Medical negligence: Portugal woman gives birth to baby without eyes and nose, and parts of skull missing

As news of the doctor's suspension spread, six other similar cases popped up relating to his alleged negligence.

Singapore: Couple opens home to pregnant women amidst Zika threat
Picture for representation Reuters

Portugal's Medical Council suspended a doctor after a baby was born without a face. The baby was born without eyes and nose, and parts of the skull were missing. Reportedly, there are six other complaints against the obstetrician with one dating back more than a decade.

The obstetrician has been suspended for six months over allegations of negligence. The doctor, Artur Carvalho, took three mandatory ultrasounds on the mother of the boy, Rodrigo, and there was nothing of concern in the reports.

The mother, however, went through a more detailed 5D ultrasound at a different clinic and there the medics raised concern over the possibility of abnormalities. However, the doctor dismissed their concerns. "He explained that sometimes some parts of the face are not visible (on ultrasounds)... when the baby's face is glued to the belly of the mother," Rodrigo's aunt told local media.

Stillborn baby

The deformity became clear soon after the baby was born in the hospital in Setubal. Dr Carvalho did not publicly comment on the allegations. Although the doctors believed that Rodrigo will only live for a few hours, he survived for more than two weeks.

Other complaints against Dr Carvalho were also related to alleged failure in detecting health issues in babies. In fact, in one of the cases dating back to 2011, the baby was born with deformed legs, disfigurement of the face and severe brain damage.

The mother of the child, Laura Afonso, told the media that she had submitted a criminal complaint against the doctor but was dismissed by a prosecutor, according to a BBC report. Her child is now eight years old and had multiple operations but he still cannot walk or speak. Reportedly, another criminal case was dismissed where the baby died just months after she was born in 2007.

Join the Discussion