It is clear to me that the proximate cause of her death was a uterine perforation during the D&E which entered the left broad ligament and transected the left uterine artery. This artery carries blood essentially from the aorta, through the common and internal iliac. At term up to 500cc of blood a minute is supplied to the uterus.
At 16 weeks, there is a significant amount of blood flow to the uterus.
The risk of uterine perforation during D&C is not high, maybe 1-2/1000. Still, during regular D&Cs, this risk is discussed with the patient in detail
The risk of uterine perforation during a D&E (second trimester surgical abortion) ranges from 4-5/1000 depending on the study. But most will agree that the surgeon needs to be experienced in the procedure and the management of it’s complications.
Most surgeons, myself included, have an incredible amount of respect for the miracle that is the human body. And we are taught and trained to have a keen sense of the complications that can occur with any surgery. There are some that say that if you haven’t experienced a complication, then you haven’t done enough. So, I am not going to be a member of the chorus that starts to count numbers.
However, I preach two things to every student and resident I have ever taught, First…having a complication is not a disaster, but not recognizing or thinking of it invariably leads to one. And the second, taught to me on my first day of residency by a dear mentor, Arthur Antoniadis, that you always need to get in trouble in a crowd.
It is unconscionable to me that the staff at this planned parenthood waited 5 hours, essentially did no documentation (maybe they did, but didn’t communicate it to EMS or to Northwestern), and wasted valuable time. This woman essentially bled to death, while the staff did, essentially nothing.Who is at fault? I have no idea. But the Physician is considered the quarterback, and the medical director is responsible for all emergence plans and protocols. It seems that no one ever thought that this kind of complication could take place. That lack of respect borders on arrogance.
Eternal rest grant unto her O Lord, and let perpetual light be upon her
May Tonya rest in peace, amen.
- Dead mother’s autopsy report suggests Cook County may be protecting Planned Parenthood (illinoisreview.typepad.com)
- Autopsy Report Reveals Planned Parenthood’s Negligence Was Responsible for Tonya Reaves’ Death (deaconjohnspace.wordpress.com)
- Autopsy Reveals Planned Parenthood Guilty of Death and Gross Negligence of Patient (godfatherpolitics.com)
- Mom Sues Planned Parenthood for the Botched Abortion Death of Tonya Reaves (deaconforlife.blogspot.com)