No hospital records of my baby's death?
(Ford Heights, IL, USA)
My boyfriend and I had a car accident in August 2012. I was 8 months pregnant at the time and was due on Friday, September 28, 2012. But I wasn't having any contractions so was instructed by my doctor to go to the hospital the following week (Friday, October 5, 2012) to have my labor induced.
I went that day, October 5th, but my baby didn't make it. Doctors say she choked on the umbilical cord. Now I'm trying to get my baby's death certificate but they have no records whatsoever of me delivering my baby or losing my baby in the hospital.
They gave me no medication that day, but in my medical paperwork say they did. I was pregnant full term and they say I checked the box saying that I was not. There is clearly something wrong here.
What can I do? How do I make sure they aren't holding records back from me? Are they committing malpractice if they don't keep and provide records of my delivery and baby's death? Any info you can give would be much appreciated. Thank you.
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ANSWER for "No hospital records of my baby's death?":
Bianca (Ford Heights, IL, USA):
There certainly is something wrong. From the facts you present you may be in possession of the "medical paperwork" saying they gave you medication. That's a good start. The paperwork is evidence you were at the hospital on October 5th.
If they didn't give you your paperwork they at least informed you your paperwork indicates they gave you medication on October 5th. Ether way you have proof of your being at the hospital on October 5th, 2012.
Write a letter to the hospital administrator. Send it Certified Return Receipt Requested. In it state you were in the hospital on October 5th, 2012, and the doctors who attend you informed you your baby died as a result of choking on the umbilical cord. There HAS to be a record of the attempted delivery of your child. Ask for a complete copy of your medical records from October 5th, 2012, and any other time you were admitted.
If the hospital doesn't cooperate you will have to seek the advice and counsel of an attorney. An attorney has the power to subpoena those records. To do so she may have to file a lawsuit although it is highly probable that won't be necessary. There is no reason for the hospital not to release their patients' medical records, especially after a formal demand by the patient has been made.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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