Medical Malpractice/Is this a case?


At the end of May I found out I was expecting. I was excited and went to the doctor right away to get prenatal pills and care (this was my 2nd pregnancy). After multiple blood draws for betas and being told that in the beginning they were too low and then too high I finally had an ultrasound. I was told that I should come back for an ultrasound next week because the baby was measuring behind. At the following weeks appt (after 3 weeks of stress now) I was told that the heartrate is really low and that I should come back in yet another week. I went back and the doctor walked into the room and told me that the news was not good and that it was "fetal demise, a blighted ovum, there is nothing there" I know these are two different things but I was upset at the time and didn't think to ask her to clarify. She immediatly scheduled me for a d&c the following day. I didn't have much pain after the procedure and all seemed well. At my two week appt she said all looks OK. When my period didn't return at my 6 week follow up I raised concern because I chart my cycles and I know I have in fact ovulated but did not get my period. She said to give it time and call if still nothing at 10 weeks. At 10 weeks I was in extreme pain and came in and saw another doctor who sent me over for a ultrasound. They said all looks fine. Several weeks past and still no period so I made another call and saw yet another doctor in the practise. She proscribed me something to jump start my period and that did not bring it on. They wanted me to try birth control for a month but I knew that this is not what was happening. I was having my cycles without a bleed and my lining was thick based on the last ultrasound. The last doctor I saw didn't even walk into the room to see me to give me my proscription for the Provera (to induce period) she handed it to me in the hallway and said to call if it didn't work. At that point I decided to leave the practise. I picked up my medical records the following week and read through them. To my HORROR I found out that at the last ultrasound, the one that my doctor told me the babies heart beat stopped, they found a second gestational sack. NOT ONCE did the doctor mention this to me. The report referred to it as a possible blighted ovum as there was no heartbeat. If I was told about this I would have waited another week to see if this baby that just all of the sudden appeared would have possibly grown and developed a heartbeat. I should have been given the option and I should have been told about a second sack before I went ahead with a d&c.
PLUS I now am almost 5 months out and just was diagnosed with Ashermans. Which means I am now infertile due to the d&c.
I am just wondering if it is legal for the doctor to not tell me about the second sack, I would have NOT gone through with the procedure that left me inferile if I had known. I would have waited another week or so and possibly have had a natural miscarriage as a result. Thank you.

It amazes me how people think we lawyers have answers to complicated medical questions. Unless we just went through a long trial on those same questions in another case and heard from doctors on both sides about the medical issues, we are no place to go for answers. If we think there might be malpractice and big damages, first thing we do is pay a medical expert to give us a trained opinion.  

I am not clear on whether you had an ultrasound after the D&C and also not clear on what the end result was.  It must be that you had the ultrasound, told there was one blighted ovum, had the D&C but later found to have Asherman's.  And yes, I think "blighted ovum" and "fetal demise" are contradictory. The blighted ovum diagnosis means there never was a developing fetus, just some tissue that mimicks a pregnancy and could never turn into a normal pregnancy.  But this is clear isn't it? When you had the D&C there was no heartbeat, no sign of a normal pregnancy.  So I don't see how it made any difference that you were only told about one sac and not the fact that there may have been two sacs.  That information would not have made a difference to your decision on what to do or what the treatment should be.  In any event, there was no normal pregnancy.  Nothing to save.  So although the doctor did not tell you every detail, it didn't matter.  No way it could have mattered except in your emotional mind.  So what about giving you the option to wait for a miscarriage?  Firstly, that would be risky.  If you delayed the D&C you could have developed a life threatening infection.  I am not an ob/gyn but I would bet that under the circumstances, some doctors would want to do D&C right away and some would be willing to delay.  Bottom line though is that either decision might be based on REASONABLE MEDICAL JUDGEMENT.  As to the Asherman's, maybe you already had it, maybe it would have developed with or without the D&C, but in any event it wasn't the result of any negligence assuming it was reasonable to do the D&C.  Consider, even if you waited for the induced miscarriage, you likely would have needed a D&C anyways.  So, in conclusion, it is my unprofessional opinion that even if the doctor was wrong in not telling you everyting and wrong in doing the D&C when he did (neither premise which I agree with), you really didn't suffer any damage because there never was a viable pregnancy and having a D&C was probably going to happen eventually in this story.  A malpractice case requires very very glaring medical mistakes that causes damages worth at least several hundred thousand dollars.  Your story doesn't fit it that category at all obviously. Good luck

Medical Malpractice

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Glenn A. Dorfman


Thirty-four years experience in personal injury, medical malpractice and medical product liability law. Qualified to answer all questions regarding injuries and the law, except for worker`s compensation. Also wide experience in medical product defect cases ie current litigation regarding the Johnson&Johnson (DePuy)defective hip implant cases and Mirena IUD issues


Thirty-four years experience handling cases involving auto accidents, trips and fall, fires, dog bite,medical malpractice and defective medical product cases with particular emphasis in 2012 and beyond with the DePuy ASR (Johnson&Johnson) defective hip implant cases. Twenty-five years of experience with defective IUD issues as well

Jurisdoctor Degree 1976 and Member in good standing with CA State Bar Assoc. since 1976

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