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Radiologists Sued For ‘Wrongful Birth’

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A Baltimore couple has filed a wrongful-birth lawsuit against a radiology practice after a sonogram result showing fetal abnormalities was, according to the suit, sent to the wrong doctor.

The Daily Record, a business and legal newspaper in Baltimore, reports that the lawsuit names American Radiology Services of Pikesville, Maryland, as well as The Johns Hopkins Health System Corp., which is American Radiology’s insurer, and Karen Y. Perkins, MD, the couple’s OB-GYN.

The couple’s lawyer estimated that a “lifetime of care” for the baby, born in July 2009, could cost more than $20 million. The lawyer, Michael B. Snyder, says the misdirection of the sonogram report prevented the couple, Jessica Young and Antoine McLeod, from making an informed decision about whether to continue the pregnancy.

“Had they known at the time they did the sonogram,” Snyder said, “the family would have made the difficult decision to terminate the pregnancy.”

According to the lawsuit, Young had a sonogram at American Radiology Services in March 2009 that showed abnormalities, including the possibility that the male fetus’s stomach was in his chest cavity. But, the suit says, the report was sent to Karen E. Perkins, MD, a family-practice doctor in Baltimore, rather than to Dr. Karen Y. Perkins in Randallstown, Maryland, which is northwest of Baltimore.

Dr. Karen Y. Perkins called American Radiology about the sonogram a few days later and was told the results showed that the baby was normal, according to the suit.

On July 13, an ultrasound showed that there was a hole in the fetus’s diaphragm, that the stomach appeared to be in the chest, and that the heart was on the right side of the chest, the lawsuit says. Dr. Perkins told Young about the findings the following day and explained what had happened regarding the earlier sonogram, according to the lawsuit.

The baby, Antonio Jesse McLeod, was delivered prematurely on July 16 and immediately placed on a ventilator, the suit says. It says the child has experienced liver and kidney failure, has been given cardiac and respiratory support, and has had the hole in his diaphragm surgically repaired.

Related seminar: Maternal Fetal Imaging

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