(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this medical malpractice/birth injury case and its proceedings.)
SUMMARY OF FACTS
The undisputed facts follow. Patty Smith was a 36-year-old female who was three months pregnant when she came to the emergency department within Universal Hospital. This was not Mrs. Smith’s first pregnancy, she had two children previously. Mrs. Smith underwent genetic counseling and testing, including AFP and amniocentesis, for advanced maternal age and Down Syndrome pregnancy a year or so before this pregnancy.
At the emergency department on May 5, 2005, Mrs. Smith complained of bleeding, cramping and the passage of a large blood clot. An ultrasound was performed and disclosed an almost 14-week pregnancy – a normal pregnancy. Mrs. Smith was so informed.
The emergency department physician, defendant Steven Brown, M.D. – not an employee of Universal Hospital Medical Center – then incorrectly informed Mrs. Smith that the ultrasound was negative for pregnancy, apparently telling her that there was a complete abortion. Mrs. Smith was discharged home with instructions to see her private physician within 24 hours for a re-evaluation.
Mrs. Smith went to Sacramento Medical Center the same morning of her discharge from the hospital. She saw defendant Ava Green, P.A. Mrs. Smith told Ms. Green that she was seen at Universal Hospital, had an ultrasound and was told that she had a complete abortion. Ms. Green advised pelvic rest for Mrs. Smith and asked Mrs. Smith to return in 10 days for family planning. When Mrs. Smith returned on May 16, 2005, Ms. Green performed a physical examination. She did not detect the ongoing pregnancy, which was obvious. Ms. Green did not order an ultrasound.
Thereafter, Mrs. Smith spent about seven weeks in Mexico. During her time in Mexico, Mrs. Smith had no menstrual period and she felt fetal movement, but she did not go to any healthcare provider to determine whether she was still pregnant. She called no healthcare provider to inquire about this change in her condition. She sought no medical advice for the obvious.
After her seven weeks in Mexico, Mrs. Smith returned to Los Angeles Medical Center. At that time, it was determined that Mrs. Smith had a 22-week intrauterine pregnancy and pre-natal care was resumed. Mrs. Smith had a number of weeks to undergo genetic testing, including amniocentesis, and counseling with respect to her pregnancy. She chose not to undergo amniocentesis. Mrs. Smith subsequently gave birth to a live Down Syndrome baby on XX/XX/2005. (See Part 3 of 10.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.