A Bronx family is without a mother because a doctor failed to remove the entire placenta after she gave birth ten months ago. The family is now suing Montefiore Hospital for medical malpractice, claiming that the doctor botched a routine delivery.
The 28-year old woman died of cardiac arrest 12 days after her daughter was born. She suffered massive bleeding and an infection caused by the third of the placenta that remained inside her uterus, according to her family. Moreover, the woman returned to the hospital twice in search of help. She was sent home both times without any treatment.
Montefiore Hospital delivers nearly one-third of all babies born in the Bronx.
A similar case occurred in Great Britain last year, although the mother lived after suffering a massive infection that was ultimately diagnosed when she changed doctors.
Experts say that the placenta must be totally removed after birth or the uterus will fail to contract enough to stop bleeding.
In the Bronx case, the hospital medical records state that the placenta was intact, even though the baby’s father was present and heard the doctor comment that the placenta had broken. The city medical examiner also confirmed that her death was caused by the unremoved placenta. The hospital will not comment on the case or the mistaken records because of the recently-filed medical malpractice lawsuit.
The family’s lawyer said, “Making certain the placenta is fully removed is Afterbirth 101.” He further noted that the doctors had other opportunities to check when the woman returned to Montefiore, but failed to do so.
Source: Health Destinations, “A Bronx young mom died after normal delivery since doctor left behind a large part of the placenta,” Feb. 13, 2013.