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Mother Dies After C-Section, Family Sues For Wrongful Death

For one family, a worst case scenario became a tragic reality in 2010. After giving birth to a healthy baby boy, the mother rapidly sickened and died just two weeks later. An autopsy reported that the mother died because her C-section incision became infected with bacteria.

Now, the mother's infant and family are suing one defendant, claiming that nursing neglect and errors caused her death. The lawsuit claims that the mother called her nurse to get advice about infection symptoms and that the nurse's inattention proved fatal.

According to court documents, the family says that the mother called the nurse for help twice. On the first call, she described a painful and discolored incision with foul-smelling discharge. The nurse allegedly said that the woman should wash the incision with water and peroxide.

But when the mother called again the next day, the nurse repeated the advice and finally scheduled an appointment with a doctor. The mother did not live to make that appointment-she died of sepsis the next day. This lawsuit claims that the nurse should have responded faster by immediately scheduling an appointment to treat the mother's infection.

Medical malpractice cases like this look at whether a medical professional did the same thing that another professional would do in a similar situation. So this case will probably focus on the nurse's decision not to schedule an appointment immediately. If the family is successful, a wrongful death award will help them provide for the woman's newborn child.

Source: ABQ Journal, "Suit Filed Over Mother's Death After C-Section," Olivier Uyttebrouck, Oct. 19, 2012 

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