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Infant’s Death Blamed on Obstetrician’s Alleged Incompetence

baby's handThe tragic loss of a newborn is the result of an obstetrician’s gross medical negligence, claims a family from Texas. The young mother presented at Bayshore Medical Center in Pasadena early in November 2015 to welcome her son into the world. The mother was anticipating induction of labor to mark the end of her mostly uneventful, low-risk pregnancy.

Instead of leaving the hospital with her newborn son, the 18-year-old mother had to make funeral arrangements for him. Her family has been outspoken in blaming the obstetrician, who has previously been sued twice for medical malpractice.

While this most recent tragedy has not yet resulted in a wrongful death lawsuit, the family has retained legal counsel to evaluate their options.

Family makes shocking allegations

Shortly after the death of the infant, the aunt of the bereaved mother posted the gruesome details of the incident online via social media. In the post, which has since been taken down, the aunt contends that the obstetrician, Dr. June Colman, egregiously breached the standard of care. “(Her niece) lay on the hospital bed soaking in sweat. She was tired and out of energy. Dr. Coleman [sic] smiled and walked closer to her and stated, ‘Either we can do a vacuum suction or keep pushing.’”

The post went on to claim that the obstetrician did not give the mother the option of having an emergency C-section. Later reports from other sources claim that the mother had repeatedly requested a C-section, which Dr. Colman allegedly rejected. The aunt’s Facebook post went on to claim that the doctor began to try vacuum suction without obtaining informed consent from the mother and “as she used the suction it took chunks out of (the infant’s) head. His heart rate was slowly dropping. She suctioned again and two more times and it now cut (the mother). (The child) was beginning to turn purple.”

“Dr. Coleman pulled him out without any further questions and broke his clavicle… His neck was also broken. She suctioned his nose as if nothing was wrong. (The mother) began to cry as she knew her son had passed. She heard no cry and Dr. Coleman was silent. She gave her the news that he had died and tried to insinuate he was stillborn…” The aunt’s post was accompanied by a close-up picture of the infant’s head, which allegedly showed areas of exposed flesh.

Previous disciplinary actions

As shocking as this incident is, it isn’t the first time the doctor has been under fire for alleged medical malpractice. At least four other patients had previously stepped forward to complain about the obstetrician. Among their complaints, patients claimed that Colman performed improper vacuum-assisted deliveries, failed to recommend emergency C-sections when indicated, and failed to respond properly to signs of shoulder dystocia. Two other infants in Colman’s care were diagnosed with permanent paralysis of the arm, a condition known as Erb’s palsy. Another suffers severe seizures and the fourth baby did not survive because of “massive sepsis.”

The Texas Medical Board filed a complaint against Colman and later determined that she had breached the standard of care in three of the cases. However, she was not suspended. The Board ordered her to complete continuing education credits and pay a fine. Now, it is quite possible that the doctor will face another medical malpractice lawsuit.