UPDATE: Psychiatrist Ginari Price was Indicated in Preventable Death of 14-Year-Old Patient

January 30, 2019

Georgia psychiatrist Ginari Price, who was jailed in October for failing to appear in court on a litany of charges, and who has now been charged with conspiring to continue prescribing controlled substances and other drugs while incarcerated, was indicated earlier in her career in the death of a 14-year-old patient.

At the time, Price was a 32-year-old psychiatric resident working on an as-needed basis at Georgia Regional Hospital. She had not yet married; her name was still Ginari Gibb.

The death of 14-year-old Sarah Crider occurred in the early morning hours of February 12, 2006 and was featured in a 2007 Atlanta Journal Constitution series regarding more than 100 patient deaths in just five years in Georgia’s psychiatric hospitals. The story details how Georgia Regional Hospital staff, including Gibb, carelessly allowed Sarah to die in bed in her own vomit.

The vomiting had started at 8:30 the night before. Gibb arrived about 9:20, and wrote in Sarah's chart that she was "found lying in bed in vomitus" and "complained of stomach cramps over several hours." Medical records don't indicate whether Sarah was able to describe the extent of her pain. Regardless, Gibb noted, Sarah appeared to be in no distress.

But Sarah's medical records contain no indication that Gibb actually examined her. The doctor did not document whether she listened for bowel sounds with a stethoscope, or checked whether the abdomen and bowel area were firm, or felt for masses.

Gibb ordered a suppository for Sarah's nausea and a Tylenol for her headache. Then she went back to work elsewhere in the hospital.

No one summoned Gibb when Sarah vomited at least two more times between midnight and 2 a.m. The overnight nurse had been occupied with other duties since 12:35, then returned at 2 to document that Sarah was lying in "extra large amounts" of vomit. A technician would later tell investigators that it resembled coffee grounds, a sign of a medical emergency: She was vomiting partly digested blood.

At 6:15 a.m., a nurse entered Sarah's rooom and found her unconscious, without a pulse, still lying in vomit. The staff declared a "code," a hospital term for medical emergency.

A nurse who raced to Sarah's room from another unit noted that her abdomen was enlarged, rounded and firm to the touch, and that a thick brown substance was coming out of her mouth. Her skin was so discolored that staff members who hadn't seen Sarah before assumed she was black.

Another nurse placed a defibrillator to Sarah's chest, hoping to restart her heart.

"Where [is] the medical doctor?" the nurse asked, according to notes later inserted in Sarah's medical chart.

Gibb, still the only physician on duty, arrived at Sarah's room a few minutes later, records show. She stood in the doorway, other hospital workers would later report, and watched as they tried to resuscitate Sarah.

In the medical chart, though, Gibb would note that Sarah was "cold, blue and without a pulse" when she arrived. "Rigor mortis had already set in."

Sarah Crider’s autopsy revealed that she was lethally constipated—constipation being a common side effect of some of the psychiatric drugs she was being prescribed—causing an intestinal blockage that caused her colon to swell almost to the point of bursting. Her lungs filled with vomit and she developed bacterial sepsis, an infection of the bloodstream.

State investigators stated that Sarah's impacted bowels developed over time and could have been detected by more careful observation. Both the state’s then-chief medical examiner and then-head of the state mental health division of the Department of Human Resources agreed that Sarah’s death was entirely avoidable.

Gibb received no punishment from Georgia Regional Hospital officials, just a letter from the facility's clinical director outlining her mistakes.

The letter's purpose, the clinical director wrote, was for "coaching and counseling."

On March 14, 2016, Gibb (who had since married and was now Ginari Price), was arrested and charged with DUI, endangering a child, suspended license, child restraint violation, seatbelt violation, following too close, failure to obey a traffic control device, reckless driving, reckless conduct, hit and run vehicle and felony fleeing and attempting to elude, according to arrest records.

Price bonded out of jail on March 16, 2016 on the amount of $22,440 but failed to appear in court on Sept. 10, 2018. A bench warrant was subsequently issued. Price turned herself in and has been incarcerated in Fayetteville County Jail since that time.

Source: “Five years, 115 patients dead who might have lived,” Atlanta Journal-Constitution, January 7, 2007, URL: https://www.ajc.com/news/state--regional/five-years-115-patients-dead-who-might-have-lived/aUvYQ1Q48A2TG2SsJeCRSK/ and Nelms, Ben, “Jailed Fayetteville doctor’s office and home raided, staff arrested,” The Citizen (Fayetteville, GA),  January 29, 2019, URL: https://thecitizen.com/2019/01/29/jailed-fayetteville-doctors-home-and-office-raided-staff-arrested/#respond 


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