I heard about a home birth death with Dr. Robert Biter a few weeks ago but there weren't any details. Today, I saw this on Yelp:
Review from Amber L, dated 8/11/12:My baby died 6 weeks ago because Dr. Biter was our doctor. Any way I review the course of events, the result is always the same, this would not have happened with another doctor. I chose him based on all these wonderful reviews on this site as well as word of mouth from women all over Encinitas. I saw the couple of bad reviews here, but I thought, how can he be bad if this many women go to him and rave about his care. There was very little information out there about his numerous malpractice suits and infractions with the medical board. I wish that more people knew the truth then so that someone could have warned me about his reckless practice so my baby could have been delivered safely and lived. This is why i am writing this review, so that other families won't have to go through what my husband and I are going through and so that no babies will lose their lives or be harmed by his inability to make the right call when things start going wrong.
Initially when I called to inquire about an appointment, I asked about his lack of privileges at any local hospital and was told that he was working on getting them back... I ended up seeing Dr. Cobb, who was so nice and seemed very caring, but he left the practice soon after I started going to Seaside Womens Health, so we started seeing Dr. Biter. In December, when he asked where and how we wanted to deliver and we said, Scripps Encinitas, he said - "Oh i don't do that, but i am opening this amazing birth center very soon!" He said it would have all the emergency equipment that a hospital would have with the exception of anesthesia. So great! Now we are all set to deliver at this birth center and decided to do it naturally. Around April, he informed us that the birth center may or may not be ready - but that he performed home births, so that could be our plan B. At first we were skeptical, but he made it sound so calm and serene and anyone i talked to who had homebirths thought that was their best birth experience ever, so finally we were pursuaded to take that approach. He did not give us any risk factors for homebirth and said we would be transfered to a hospital as soon as we needed to be if anything came up that warranted it. We live 2 minutes from Scripps Encinitas and thought that we were in good, safe hands because he is a doctor. This turned out not to be the case.
I asked Dr. Biter repeatedly when it was no longer safe to do homebirth, especially as I became more overdue and labor hadn't started. He said he wasn't worried and that he would tell me when he was, he did not however give me a list of risks allowing me to go so late nor did he indicate that homebirth was no longer a safe option for me. I was over 42 weeks when my water finally broke, after close to 30 hours of contractions.
After my water broke, I was in labor 22 more hours during which a number of complications arose that were either ignored or downplayed by Dr. Biter, all of which could have been dealt with effectively at the hospital. I ended up in an ambulance transferring to the hospital after my baby's heartbeat was lost. I also had a fever of 104 and was in danger of losing my uterus. I was told that if he had gotten us to the hospital sooner, they would have given me antibiotics and our baby would have had a chance. He died of a severe infection that had been present for many hours. I feel very betrayed. You have to put your trust in your OBGYN, you have to trust them to tell you what to do during labor and trust that their advice is safe and cautious and with your's and your baby's best interest at heart. I think his judgement is clouded, and he is just not able to make the necessary calls when faced with complications and life-threatening decisions.
I would highly recommend searching elsewhere for your prenatal care. I will never forgive myself for not seeing the signs and entrusting delivery of my perfectly healthy little boy to him. We will never get our little boy back, but hopefully his life can save the lives of other babies and moms by sharing our story.
So very sad :(
For those unfamiliar with Dr. Biter, he is/was a very popular doctor in the San Diego area. Here's one article about him..... feel free to Google him...
Update 8/17/2012:To read about his current issues with the medical board and to read about his probation and suspension, click here. It's a very long document but read it. Disturbing. An easier-to-read version of the probation details is available here.
The probation and suspension decision was signed on May 15, 2012 but the suspension doesn't begin until September 7, 2012. The infant death of Amber L's baby occurred around July 1, 2012. Not sure what will happen to his license once the Medical Board learns of this infant death.