Missed preeclampsia diagnosis caused still birth, woman claims

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Jan. 24, 2011, 6:55am

GALVESTON – Kai Hui Qi alleges that the University of Texas Medical Branch's failure to diagnose her with preeclampsia caused her to deliver a stillborn infant two years ago, recent court documents say.

According to a lawsuit filed Jan. 11 in Galveston County District Court, Kai sought treatment in January 2009 for sudden weight gain, elevated blood pressure and urinary problems, but alleges Dr. Virginia Rauth and registered nurse Julie Griffice neglected to make note of her complaints.

She believes to have developed preeclampsia during the course of her pregnancy, the suit states.

Six days after discovering the alleged problems, Kai called UTMB's labor and delivery triage to report a painless bright red vaginal bleeding. A nurse's report shows the patient previously had a blood pressure of 140/90 and began to experience fetal movement, the suit says.

Kai presented her complaints the following day. Her blood pressure now registering at 148/101, the plaintiff was revealed to have an intrauterine fetal demise and oligo/anhydramnios.

The defendant admitted Kai for induction of labor, which she made on Jan. 20, 2009. Its pathology department received and evaluated the fetus and placenta shortly afterwards.

The pathology reports indicated the immediate cause of intrauterine fetal demise was most likely placental abruption, the suit says.

It adds: "Defendants were negligent in that they failed to exercise the care of an ordinary prudent obstetrician by providing the necessary diagnosis, prenatal supervision and prompt treatment of the plaintiff's preeclampsia."

Rauth and Griffice are also named defendants in the case.

Consequently, Kai seeks unspecified monetary damages.

She is represented by Bettison, Doyle, Apffel & Guarino, P.C.

Galveston County 212th District Court Judge Susan Criss is presiding over the litigation.

Case No. 11-cv-0043

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