Thursday, January 19, 2023

January 19, 2008: Woman's Organs Mangled in Fatal Abortion

A middle-aged Black man with a receding hairline and thick, dark-rimmed eyeglasses, viewed through a chain-link fence
Reginald Sharpe

Dr. Reginald Sharpe has a history of malpractice, including the death of a 26-year-old patient at 3:30 p.m. on January 19, 2008. After poking around online I learned that she was a young Black woman named Chloe

According to the Michigan Medical Board Administrative Complaint, Chloe (identified as "Patient 1") went to Sharpe's clinic, Sharpe Family Planning, in Detroit for an abortion on January 11, 2008.

Sharpe performed an ultrasound and determined that Chloe was about 15 weeks pregnant. He administered 5 mg of Midazolam and 10 mg of Nubain intravenously at around 11:25 a.m., along with lidocaine.

Shortly after Sharpe started the abortion, Chloe began to have seizures and developed respiratory distress. Unlike many safe-and-legal abortionists, who just charge ahead to finish the abortion even if the patient stops breathing, Sharpe stopped the abortion and called 911. However, he failed, like so many abortionists, to provide appropriate resuscitation.

Chloe suffered cardiac arrest on the way to St. John's Hospital in Detroit, but medics were able to restore a heartbeat. However, Chloe languished in the hospital and finally died on the 19th.

Sharpe admitted to the medical board that he had perforated Chloe's uterus and she had begun to bleed internally. He either failed to determine, or failed to report, what Chloe's death certificate indicates: that  Sharpe had not merely perforated her uterus. Once the instruments were inside her pelvic cavity he had managed to cut a uterine blood vessel and lacerate her intestines and her liver. 

Since Chloe did not die the day of the abortion it's likely that she developed an infection that turned fatal.

Sharpe continued to botch abortions after the one that killed Chloe. The same documents that cover Chloe's death also describe four additional injured patients:
  1. "Patient 2" underwent a 19-week abortion at Sharpe's hands on August 5, 2011. Sharpe transferred her to a hospital because of the amount of pain she was experiencing. An ultrasound found that the fetal head was protruding from the woman's uterus. The damage to her uterus was so extensive that she required a hysterectomy. 
  2. "Patient 3" underwent a two-day procedure starting February 27, 2014. She was about 23 weeks pregnant. Sharpe perforated her uterus and sent her to the hospital. Sharpe had poked holes in the woman's uterus and pushed fetal parts into her abdominal cavity. As with his other injured patients, Sharpe had kept grossly inadequate patient records. He had also failed to properly monitor this patient and had no qualified person present to assist with the anesthesia. Fortunately the injuries to this woman's uterus could be repaired, though it's impossible to know if this damage will have an impact on future childbearing.
  3. "Patient 4"went to Sharpe for a two-day procedure starting June 16, 2014. She was about 22 or 23 weeks pregnant. The documents don't indicate that the patient was injured, but do note that Sharpe put the patient under anesthesia without a trained professional to assist, had scanty and sloppy documentation, and failed to monitor the woman while she was sedated.
  4. "Patient 5" went to Sharpe for an abortion on December 31, 2014. This patient, named Bianca, later sued Sharpe. She was about 16 weeks pregnant. Again, Sharpe's documentation was sloppy and incomplete. Sharpe spent about an hour trying to complete an abortion before the patient's cervix was adequately dilated. Bianca cried and screamed in pain and two nurses held her legs in the air so that Sharpe could work. Bianca begged Sharpe to let her rest and provide pain medicine Sharpe resumed the abortion about an hour and a half later and was still unable to complete the abortion. He had to admit Bianca to the hospital where other doctors completed the abortion and repaired uterine perforations and extensive damage that cost the woman about two-thirds of her bladder. She had to have stents put in her kidneys. She required multiple follow-up procedures to address the damage to her urinary tract.  
Sharpe had also been disciplined by the medical board for his ill-treatment of patient R. C. (I'll call her "Rachel.") who had a nightmarish experience on March 2, 2005. Sharpe started to perform what was supposed to be a 23-week abortion but was having difficulty. He gave up, sent Rachel to the recovery room, then left the facility. Nobody with medical training was there to attend to the patient. Rachel screamed in pain so loudly that her mother demanded to be allowed to see her and ended up attending her daughter as she delivered the dead baby. Rachel's mother called for an ambulance. Sharpe spoke the the medics over the phone, said he'd be there shortly, and demanded that they not transport his patient to a hospital. Because of fear of a confrontation with Sharpe, medics loaded Rachel up and drove her to a nearby parking lot to begin assessing her before proceeding to a hospital. The baby had actually been of 27 weeks gestation.

As far as I know, Sharpe is still practicing.

Sharpe's clinic also got in trouble in the summer of 2008 for dumping medical waste in with the normal garbage. Investigators found bloody gauze, gloves, and a curette tube in the trash. ("Livonia abortion clinic cited," Detroit Free Press, June 27, 2008) 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

She’s Chloe Colts. Here’s her death certificate