RaceRadical Self CareSex & Gender
man sues hospital after wife dies during childbirth
By Erin White
February 19, 2020
Imagine your partner is giving birth to your child and is facing a potentially dangerous complication, and yet the hospital meant to care for her tells you that her life “isn’t a priority right now.” For husband and father Charles Johnson that became his reality when, in 2016, his wife Kira passed away after giving birth to their second child.
Despite the fact that Kira had a normal, healthy pregnancy, during her scheduled C-section Johnson noticed blood was seeping into her catheter. When husband Charles alerted the Cedars-Sinai hospital staff that something was wrong, Johnson recalled to WGHP: “This woman looked me directly in my eye and said, ‘Sir, your wife is not a priority right now.’
“It wasn’t until 12.30 a.m. the next morning that they finally took the decision to take Kira back to surgery.”
Ten hours after giving birth to their baby boy, Kira’s abdomen was filled with 3.5 liters of blood. And on April 23, Kira died from a blood hemorrhage.
Now, three years after his wife’s death, Charles is suing the hospital for her passing. Cedars-Sinai told media outlets that they cannot respond directly or comment because of privacy laws, but that “Cedars-Sinai thoroughly investigates any situation where there are concerns about a patient’s medical care.”
“I started to do research for myself. I realized, oh my gosh, we are in the midst of a maternal mortality crisis that isn’t just shameful for American standards. It is shameful on a global scale,” Johnson said. Since Kira’s death, Johnson has founded 4Kira4Moms, an organization dedicated to protecting and saving moms and their babies for birthing complications.
According to data from the National Center for Health Statistics, the national maternal mortality rate is 17.4 deaths per 100,000 live births. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 700 women die giving birth every year, making the United States the most developed country with the worst mortality rates. Scarier even still, Black mothers account for 37.1 pregnancy-related deaths per 100,000 while white women make up 14.7.
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