The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position as trial approaches. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.
It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this birth injury case could just as easily occur at any of the healthcare facilities in the area, such as Kaiser Permanente, U.C. Davis Medical Center, Mercy, or Sutter.
(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this medical malpractice case and its proceedings.)
STATEMENT OF FACTS
Plaintiff Nancy Smith was initially seen at Women’s Health Group by Stanley Woo, M.D., on July 21, 2008. Ms. Smith reported a last menstrual period of March 24, 2008, and an estimated delivery date of December 31, 2008. Ms. Smith received her initial prenatal care at California Medical Center by Eric Goldberg, M.D., in Sacramento in May 2008.
At the initial prenatal visit, Dr. Woo noted Ms. Smith to be 16.2 weeks pregnant. On this visit, Dr. Woo performed an ultrasound to document a single viable intrauterine fetus. This was not a fetal anatomic ultrasound and thus no measurements were taken. Further, the testimony by defendants’ experts will be that no measurements were required by the standard of care. Further, all experts agree that if measurements had been taken, they would have essentially shown a normal fetal anatomy. Additionally, all experts are in agreement that the defendants were not required by the standard of care to perform an ultrasound. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.
At the initial office visit, blood was drawn for AFP screening. The test results were received on or about July 30, 2008, and were negative for open neural tube defects, Down’s Syndrome, and trisomy 18. There was also no history of neural tube defects in the family. The plaintiffs were informed of the results on or about August 5, 2008.
Nancy Smith’s second prenatal visit was on August 11, 2008 with Elizabeth Brown, M.D. She was 20.2 weeks gestation by dates and fundal height was 20 cm. Thus, size equaled dates. An ultrasound was performed on that date by Dr. Brown because the plaintiffs wanted to know the sex of the fetus. On July 21, 2008, Dr. Woo was unable to confirm positively that the plaintiff Nancy Smith was pregnant with a male fetus. Thus, the ultrasound performed by Dr. Brown was, again, not an anatomical ultrasound and no measurements were taken. Defendants’ experts are in agreement that no measurements were required by the standard of care. Further, plaintiffs’ expert, Dr. Jones will testify that obstetricians do perform ultrasounds merely to ascertain the sex of the fetus. Moreover, the testimony by the experts will be that no gross abnormalities would have been seen on the ultrasound. Further, no brain abnormalities would have been detected at this stage by ultrasound and all experts are in agreement that the child’s hemimeganencephaly would not have been capable of diagnosis at this stage. (See Part 3 of 8.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.