Inexperienced Resident Allegedly Causes Amniotic Fluid Embolism


A hospital’s standard of care was brought into question when a patient died from amniotic fluid embolism during the death of her third child. The case alleged that an inexperienced resident had ruptured the patient’s water bag when it was not engaged with the cervix, injuring the cervix and allowing amniotic fluid to enter the patient’s bloodstream. Moving quickly into cardiac arrest, the patient passed away during the birth. Expertise in placental pathology was sought in the case to discuss causation of the embolism and interpret the placental pathology slides and photographs.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Do you routinely review placental pathology slides?
  • 2. Have you lectured or published on the subject of amniotic fluid embolism?

Expert Witness Response E-019251

This case fits into my area of practice and expertise in placental pathology. I regularly review placental pathology slides, looking over approximately twenty cases each week, and would be able to look at the slides of this particular case and interpret the condition of the patient’s placenta.

Expert Witness Response E-011865

I have published extensively on placental pathology, and also conduct regular autopsies. For this case, I would be able to review the mother’s autopsy report and see if the embolus reached her lungs.

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