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Cedars-Sinai Under Investigation Following Maternal Death Lawsuit

Cedars-Sinai Under Investigation Following Maternal Death Lawsuit

Following a 2022 lawsuit alleging denial of care based on race at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center—highlighting the ongoing crisis of maternal mortality in the U.S., with Black women facing a disproportionately higher risk due to systemic racism—CNN reports on an investigation initiated by the Department of Health and Human Services into the treatment of Black mothers during childbirth

CNN reported in mid-July 2023 on an investigation into the way Black mothers are treated while giving birth in the U.S. At the center of the probe is Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. The investigation was initiated by the Department of Health and Human Services following a 2022 lawsuit filed by a man whose wife died after a planned C-section at Cedars-Sinai. She bled internally despite her husband’s efforts to ask for help in the hospital. The suit alleges that the mother was denied care due to her race—a violation of her civil rights.

The deceased mother gave birth to her second son at the Los Angeles hospital, bleeding internally for almost 10 hours before she died, just 12 hours after giving birth. The widower told CNN that his pleas to care for his wife were repeatedly ignored by hospital staff. She had 3.5 liters of blood in her abdomen and her heart stopped, her husband said.

The World Health Organization describes a maternal death as the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of the end of her pregnancy, excluding those from accidental or incidental causes. While labor or delivery is often thought to be the most dangerous time during a woman’s pregnancy, CDC data shows that among pregnancy-related deaths, 53% occurred between one week and one year after giving birth. Cardiac and coronary conditions were found to be the leading underlying cause of pregnancy-related deaths among non-Hispanic Black mothers, the data shows.

A mother’s wrongful death may occur for many reasons, including postpartum hemorrhage from delivery or C-section, HELLP Syndrome (indicated by problems with blood, liver, and blood pressure), preeclampsia, and cardiac arrest among others. Negligent medical professionals providing care to the mother may be at fault for a maternal death.

Maternal death has become a continuing crisis in America. A 2018 investigation undertaken by USA Today suggested that more women are dying due to childbirth complications in the United States than the rest of the developed world. The troubling trend continued for years, as 2021 data published by the CDC found that there were 32.9 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in the U.S. For Black women, the maternal mortality rate is more than double, at 69.9 deaths per 100,000 live births. While maternal mortality can impact women in the United States of every race, ethnicity, education, and income level, Black women in particular are at increased risk, due in part to systemic racism, with death rates among Black mothers more than twice as high as those of White mothers. Black mothers also face a greater risk for potentially fatal complications such as hemorrhages, hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

Do You Suspect Your Loved One Died as a Result of Medical Negligence?

If you believe your loved one died due to medical negligence during her pregnancy, labor, childbirth or the postpartum period, consider speaking to an experienced and compassionate birth injury attorney. The attorneys at G&E can help you understand your potential legal options, if any, and answer any questions you may have.

Call us at (877) 262-9767 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We represent families nationwide and have offices in Chicago IL, Baltimore MD, New York NY, and Wilmington DE.