Articles Posted in Misdiagnosis Infection

A premature Baby Doe, at 30 weeks’ gestation, was delivered at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center. Shortly after her birth, Baby Doe was diagnosed as having a right-sided cephalohematoma, which was confirmed by a CT scan.

A cephalohematoma is a collection of blood that occurs underneath the skin in the periosteum of an infant’s skull bone. Cephalohematoma does not pose any risk to the brain, but it causes unnecessary pooling of the blood from damaged blood vessels between the skull and the interlayers of the baby’s skin. In almost all cases, a cephalohematoma will go away within weeks or months. It usually appears as a bump on a baby’s skull.

The defendant neonatologist, Dr. John Chan, diagnosed Baby Doe as having a subgaleal hemorrhage and ordered that the baby’s head be wrapped with an ACE bandage as a pressure dressing.
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Baby Doe, a twin, was born at 32 weeks gestation. Baby Doe was admitted to a hospital’s NICU where she remained in stable condition for several days.

Baby Doe developed a low-grade fever, tachycardia and irregular breathing. The next day, Baby Doe’s condition worsened. Her oxygen saturation dipped down to 78 percent, her glucose dramatically increased and her physical movement decreased.

A blood culture led to a diagnosis of bacterial infection, for which Baby Doe was given antibiotics. Within two weeks, Baby Doe was diagnosed as having a brain abscess and underwent surgery.
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