OB/GYN CAN TESTIFY TO STANDARD OF NURSING CARE,
FOURTH CIRCUIT RULES
[Posted December 8, 2011] This one is going to get the attention of the med-mal bar: Today, a panel of the Fourth Circuit, applying
Creekmore delivered a baby boy by Caesarian section, and developed post-partum medical complications. She alleged that the nurse assigned to monitor her (who had no other patients to care for that evening) paid insufficient attention to her deteriorating symptoms, noting on one occasion only that the mother was resting comfortably. The mother eventually went into hypovolemic shock and suffered a stroke from loss of blood. Despite emergency surgery, she sustained continuing physical and cognitive impairments.
At trial in US District Court in
The Fourth Circuit affirms today. It holds that the doctors practice satisfied both the knowledge requirement and the active-clinical-practice requirement for admission of medical-expert testimony. The court finds that the
Today’s panel underscores the experts trial testimony that he performs the same functions as nurses do for the relevant course of treatment:
[T]here is a great deal of things where [doctors and nurses] overlap, and I do exactly the same things that nurses do. So while I dont have an R.N., we take blood pressures the same way. We take pulses the same way. We examine uteruses the same way. We check for bleeding in the bed the same way. So I have been employed as a physician to do exactly the same things nurses do.