Guide to the TV Show


Holmes/Homes/HouseShow InfoResourcesSitemapGlossaryBlogs/ AnswersAboutHome

Third Season Episodes ::  #317 "Fetal Position"

Receive email when this page changes
Fetal Position
House (Hugh Laurie) and Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) disagree on how to treat a pregnant patient with kidney failure in the HOUSE episode "Fetal Position" aired April 3 (9-10 PM ET/PT) on FOX.
April 3, 2007
Written by
Russel Friend & Garrett Lerner
Directed by
Matt Shakeman
Music at the end:
"Are You Alright?" by Lucinda Williams on the Album "West"
Also available from Amazon UK
Was the fetal surgery occurrence possible
There is a photograph of a fetal hand emerging during surgery. ("Namaste" posted the above link in the Television Without Pity's House Forum.)
The patient of the week:
Emma Sloan, a top notch photographer has a stroke in the middle of a shoot. She diagnoses herself after using the FAST mnemonic: F is for face, A is for arms, S is for slurred speech... Her first doctor tells her the clot was clear. House rescinds the discharge order and sends in his "lackeys".
How House gets involved

As House tells Emma: "My boss says you're important."
The mis-diagnoses
Calcified mitral valve (predicted by House but others think it is not big enough to have thrown a clot). They fix that and her kidneys are still failing. They eliminate all possible causes.House decides it is "maternal mirror syndrome" and there is something wrong with the fetus. They paralize the fetus and find: "The fetus' heart is structurally sound. The problem's with the bladder. It's four times normal size." But that didn't fix it and House started talking about terminating the pregnancy but neither Emma nor Cuddy will consider it.
The privacy invasion / ethical breach
House may be a little forceful in pushing the patient to terminate the pregnancy.
The final diagnosis
They fix the problem with open surgery on the fetus and the surgeon finds CCAM (Congenital Cystic Adenomatoid Malformation).
The clinic patient(s)
Other things going on:
  • House is "looking for a vacation spot" and considers: the Galapagos, then Phnom Penh, Argentina's infamous Mount Aconcagua, Johnston Straight.
  • After they save Emma, Cuddy gives House a first class ticket to Vancouver Island. Later House rips the ticket in half and seems to decidde not to take a vacation at all.
Fetal Position
Dr. Foreman (Omar Epps) and Dr. Chase (Jesse Spencer)
do a risky procedure on a pregnant patient (Ann Ramsay)
in the HOUSE episode "Fetal Position" airing Tuesday, April 3 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.
Credit: Michael Yarish/FOX.
Additional information on this episode:
Season 1 DVD
Cast: Hugh Laurie as Dr. Gregory House; Lisa Edelstein as Dr. Lisa Cuddy; Omar Epps as Dr. Eric Foreman; Robert Sean Leonard as Dr. James Wilson; Jennifer Morrison as Dr. Allison Cameron; Jesse Spencer as Dr. Robert Chase.

Guest Cast: Anne Ramsay as Emma; Tyson Ritter as himself; Jeff Sugarman as Fetal Surgeon; Bobbin Bergstrom as Nurse

Quotes, Quotations, Dialogue:
  • Cameron, alone with Chase doing a test after House mentioned going on a vacation: "That was weird."
    "He was the way he always is."
    "Which is weird.... He caught us with your hand up my shirt. He's gotta have a reaction to that. You think that's what the vacation is?"
    "Yes. The pain of losing you is obviously forcing him away...."
    "There's no way House just lets this slide. He's gotta be planning something."
    "Maybe he just doesn't give a crap...."
    House Season 3 DVD
    Season 3 DVD - 35% Off
    "You think he just stumbled into that closet? He knew we were there. And he wanted us to know that he knew."
    "Or, you wanted him to know. Now he does and you're annoyed because he doesn't care...."
  • Cuddy: "Dr. Cameron. Dating ChaseŠ can only end in one of two ways—:"
    "House told you?"
    "You get married and live happily ever after or somebody gets hurt and you two can't work together and I have to fire somebody."
    "I would hate to see my personal life become such a burden to you."
    "I'm telling you this for your own good."
    "Well I assume you're going to have this same conversation with Chase for his own good."
    "Chase isn't the one who's gonna get hurt here."
    Later Cameron tells House: My social life is my social life."
    "Couldn't agree more. What goes on in the privacy of a janitor's closet is nobody's business except —"
    "She told me to end it. Is that what you want?"
    "I was actually hoping she'd fire one of you."
  • Cuddy is frantically trying to save both Emma and the baby but House has given up and so has his team, she insists on trying something that no one else thinks has a chance: "Come on. This is the kind of thing House does every day."
    "House thought we should terminate six hours ago."
    "I'll do it myself."
    Cameron asks her teammates: "Anybody going to stop her?"
    Chase: Stopping the madness is her job."
    Foreman: Somebody's got to be Cuddy's Cuddy.
    We soon see where they turn when Wilson joins Cuddy "Pulmonary edema?"
    Cuddy: "Who tattled? Doesn't matter."
    Wilson: There's a reason we don't give multiple courses of corticosteroids."
    Discover your ancestors at Genes
    Cuddy: "Gee, thanks."
    Wilson: "It's time to terminate."
    Cuddy: "That's not what she wants."
    Wilson: "Look at her. She didn't want to be an incubator for a dead baby, but that's what you've done."
    Cuddy: "Either get me a laryngoscope or get out."
  • Cuddy later goes to House, who is packing to go on vacation: I have a whole new appreciation for what you do. How hard it is to believe when everyone around you is telling you that you're wrong."
    House: "Helps to know they're idiots."
    Cuddy: "Do you think I'm an idiot?"
    House: "You're not objective. But you're not an idiot. [He takes the film and holds it to the light.] His lungs are still two weeks away from being viable."
    Cuddy: "But big enough for a diagnosis."
  • Cameron as House and Cuddy get into the office: "I thought you started your vacation."
    House: "Somebody had to save our boss' rotundas ass. Latest MRI of the Sloan fetus."
    Foreman: "Small buds in the lungs could indicate —"
    House: "Thanks. Got that multiple choice all worked out. The question is, how do we pick between A, B, C, D and 'none of the above.'"
    Cuddy: "Portable MRI's in her room. We could get a current image —"
    Chase: "Fetal lungs are so tiny an MRI won't give us the details we need."
    House: "What would we do if this patient were not just a tadpole. Say it was an actual person."
    Cuddy: "He is a person."
    House: "Thanks for playing along. Pretend that it's a one pound adult. Forget the mom, forget the womb, the placenta. How would we get a better look at what's in the lungs?"
    Cameron: "Transesophageal echo."
    Chase: "Can't access his esophagus."
    Foreman: "Higher resolution CT could give us a clearer —"
    Chase: "Too much radiation for a one pound person."
    House: "You can't just shoot everything down, Chase. You're not me. Collaborate."
    Chase: "A ventilation perfusion scan would be next."
    House: "How do we get a fetus to breathe in a radioactive isotope? Idiot."
    Chase: "If it were really a person and we had no other options, we'd do an exploratory surgery. Cut into his chest and have a look around."
    House: "Let's do that.".
  • Emma after the fetal surgery: "So my kidney, liver and lungs are all fine, just like that?"
    House: "Just like that."
    Emma: "Thatıs amazing."
    House: "Whatıs amazing is how blond your babyıs hair is."
    Emma: "My baby?"
    House: "You know, the thing in your belly that tried to kill you."
    Emma: "Youıve never called him a baby before."
    House: "Any pain?"
    Emma: "Nothing I canıt deal with."
    House: "You can only get out of bed to pee, poo or shower. And absolutely no sex. So stop flirting with me."
    Emma: "Sorry. So this really worked. Heıll beŠ normal?"
    House: "Um. If you call being born twice, normal."
    Emma: "Hey, thank you."
    House: "Donıt thank me. I would have killed the kid."
Season 2 DVD
Season 2 DVD for UK
Order Now
Season 2 DVD
Season 2 DVD
Order Now

Quotations, etc. Copyright Heel & Toe Productions, Bad Hat Harry Productions, et al.
Pictures from the show copyright Fox Broadcasting Corporation
Questions, Comments (remember we are not related to the show):

And if you are in Europe:

Fitbit Banner - Affiliate Program
See The New York Times article about the FitBit.
Holiday Gift Guide: Save up to 50% on Christmas Gift Ideas at Spend $25 to get FREE Shipping!
MIS, Inc. for Website Hosting, Development, Design & Promotion