Maryland Lawsuits AgainstRobert O Atlas, M.D.
Balitmore, MD 21202
Dr. Robert O. Atlas leads the Obstetrics and Gynecology (OBGYN) Department at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland. Mercy Medical Center has been sued numerous times for medical malpractice, the available data on those lawsuits can be found here. In addition to being the Chair of Mercy’s OBGYN program, Dr. Atlas also oversees the Center for Advanced Fetal Care, which cares for mothers during high risk pregnancies. Additionally, Dr. Atlas qualifies as a Fellow of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, an association which requires additional criteria as a practicing OBGYN physician.
Dr. Robert O. Atlas has been listed as a Defendant or a Co-defendant in a medical malpractice suit four times in Maryland according to available data. Any complaint available from those lawsuits can be read in its entirety below.
The allegations in the first lawsuit available are as follows:
- Failing to properly recognize the presence of abnormal fetal measurements on the prenatal sonogram. The Plaintiff alleged that during the first prenatal sonogram, the defendants failed to report that the HC (head circumference) was just on the curve, and other head measurements were significantly below the curve, including OFD (occipitofrontial diameter) and TCD (transverse cerebellar diameter).
- Failing to understand the significance of abnormal fetal measurements on the prenatal sonogram(s). A follow up ultrasound was performed several weeks after the first, which again, included various head measurements that were significantly below the curve and abnormal, including biparietal diameter, OFD, and a very low HC (head circumference). These signs lead to a potential diagnosis of microcephaly along with a serious possibility the child being born with brain damage/mental retardation.
- Failing to recommend additional prenatal testing in light of the abnormal fetal measurements and failing to order appropriate follow up studies in light of the abnormal measurements. The plaintiff alleged that despite the abnormal findings, there were no additional tests recommended or ordered. The child was born with microcephaly, Cerebral Palsy, and other severe and permanent neurological issues.
The second complaint against Dr. Atlas listed the following allegations:
- Failing to develop a plan of care for a high-risk patient. As contended in the complaint, the plaintiff began receiving prenatal care from the defendant doctors while in the early stage of pregnancy. During one of her first visits with the defendants, she alleged that she was informed of her need for a cervical stitch, known as a cerclage, to strengthen her cervix as her pregnancy progressed. Untreated cervical weakness is a recognized risk factor for premature labor. However, according to the plaintiff the plan of care to perform the cerclage procedure was never discussed with her during several subsequent follow up visits with the defendants.
- Failing to promptly perform a necessary medical procedure. Roughly four months into her pregnancy the plaintiff presented to the defendant hospital with pelvic pain. After an examination, she was told her pregnancy was progressing normally and discharged. The plaintiff averred that she followed up with the defendant doctor a few days after the pelvic pain incident and was finally instructed to call and schedule the cerclage when she inquired about when the procedure would be performed. However, about a week before she was scheduled to receive the cerclage she again presented to the defendant hospital with complaints of amniotic fluid leakage. She alleged that following an examination, doctors warned her that her prognosis for a healthy delivery was poor because a cervical cerclage had not been placed in a timely manner.
- Failing to prevent patient injury and death. Shortly after her amniotic fluid leakage incident, the plaintiff was admitted to a different hospital when she began to bleed heavily and noticed fetal parts in her vaginal area. Later that day she delivered a preterm, stillborn infant. The plaintiff maintained that if the defendant doctors had developed a timely and appropriate plan of care for her weak cervix, which included the placement of a cerclage early in the pregnancy, her infant would have progressed to full term and been born healthy.
The third complaint against Dr. Atlas listed the following allegations:
- Failing to properly note abnormalities on an imaging study. According to the complaint, the plaintiff began receiving prenatal care with the defendant doctors early in her twin pregnancy. During her second trimester, she received an ultrasound that the complaint asserted was highly abnormal. Allegedly, it revealed that the head of one of the twins, known as Baby B in the complaint, was measuring far smaller than what growth charts considered normal. The plaintiff contended that the defendant doctors were bound by standards of care to inform her of the ultrasound abnormality and recommend that she be sent for additional imaging studies to confirm the extent of the defect but failed to do so during this ultrasound and subsequent ultrasounds.
- Failing to develop a plan of care for a high-risk patient. The plaintiff alleged that she received multiple ultrasounds throughout the pregnancy, all of which showed a severe head abnormality present in Baby B. However, despite these consistently worrisome findings, she claimed that she was never informed by the defendant doctors of the extent of the defect. She also averred that the defendant doctors offered no further tests or diagnostic procedures to fully investigate the fetal anomaly and made no attempts at medical intervention to mitigate the severity of Baby B’s condition.
- Failing to prevent patient injury. As stated in the complaint, the plaintiff continued her pregnancy to term unaware that one of her twins was suffering from an acute head aberration. She gave birth at almost 37 weeks’ gestation to Baby B’s twin, who was healthy, and to Baby B, who was diagnosed with microcephaly shortly after delivery. Microcephaly is a permanent disability characterized by abnormally small head size. About a week after being discharged home with her parents and twin sister, Baby B suffered from uncontrollable shaking and foaming at the mouth and was rushed back to the defendant hospital. There she was diagnosed with a severe brain malformation and cerebral palsy, both of which were directly related to her microcephaly per the complaint.
- Failing to provide informed consent. The plaintiff averred that Baby B is profoundly and permanently disabled as a result of the defendant doctors’ negligence, and will require around the clock care for the remainder of her life. She further alleged that the defendants failed to properly counsel her on the significance of Baby B’s head growth abnormalities in utero and detail the full range of intervention options, which included a selective reduction of the twin pregnancy. Had the plaintiff been aware of Baby B’s extreme growth defects and poor prognosis for a normal life, the complaint asserted, she would have elected to selectively terminate her pregnancy with Baby B.
Last updated October 19, 2020