A Houston doctor with a history of failing to meet the standard of care during baby deliveries is again under fire after gruesome allegations surfaced on social media this weekend that one of her recent deliveries was mismanaged and resulted in the death of a newborn baby.
On Friday evening, Kendra Rainey of Dallas posted a lengthy note on Facebook detailing the harrowing experience of her niece, Tatyana Phillips, 18, as she attempted to give birth to her son, D'Mauri, at Bayshore Medical Center in Pasadena. The post said Dr. June Colman was the obstetrician leading the delivery, and alleged the doctor badly botched the procedure (the post has since been deleted):
"Phillips lay on the hospital bed soaking in sweat. She was tired and out of energy. Dr. Coleman [sic] smiled and walked closer to her and stated, "Either we can do a vacuum suction or keep pushing."
There was no option for an emergency c-section. Dr. Coleman didn't didn't even let that surpass. She begin [sic] to try and suction out the baby with no permission and as she used the suction it took chunks out of [D'Mauri's] head. His heart rate was slowly dropping. She suctioned again and two more times and it now cut [Tatyana]. [D'Mauri] was beginning to turn purple.
Dr. Coleman pulled him out without any further questions and broke his clavicle... His neck was also broken. She suctioned his nose as if nothing was wrong. Phillips began to cry as she knew her son had passed. She heard no cry and Dr. Coleman was silent. She gave her the news that he had died and tried to insinuate he was stillborn.... the next day the hospital asked [Tatyana] to donate his eyes."
The post was accompanied by graphic photos of D'Mauri's corpse, including a close-up of the top of his head, which was reddened and riddled with small sections of exposed flesh — according to Rainey's post, a result of the vacuum's suction.
Texas Medical Board records show Colman was disciplined in 2014 after four patients described experiences similar to Phillips'. The board was prompted to file a complaint after the patients came forward, claiming Colman did not recommend cesarean sections, improperly performed vacuum deliveries, and mismanaged shoulder dystocia (which occurs when the shoulder gets stuck during childbirth, and in drastic cases requires intentionally breaking the fetus' clavicle to allow the birth to continue).
Two of the babies were left with permanent Erb's Palsy (paralysis of the arm) and one with severe seizures. The other newborn baby "expired secondary to massive sepsis."
The board found Colman "failed to meet the standard of care in the obstetric treatment" of three of the patients. According to the board's findings, Colman "inappropriately attempted to perform a vacuum delivery," "poorly managed shoulder dystocia," and failed to recommend cesarian sections. Colman was ordered to complete at least 20 hours of continuing medical education regarding high-risk obstetrics and pay a $3,000 fine, but was not suspended.
Phillips directed requests for comment to her lawyer Chance McMillan, a personal injury attorney based in Houston.
“We’re still looking at everything, but a lawsuit would probably be the natural progression of things," McMillan said in a phone interview. "We have a video where the doctor is talking to the mother afterward saying that if she had done a c-section, the child would still be alive. I think there is a valid legal claim there."
Bayshore Medical Center spokesperson Anum Arif responded to the Houston Press' long list of questions with this short email:
"We are aware of this tragic situation and extend our deepest sympathy to the family of D'Mauri. As always in a situation like this the hospital is conducting an extensive review to determine what actually happened and if there are areas in which we can improve the care we provide. We are very serious about the confidentiality and privacy our patients deserve. Therefore, we are not able to provide specific details about any individual patient or their care."
Arif could not confirm whether Colman is currently suspended or continuing to work as the hospital conducts its review. Arif also could not explain what the "extensive review" process is, or when it is expected to be complete.
Calls to Colman's residence were forwarded to her attorney, Richard Law.
"[Colman] has no comment," Law said in a phone interview late Monday afternoon. He said Colman is not suspended, and she has not, to his knowledge, been contacted by the hospital regarding any review process or investigation. "I’ve only had this for about two hours," Law said. "As of now, nothing has happened. No claim or notice of claim has been filed, and she’ll defend herself in court if need be."
Texas Medical Board records show Colman, 52, is licensed to practice medicine in Texas and graduated in 1993 from the Meharry Medical College School of Medicine, a historically black Methodist school in Nashville, Tennessee.
In a short interview posted on YouTube from the National Medical Association convention in 2012, Colman says, "I just want to make sure women know that we [obstetricians] are here to help them facilitate life and do great things."
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Here is the complaint filed against Colman by the Texas Medical Board in 2009:
And here is the board's ruling in 2014: