The North Carolina Medical Board recently reviewed a case where doctors and interns tried to induce labor on a patient, and then performed a Caesarean section, but found there was no baby inside the woman's womb, WTVD-TV reported.
Dr. Gerianne Geszler, who was in charge at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center the night of the incident, told the television station that several doctors examined the woman before the attempted C-section.
"They did an epidural on her, and when they opened up and made the incision, they saw a non-pregnant uterus," Geszler said.
Doctors quickly closed the woman's incision.
The North Carolina Medical Board issued the doctors a letter of concern, stating, "you attempted to perform a Caesarean section delivery on Patient A after a failed attempt at induction of labor ... and at the time of surgery, it was discovered the patient was not pregnant."
Geszler said an intern did an ultrasound before the surgery and could not find a heartbeat, and it was at this time that the patient convinced doctors to induce her.
The medical board said the intern did not have enough experience to make the "appropriate diagnosis."
It was determined that the patient suffered from pseudocyesis, which is the medical term for "false pregnancy." A person suffering from pseudocyesis may often have all the same signs and symptoms as a person who is actually pregnant, but there is no fetus.
Administrators at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center refused to comment on the incident.