Baby Care

St. John’s doctor reprimanded for negligence following newborn’s death in 2019

St. John's doctor reprimanded for negligence following newborn's death in 2019
Written by Publishing Team

A St. John’s doctor was reprimanded by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Newfoundland and Labrador on Tuesday for gross professional misconduct following the death of a baby more than three years ago.

In January 2019, Dr. Krista Brown was the obstetrician treating a 38 year-old woman having her first child. The baby, a daughter named Karlee, died shortly after she was delivered on Jan. 19.

Her failure demonstrated gross negligence or reckless disregard for the health and wellbeing of the patient and her infant daughter.-Ruth Trask

At Tuesday’s hearing, Brown agreed she failed to recognize troubling signs that should have triggered an urgent delivery the day before the child died. The doctor also pleaded guilty to a charge of misconduct serving of sanction.

College of Physicians and Surgeons lawyer Ruth Trask read an agreed statement of facts at the hearing.

“Dr. Brown acknowledges that her care of the patient, and in particular her failure to appreciate the significance of the fetal heart tracing of the patients’ infant daughter on January 18, 2019 and the consequent need for urgent intervention, demonstrated errors in judgment which did not meet the standard of practice which is expected of an obstetrician-gynecologist,” she said.

Dr. Krista Brown agreed she failed to recognize troubling signs that should have triggered an urgent delivery. She has been found guilty of profession misconduct. (Paul Daly/CBC)

“Her failure demonstrated gross negligence or reckless disregard for the health and wellbeing of the patient and her infant daughter.”

Trask also read a victim impact statement the mother and her partner had written. The family wrote that Dr. Brown failed to manage their case properly and failed to communicate with them and offer condolences after the child’s death.

When we should have been enjoying our newborn, we were worrying about getting an autopsy on her body.– Victim Impact Statement

“Something that was supposed to have been one of the happiest days of our life quickly turned into the most traumatizing situation I have ever experienced,’ Trask said, while reading from the mother’s victim impact statement.

“Where is my daughter? When we should have been enjoying our newborn, we were worrying about getting an autopsy on her body. Dr. Brown did not offer us condolences or speak to us after the fact and left my partner with the responsibility of giving me the most devastating news.”

The tribunal panel reprimanded Brown and she was ordered to pay for professional development courses on management of a delivery and communication with patients. Brown was also ordered to pay $10,000 dollars for the cost of the College tribunal proceedings.

No restrictions were placed on Brown’s medical license or her ability to practice.

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