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Woman Died in NYC Hospital During C-Section

A Brooklyn woman died while giving birth at the Woodhull Medical Center on July 3, 2020. Shaasia Washington, 26, visited the medical center for a routine stress test. At the same time, she was pregnant and past her due date by a few days.

According to the Insider report, the Latino woman had abnormally high blood pressure while at the hospital. The staff decided to keep her under observation and induce childbirth with the help of Pitocin, a drug used to stimulate uterine contractions. The medical staff reportedly asked Shaasia if she wanted an epidural, to which she hesitatingly agreed.

woman died c section

A Brooklyn woman died while giving birth at the Woodhull Medical Center on July 3, 2020. Shaasia Washington, 26, visited the medical center for a routine stress test. At the same time, she was pregnant and past her due date by a few days.

According to the Insider report, the Latino woman had abnormally high blood pressure while at the hospital. The staff decided to keep her under observation and induce childbirth with the help of Pitocin, a drug used to stimulate uterine contractions. The medical staff reportedly asked Shaasia if she wanted an epidural, to which she hesitatingly agreed.

Shortly after, she went into cardiac arrest following a sudden drop in her baby’s heart rate. The doctors took her to the operating room to perform an emergency C-section.

Shaasia’s boyfriend, Juwan Lopez, was at the Hospital asking the staff about his girlfriend’s situation but did not get any answers. Although Shaasia’s newborn daughter, Khloe, was born healthy, her own heart stopped. She was pronounced dead after 45 minutes of CPR attempts.

The Aftermath

Juwan’s sister, Jasmin Lopez, started a GoFundMe to raise money for Juwan, who was to take care of Khloe alone now. The GoFundMe had raised above $45,000 and received massive online traction given the severity of the incident. Shaasia’s death even led to a petition that caused the New York state to publish past childbirth records to shed light on the relatively high maternal mortality rate for women of color, especially black women.

The hospital in question never issued any statements regarding Shaasia’s tragic death, quoting privacy and confidentiality laws to be preventing them from sharing any details. Juwan’s mother, Desiree Williams, alleged medical malpractice, claiming Shaasia died due to improper administration of the epidural used during the C-section. According to Williams, Shaasia was even pressured into consenting to the epidural.

Although deaths due to anesthesia complications are relatively uncommon, it is still one of the leading causes of death during labor. Racial bias still exists in the public healthcare system. Black women in the US are 2-3 times more likely than others to die during pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum.

Juwan is now raising Khloe alone and is still trying to recover from their loss and the fact that his daughter and Shaasia never got the chance even to see each other. He had even previously planned to propose to Shaasia shortly after the birth of their daughter.

The Legal Aspect

Deaths during delivery are rampant in US hospitals, especially in NYC. The laws covering medical malpractice give you the right to file a lawsuit if you have experienced complications during childbirth that has affected your or your baby’s health in any way. However, these laws are complex, and determining whether to file a lawsuit can be daunting. This is where a medical malpractice attorney comes to your help.

Without the help of a competent and reputed medical negligence lawyer, your chances of getting justice are low. A good medical malpractice lawsuit will back your case with sufficient evidence. And the lawsuit and evidence require proper presentation in front of the judge, which only an experienced attorney can do.

Contact a medical malpractice lawyer in NYC if you or a loved one has fallen victim to a health problem or injury during delivery.