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Kentucky Medical Regulators File Complaint Following Botched Delivery at TJ Samson Hospital

The Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure has filed a complaint against an obstetrician who allegedly botched a delivery at TJ Samson Community Hospital in Glasgow. 

According to witnesses, Dr. Gerald Thorpe caused major bruising to an infant’s head trying to rush a delivery because he feared missing his vacation flight.  Thorpe allegedly told a woman in labor he could have another doctor deliver the baby or he could use forceps to help speed the delivery because he “had a plane to catch.”

When forceps and a vacuum failed, he then asked another physician, Dr. John Craddock, to do an emergency C-section.  Craddock delivered what he called a very unresponsive baby who had to be resuscitated.  He described the baby as extremely bruised, with pale gray skin. He also said the baby  developed seizure-like activity.

The complaint by the licensure board didn’t disclose the parents or what ultimately happened to the newborn following the delivery last September.  Thorpe's attorney, Daniel Brown, issued a statement to WKU Public Radio.

"I would simply note on behalf of Dr. Thorpe that he strenuously disputes the claims made against him and thus intends to vigorously contest them going forward," Brown wrote. "We are confident he will be completely vindicated once he is given an opportunity to be heard in this matter."

The complaint follows an emergency order barring Thorpe from taking part in any deliveries.  TJ Regional Health said in a statement that Dr. Thorpe is no longer employed there.

"We strive to provide the highest quality and safest care for all of our patients," said Stacey Biggs, Executive Vice President of Marketing, Planning, and Development. "Although I cannot comment on the ongoing investigation, I can confirm that Dr. Thorpe is no longer associated with TJ Regional Health."

According to the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure, Thorpe's case is scheduled to go before a hearing officer on Jan. 4, 2022.  The KBL will then issue a final order that could range from no penalty to revocation of his license.

Thorpe has practiced medicine in Kentucky since 2015. His LinkedIn profile says he graduated from University of Kansas School of Medicine.
Copyright 2021 WKU Public Radio. To see more, visit WKU Public Radio.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.
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