A pregnant woman suffered fetal demise after her Perinatologist allegedly neglected to respond to critical changes in the patient’s biophysical profile score. Allegedly her blood sugar had not been well monitored by her doctor, despite a prior diagnosis of gestational diabetes. Her ultrasound at 38 weeks of pregnancy was accompanied by a biophysical profile test, which concluded that the fetus was non-reactive. The nurses chose not to disclose the results of the test to the patient, and instead asked her to eat lunch and then take another test. The second profile also came back as non-reactive, but the staff sent the patient home without informing any physician of the two non-reactive results. Two hours later, the fetus died, and the medical staff was sued for negligence.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
1. Should a physician have been notified of the two non-reactive results?
2. Should this patient have been monitored further before being sent home?
Expert Witness Response E-008110
The physician should have been notified. Any low biophysical profile requires follow-up testing with a reactive Non Stress Test or additional biophysical profile with a normal score within the next six hours.