New mother dies after doctors fail to remove placenta after birth

Last April, a 28-year-old woman gave birth to a healthy girl. The woman experienced no complications during the birth of her baby, but 12 days after having her baby, the woman died.

Our Chicago readers may be wondering what could have possibly happened if nothing went wrong when the woman delivered her baby. How did the woman go from being perfectly healthy to dying within two weeks of giving birth?

According to a medical malpractice lawsuit that was filed earlier this month, hospital staff had failed to make sure that the entire placenta was removed from the woman’s uterus after her daughter was born. Making sure the placenta is safely removed from the uterus is something that must always happen after birth. Yet, somehow hospital staff failed to do this, which caused the woman to suffer fatal injuries.

The victim’s husband filed a lawsuit two weeks ago against the hospital that made the fatal error. The incident is certainly heartbreaking. Not only did the husband lose his wife, but his daughter must now grow up without her mother. Even more devastating is knowing that the wife and mother would still be alive today had hospital workers performed one of the most basic and necessary tasks that must be performed after a baby is delivered.

The lawsuit states that after the woman delivered her baby, a second-year resident was in charge of removing the placenta. The resident stated at the time that the placenta was not removed intact, but medical reports later stated that the placenta was intact when it was removed. Shortly after having the baby, the new mother complained of pain, urinary problems and bleeding. Instead of performing a sonogram, doctors performed an MRI and found no problems. The woman had even attended a follow-up appointment with her physician and was told that she was healing normally from the vaginal birth.

But the woman was not healing. Doctors had left about a third of the placenta inside the woman’s uterus. This caused the woman to develop a serious infection and to suffer from hemorrhaging. These complications from not having the placenta properly removed caused the woman to die just 12 days after having her baby.

The lawsuit claims that doctors had several opportunities to detect the problem and help the woman before she suffered fatal injuries.

Source: The New York Post, “Bronx woman died after childbirth due to botched placenta removal: lawsuit,” Susan Edelman, Feb. 10, 2013

  • Our firm provides counsel to patients and families who have suffered pregnancy-related injuries or birth injuries as a result of medical malpractice. To learn more about protecting medical negligence victims’ rights, please visit our Chicago birth injury attorneys page.

Pregnancy-Related Injuries

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