Another Maternal Death in New York City - Uncontrolled Bleeding
On September 26, 2016 the Estate of Amy Lam filed a Notice of Claim against the New York City Health & Hospital's Corporation for the wrongful death of a 34 year old wife and mother of two children. Ms. Lam went into premature labor on July 31, 2016 (one month before her due date) and was told by Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital to go home as she was not ready to deliver. By the following day, Ms. Lam delivered her baby at home with the help of a neighbor, made it to Harlem Hospital but died within 12 hours of her arrival due to complications of a retained placenta leading to hemorrhage.
After Ms. Lam returned home from Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital, she woke the next morning with contractions and intense pain. A neighbor came to her apartment and helped deliver the baby. All were happy and celebratory photographs of the mother, father and baby were taken. Mother and baby were then transported by ambulance to Harlem Hospital where a physician unsuccessfully tried to deliver the placenta manually. The mother went into shock and after some alleged delay, a dilation and curettage procedure was performed where a physician removes the placenta by scraping the walls of the uterus. Unfortunately, Ms. Lam's blood pressure dropped and an unsuccessful exploratory surgery was performed to discover and repair the source of bleeding.
Retained placenta significantly increases the risk of postpartum hemorrhage which is a leading cause of maternal mortality. It was reported today in the New York Times that in "New York City 38 pregnancy related deaths were caused by hemorrhaging from 2006 to 2010... during which time "more than 630,000 live births" occurred. For information on medical malpractice lawsuits, click the link below.
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