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Pregnant woman nearly dies as result of delayed treatment

According to a recently filed medical malpractice lawsuit, a pregnant woman very nearly lost her life because the doctors overseeing her care waited 16 hours to perform an essential procedure.

What began as a normal day at work for the woman turned serious when she began feeling ill at work. She felt feverish and dizzy and was unable to drive. Her husband picked her up and they went directly to her doctor's office. She had a fever of 104.8. Her doctor called for an ambulance so that she could be taken to the nearest hospital. It was only then at the hospital that she learned that she had been 17 weeks pregnant, but the baby had died.

The couple already had four children and the woman had undergone a tubal ligation two years earlier. They had no idea that she could have been pregnant.

The lawsuit claims that what happened after the discovery of the fetus almost cost the woman her life. The woman claims that the doctors failed to properly examine and monitor her to determine the severity of the infection she was suffering. They did not perform the dilation and extraction until the next morning. This caused the women to develop a blood infection that led to septic shock.

The woman spent the next three months in a coma. She requires dialysis three days a week and has required brain and heart surgery. She is currently on the waiting list for a kidney transplant. So far her medical bills have already exceeded $3 million.

Beyond the pending lawsuit the hospital is also being investigated by the independent agency which accredits hospitals. If the commission finds that the hospital did not meet the standard of care it can strip it of its accreditation.

Source: Dallas Morning News "Rowlett hospital sued by woman who became ill while waiting to have dead fetus removed" Jon Nielson, June 26, 2011

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