Pediatric doctor cross-examined in retrial of David and Collet Stephan
After taking the stand Thursday in the retiral of David and Collet Stephan, Dr. Shauna Burkholder, the first doctor to assess 18 month old Ezekiel Stephan upon arriving at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary faced cross examination Friday.
David and Collet Stephan face one count each of failing to provide the necessaries of life for their 18-month-old son Ezekiel, who died in 2012 of bacterial meningitis.
David Stephan asked Dr. Burkholder for clarification on what he describes as several gaps in records kept during his son’s time of treatment.
Beginning by asking he doctor whether she found it odd there were no records during the 55 minutes Ezekiel was at the Chinook Regional Hospital in Lethbridge before his transportation to Calgary, Dr. Burkholder was quick to respond no, explaining to David and the court that doctors simply cannot document and deliver care at the same time.
Dr. Burkholder went on to explain that doctors usually transcribe notes on care given after the fact, or once the patient has been stabilized.
She also added that there are written notes from a responding doctor of what took place during that time, which she told the judge she would consider formal records.
Stephan also addressed a lack of records from the equipment administering medical care to Ezekial during transportation.
Dr. Burkholder replied while that is now possible, back in 2012 during Ezekiel’s case, that technology was not available, and instead notes would have been taken manually.
WATCH: Coverage of the Stephan retrial on Global News
Records from a website titled Netcare were then presented to the doctor. Stephan claimed there to be hours of missing information on medical care and records missing from the time Ezekiel was first given medical attention.
When asked why this could be, Dr. Burkholder said she isn’t in a position to answer, stating to the court that she is simply a user of this website that holds patient information for doctors usage, not an administrator.
Burkholder added that it’s not her what information is entered on the site, and that it may not be uncommon to run into a situation where all the information needed is available through Netcare.
She also noted that while all the records may not be shown online, they are present through manual notes taken by medical professionals caring for Ezekiel at the time
When asked about the responding medical team on Ezekiel’s case Dr. burkholder said she trusts them all wholeheartedly adding quote: “You had a very good team caring for your child.”
Cross examination is set to continue on Monday, with the retrial expected to last at least two more weeks.
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