Supreme Court, Columbia County

The 12-year-old female plaintiff was treated by the defendant in the emergency room following an automobile accident resulting in a “seat belt sign” on her abdomen. After several hours of observation the child was discharged and vomited in the hospital parking lot. Upon her return she was seen by a non-party surgeon who diagnosed intra-abdominal bleeding via a CT scan and three hours later performed the first of two laparotomies to remove two thirds of the small intestine, including the jejunum, and one half of the colon. The plaintiff claimed the defendant should have ordered an abdominal CT scan, while the defense argued that the child was asymptomatic in the emergency department and earlier diagnosis of the abdominal bleed would not have affected the outcome.

Result : Defense verdict.
Defense Attorney : For the physician: Sarah E. Sholes.
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