By Ed Runyan
An emergency room doctor at Akron Children’s Hospital testified Tuesday the two small children of Carlisa Davis were the youngest overdose victims he’s treated for an opiate overdose.
The children, 9 months and 21 months, looked fine when they arrived at Akron Children’s from ValleyCare Trumbull Memorial Hospital on Feb. 2, but they both had the worst-possible “coma score” when they arrived at TMH, Dr. Jeff Kempf said.
He testified at the child-endangering trial of Davis in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court. Davis, now 19, could get up to six years in prison if convicted of two counts of felony child endangering.
The trial resumes at 1 p.m. today in the courtroom of Judge W. Wyatt McKay.
Dr. Kempf, who has 27 years of experience as an emergency room doctor at Akron Children’s Hospital, said he’s treated children before who had consumed an opiate, but “not this young,” he said.
A urine test was conducted on both children. The older child’s results came back negative for an opiate; the younger child’s test was positive, Dr. Kempf said.
He testified he believed the reason both children went into a coma and became unresponsive was because they had ingested a narcotic.
He said there are a few reasons why the urine test came back negative on the older child despite his belief she consumed an opiate, such as an insufficient urine sample.
He said both children received a second dose of naloxone in Akron. The girl was given a second dose because her oxygen levels dropped while she was there, and she went to sleep.
After the second dose, “she woke up and her respirations returned to normal,” he said.
Based on the TMH reporting of the children having a coma score of 3, the children had no gag reflex and could have died from their reduced ability to breathe, he said.
“What that means for her is ... when given a painful stimulus – she had pain applied to her – she would not open her eyes. She did not moan or groan or make any verbal noises, and when you gave her pain stimuli, she did not move at all,” he said.
Earlier Tuesday, Terri Ann Bishop, a case manager at TMH, testified about Davis and the older child’s father bringing the children to the hospital and Bishop’s role in determining what was wrong with them.
The ER doctor told Bishop to talk with Davis, then 18, and living on Randolph Street Northwest, and “not to come back” until she had information about what had caused the children to become unresponsive.
“I kept asking her what went on, what was going on, and she just kept crying. She didn’t answer anything,” Bishop said.
Davis did give Bishop the names of two people who were in the house with her when the children became unresponsive, Bishop said.
Bishop gave the names to a police officer at the hospital, and he indicated that one of them was “a bad dude” who was “into drugs bad.” She told the ER doctor, and he administered naloxone to the smaller child, and he became conscious and “started crying,” she said.
In opening statements, Diane Barber, assistant county prosecutor, said Davis admitted to police her brother and his friends sold drugs out of the Randolph Street home where she was living.
But Davis’ attorney, Michael Scala, said Davis was distraught and pregnant at the time and agreed with whatever the police asked her.