According to a study by the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation, the maternal mortality rate in the United States has risen over the past few years. While maternal deaths caused by hemorrhaging have been declining, they do still happen. One woman recently gave birth and bled to death less than 12 hours later, potentially as a result of fatal medical errors.
The woman went into premature labor and gave birth to the child at home. The woman was taken to the hospital, where she underwent multiple surgeries. Shortly thereafter, she was pronounced dead. Her husband is now suing the hospital and her doctors for medical malpractice and medical negligence.
When the woman was admitted to the hospital, a doctor attempted to remove the placenta that she had not delivered. The surgery was unsuccessful and the woman went into shock and experienced a drop in blood pressure. After some time, she underwent another procedure to remove the placenta. Her blood pressure dropped again toward the end of the procedure and doctors suspected that she was hemorrhaging. The lawsuit alleges that doctors did not identify what was causing the bleeding and did not take appropriate steps to address it. The woman was then admitted to the ICU for rapid blood transfusions, but she was not doing well. Doctors asked her husband for permission to perform an exploratory procedure. The husband agreed but claims that he was not made aware of his wife's true condition and did not understand what the procedure was. After several hours in surgery, doctors informed the man that his wife's heart had stopped and that she had passed away.
The autopsy of the woman's death is still pending, leaving her widower to care for the newborn and their three-year-old son with no real explanation of what happened. By filing a malpractice suit against those who may have been negligent in providing her care, the family may be awarded financial support to help them as they continue to grieve the loss of their loved one.
Source: The New York Times, "A Woman Dies After Childbirth, and Her Husband Asks Why," Samantha Schmidt, Sep. 28, 2016