutely nothing to help the baby or even try to give her a chance to live. He immediately gave the baby to the mother and said " She won't make it, but you can hold her until she stops breathing and her heart stops beating"!! They didn't even weigh the child, so I can't tell you how big the baby was, but the "expected weight" was about 1 and 1/2 pounds. The baby lived for 2 hours before dying in her mothers arms. I guess my question is, shouldn't the doctor have tried to help the baby? If the child is showing signs of trying to survive, shouldn't they have done something?! They said she wouldn't survive delivery, but she did! She was breathing and had a heartbeat! I just feel like more should have been done. Please, any honest unbiased opinions would be greatly appreciated. I'm not one to usually overreact, but this situation has really bothered me. I have my own opinion as to why I believe the doctor didn't do more, but like I said, that is only my opinion, and I have not included that. Thank you to all who contribute.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 3 • Views: 2,429 • Replies: 22
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Aug, 2008 05:47 pm
It would be impossible, not to mention foolish, to offer any sort of informed opinion about this sad scenario. It might have been a case of malpractice or it might not, but we certainly don't have enough information to reach any sort of conclusion. If your friends suspect that it might have been malpractice, they should contact a reputable personal injury attorney without delay.
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Drew110877
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Aug, 2008 09:27 am
Thank you for your input.
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sullyfish6
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Aug, 2008 02:56 pm
Drew said, "The baby was perfectly healthy, not a single thing wrong with her, but the doctor said she would be too small to survive."

Drew: how can YOU make that statement?

This woman deserves to have all the answers. Everything was written down in the chart. Perhaps there even was an autopsy. The answers are there; the mother needs to ask the right questions.

Perhaps she needs to get a lawyer. Call the hospital, for sure, and get an answer from the Executive Director or Head of the hospital.

I can't believe that a family meeting was not held to explain all this to the mother and any relative that was there with her.
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Drew110877
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2008 11:18 am
How can "I" make that statement?! - Because I was there, I am extremely close to the family, considered family in thier eyes and mine!!! I heard what the doctor told her and what the nurses told her, because I was there!! The mother is in extreme distress right now, and I am getting information like her and the family have asked me to!!!! So thank you for trying to be rude, but that is not the response I am looking for!!!!!!
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roger
 
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Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2008 11:53 am
Okay, then, it was clearly malpractice. Sue yourself rich. There, now you have exactly the response you are looking for. If you already know the only answer you are going to accept, why bother asking?

Sullyfish was not being rude. Realistic, yes; rude no.
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Drew110877
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2008 04:36 pm
First and foremost, I would make absolutely nothing from this!!! That is not what this is about!- Why do people like you and sully even respond? It's not about what I want to hear! - It sounded to me that he/she was being rude trying to emphasize "you" and how I can make a statement! Obviously, I would not be commenting or asking for opinions if I was not informed of the facts! It's sickening to me that somebody can make a post on this site looking for educated opinions and there's always going to be someone like yourself and sully trying to be rude, and mean because you have nothing better to do!- I made the statement that the child was perfectly healthy because those are the words the doctor used!! This is not the only site I have posted my question on, and I have had several different responses, I have accepted them all with gratitude and appreciation. Do you people think that my life is so meaningless that I just go around trying to find people I don't know with problems so I can come on here and talk about it?!! No I don't do that, I have known the family since I was a small child and we are like family!
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Izzie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2008 05:04 pm
Hey Drew

You and your extended family are in a great deal of pain right now. So sorry to hear of your loss. I don't think we can answer your questions - because we aren't doctors here - yes, it does seem confusing that if a doctor is saying the child was healthy, just small, that it makes little sense with that wording as to why they could not work on the little one. However, there must have been reasons - in this day and age I believe, my personal belief only, that doctors would do all they could to ensure life would be given a chance if it were viable - especially due to the malpractice suits etc that occur. There will be answers to your questions - if the family have asked you to try and find answers your first port of call must be the hospital - pursue the channels you need to to find the answers - but you will probably need written consent from a family member to obtain any information.

Of course, your friend, the mother of the child, will be in shock and unimaginable grief - the most you can do right now is to remain strong and calm - keep the justifiable anger, because of the confusion here, at bay as best you can until you have all the medical information. When you get the information, then you can all make informed choices about how to proceed.

I'm afraid I can't answer your questions - but I do extend my sympathy for your very apparent inexplicable loss. Asking the right questions in a calm and clinical manner to get the answers would be the biggest help to the family at this time. I wish you luck, and again, I'm sorry for your loss and the pain you are in.






(Sully and Roger are good people here)
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wooops
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2008 02:15 am
It was neither malpractice nor negligence. From your post, it seems like you're looking for a reason where there isn't one. If the baby was "perfectly fine" then all they had to do was cut the umbilical cord and then all would be good.. but it didnt happen that way. It seemed more like an act of sympathy that the doctor allowed the mother to be with the baby for its few hours of life. If the mother insists that it was 'malpractice', then you could urge her to find the cause of death and learn about what could have been done. Otherwise, you should stop pushing for it and causing her more pain.
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OGIONIK
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2008 02:35 am
i feel bad for obsterticians? i think they are called.

i hear like 75% of them have been sued or had lawsuits filed against them
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Drew110877
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2008 09:46 am
Thank you Izzie for your reply. I'm sure sully and Roger are good people. I just don't understand why people want to attack me, when all I'm trying to do is get some answers. We have not taken any action, as far as suing anybody, or filing a complaint, because we want to make sure that we are not wrongly accusing him. I have never been in a situation like this before. To all of you that think that I am "pushing" this on someone or just trying to get rich, you have NO idea!! First of all I make a very substantial income, so "getting rich" has absolutely nothing to do with this!!!! Second, it's not like we are just trying to find a way to sue this doctor! My sister has lost 2 babies, me and my family NEVER tried to, or even considered suing those doctors! So obviously there were was something this doctor did and said, that has made us feel the way we do! I did not go into all the details of the evening she lost her baby, because it would have taken several posts on here I'm sure, to get all of the details in here! I'm sorry that I posted on this site and NEVER will again! With the exception of a couple of people on here, it seems to me that anytime you here of a possible medical malpractice or neglect, everyone all of sudden wants to ASSUME it's about money!! -To "Wooops", I am NOT pushing this on anyone, and so you want to tell me with all of the premature babies that all you have to do is cut the umbilical cord and then they survive???!! LOL..no, sweetie, they don't! - when I said the baby was perfectly healthy, yes, she was, for the age that she was. Her development was perfect, but as anyone knows with premature babies the lungs are not developed enough, and the baby is not strong enough to survive without some sort of assistance!!!- But thank you for your input anyway!!- I was under the impression that I was going to be getting responses from professional and educated people, I had no idea that it was just any Tom, Dick, or Harry that wanted to answer. So I apologize for not investigating this site more thoroughly before posting! -I was actually looking for advice from other doctors, because like I said before, if this doctor did everything he could then we don't want to have to go thru a lawsuit!
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2008 10:45 am
Drew110877 wrote:
I was actually looking for advice from other doctors, because like I said before, if this doctor did everything he could then we don't want to have to go thru a lawsuit!

I doubt that a doctor would be able to offer any sort of informed opinion on this matter, given the few details that you've offered. In any event, this is a legal forum, so I think most of us assumed that you were asking about the legal aspects of this situation, not the medical aspects.
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High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2008 11:24 am
Re: Medical malpractice or negligence?
Drew110877 wrote:
.............I have my own opinion as to why I believe the doctor didn't do more, but like I said, that is only my opinion, and I have not included that. Thank you to all who contribute.


Drew - ref the legal part of original post, it was ably addressed by Joe from Chicago; ref the medical part, woops is the only one here (to my knowledge) with medical qualifications. Btw, Roger and Sully are good people trying to help.

I'm a mathematical modeler who works with terabytes of medical (and other) data for risk assessment purposes, and my question to you refers to the part of your original post I just quoted:

What is that opinion, and on what is it based?

If it's based on a visual inspection of the fetus, then it's impossible for you to know for sure if the fetus could be expected to develop with a functioning brain, or with a complete set of internal organs: and severe problems with both are known to result from infections during pregnancy.
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Drew110877
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2008 01:03 pm
Thank you for your post!
-Once again, I never said Sully and Roger were "bad" people! If you read my last post, you will see where I stated that. Yes, maybe I took sully's post the wrong way, with the way it was worded, if I did, I apologize!! - My personal opinion that you referred to in your post, was not of visual inspection of the fetus. My opinion was based on information the doctor provided to us, his vagueness in answering the mother's questions, his unwillingness to explain why he made the decisions he did, his attitude, and the way he treated the mother through conversations he had with her, and comments he made.
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High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2008 01:10 pm
Drew - perhaps the doctor just didn't want to come out and say the infection meant the fetus would never become a viable human? See if re-focusing all the vague items you mention under that particular lense would account for them - and his understandable wish to minimize the distress of your friend.

If not - so what was / is your opinion?
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Drew110877
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2008 01:12 pm
Thank you Joe! - I apologize, I have posted my question at a few different sites for doctors and lawyers. Basically, I just wanted honest opinions about the situation, not about me or the family, or if they think I'm just trying to make some money off of this! I got a little upset when reading post where I felt people were attacking me. My intention is not to cause my friend or her family more pain, but to find some closure for her if there is any. I would not even be bothering with this if they had not asked me to. Believe me, I have better things to do with my days, than to post in forums just looking for an argument or negativity on an issue that is still fresh and painful to me and the family- But I thank you for your professional contributions to my question!
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Drew110877
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2008 01:24 pm
roger wrote:
Okay, then, it was clearly malpractice. Sue yourself rich. There, now you have exactly the response you are looking for. If you already know the only answer you are going to accept, why bother asking?

Sullyfish was not being rude. Realistic, yes; rude no.


I just reread my response to Sully and realized where you may have misunderstood what I was saying. When I stated "that was not the response that I was looking for", I was not meaning, that because sully didn't tell me to run out and sue the doctor, that I didn't like her response. I was referring to the part of her question where she made it sound like I had no business making statements or asking the questions regarding this matter. - I apologize if I am a little defensive, I have been under an extreme amount of stress, and very emotional!
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Izzie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2008 01:52 pm
You are quite obviously in pain here, as the family will be.

You want answers and you wish to help your friends.

Not knowing "why" is hard to bear and more so when you family has undergone so much heartache too. Pertinent questions to the doctor - if you are unable to get answers there - hospital administration.

I don't know the way it works in the US - is there a death certificate issued stating cause of death? I would imagine there would be an autopsy. Information is there somewhere - remaining as unemotional as possible whilst asking questions would be constructive.

Yes - the baby would have been perfectly formed... that must be so hard for the parents ... whether life was viable would be the doctor's call - I'm sure it would have been made by more than one doctor - not sure - but there would have been many hospital personnel around.

Does the hospital have bereavement counselling for the family?

Good luck Drew - I hope you will find the answers to all the questions you have and find some peace.
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High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2008 02:01 pm
Izzie wrote:
.... remaining as unemotional as possible whilst asking questions would be constructive.


No question about THAT, especially if it might induce brevity in questioning.

Another good idea is to understand the data that's being transmitted: here the subject isn't a "baby", who "died". The subject is a 5-month old fetus: they require no "death certificates", let alone "autopsies" in the U.S. or anyplace else.
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Drew110877
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2008 03:40 pm
High Seas wrote:
Izzie wrote:
.... remaining as unemotional as possible whilst asking questions would be constructive.


No question about THAT, especially if it might induce brevity in questioning.

Another good idea is to understand the data that's being transmitted: here the subject isn't a "baby", who "died". The subject is a 5-month old fetus: they require no "death certificates", let alone "autopsies" in the U.S. or anyplace else.
Yes there was a birth certificate issued, she had to name the child, and there was also a death certificate, which simply states cause of death was natural causes!! We also had a funeral for her.
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