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Doctors Disciplined for Baby-Free C-Section...

posted 4/2/2010 10:06:50 PM |
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Doctors Disciplined for Baby-Free C-Section!!!
Katie Drummond Contributor
AOL News

(April 2) -- Two North Carolina doctors have been disciplined, but not suspended from practicing medicine, following an investigation into a 2008 cesarean section that they performed on a woman who wasn't even pregnant.

The woman and her husband walked into the Cape Fear Medical Center in Fayetteville, N.C., and asked for a C-section. The doctors involved, Gerianne Geszler and Dorrette Grant, spent two days trying to induce labor before opting for surgery.

But when they opened the woman's abdomen, the doctors realized she wasn't pregnant after all.

Neither doctor examined the woman to confirm a pregnancy during her hospital stay. Instead, they relied on the diagnosis of an attending resident.

As it turned out, the woman, who hasn't been identified, was suffering from what's known as a "hysterical pregnancy," or pseudocyesis. The condition is psychiatric, but accompanied by very physical symptoms like loss of menses, weight gain and even pains that mimic labor.

The ailment can be remarkably convincing, and experts speculate that the brain triggers hormonal fluxes to align precisely with an actual pregnancy.

But a doctor should still know better, concluded the North Carolina Medical Board, which was responsible for reviewing the case.

"Your inappropriate reliance on their diagnosis and the failure to conduct your own examination were contributing factors in the unnecessary attempt at a cesarean delivery," their statement to the doctors read.

Other obstetricians agree.

"You open someone's abdomen, you make darn sure you know what you're doing," Dr. Paul Paulman, assistant dean for clinical skills and quality at the University of Nebraska College of Medicine, told ABC News. "It's a potentially life-changing event."

Both doctors received "letters of reprimand," which are considered lax on the scale of possible punishment. The letters don't prohibit or suspend practice, but they are permanent parts of a doctor's public record.

The medical board also noted that the resident who'd made the pregnancy diagnosis lacked sufficient experience to do so. Dr. Geszler, who still practices medicine -- albeit no longer in obstetrics -- disagrees.

"It wasn't something I thought I'd have to check behind somebody on," Geszler told the Fayetteville Observer. "The bottom line is the woman convinced everybody she was pregnant."

Dr. Grant is still delivering babies at the same hospital where the incident occurred.

The case in North Carolina appears to be unique, but it's not the first time doctors have mistaken a hysterical pregnancy for the real thing. In 1990, Paulman treated a woman who claimed to be 13 weeks pregnant and exhibited typical symptoms. Upon examination, he concluded she couldn't be pregnant -- because she didn't have a uterus.

In that case, it was an easy diagnosis. But even with a uterus, Paulman says diagnosing a pregnancy takes little more than a few well-placed presses on the abdomen.

"You can feel the unmistakable bony head," he said.

Have any of you heard about this type of thing or this condition?....

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Apr 2 @ 10:16PM  
I just read this story on Fox News a little while ago. Unbelievable!!!!

My younger brother was born at Cape Fear Medical!!

Apr 2 @ 10:55PM  
My granddaughter Crhistina was born there and there is a lot I could say about tthat. The nurse was trying to hold my granddaughter inside my daughter until the doctor got there and then they had my daughter in a room with no buzzer for the nurse. They brought in my granddaughter to see us with no extra diapers and that is just the beginning of the list of things I could say about that hospital.

Apr 3 @ 2:00AM  
I can't even imagine what hysterical pregnancy is. I once thought I was pregnant and was pretty hysterical...........

The sad thing is doctors screw up........they get sued and than their malpractice goes the cost of seeing doctors go up...........Is what they did wrong...........yes i think it is.........I am surprised that an ultra sound wasn't done prior to a c-section. Makes me glad I have a good doctor but I imagine even she could make a mistake.

Apr 3 @ 7:56AM  
Dumb de dumb dumb
Don't they at least have EPT's in N.C.????

Apr 3 @ 5:04PM  
I'd have thought the first thing they'd have done was check for the babys heart beat before doing any operating.

we used to have a guard dog that had phantom pregnancies.
she was an awesome rottie too

Apr 3 @ 5:29PM  
Yanno..there are Many Angles to look at this...! I'm No expert...but Shouldn't the Doctors be Handed the Correct info? Should the Doctors Prove every Patient is preggers...? I thought All doctors were handed the Info they all went by?
Correct me if I am wrong......!

Apr 3 @ 10:46PM  
Don't give me grief about it please! I want this dog GONE!

An Aunt of mine had an "hysterical pregnancy". She wanted to have a baby so bad...that she made herself believe she was pregnant. She stopped having periods, she even got the "pregnant belly"..but, when the 9th month came...there was no labor. And when she went to her dr about being possibly ultra sound showed she wasn't pregnant after all.

These dr.'s tried for 2 days to induce labor.....why didn't they test for a fetal heartbeat? When my sister was in labor for her son..she was hooked up to a fetal monitor because she was having a difficult labor. And while she was in labor for her daughter...I remember the doctor checking for a heartbeat while she was in labor. Dr said it was to make sure the baby wasn't in any distress. Why weren't these dr's doing the same thing?

Apr 4 @ 9:24AM  

Wrong blog sugar!!!!!!!!!!!!


May 12 @ 12:19PM  
You'd think they'd perform an ultrasound before inducing labor to check on the babies status.

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Doctors Disciplined for Baby-Free C-Section...