·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary

News & Politics

Lawsuit Claims Mother Endured Emergency C-Section Without Anesthesia

— August 2, 2018

one California mom had a less than desirable experience when she was admitted to Tri-City Medical Center on November 15, 2017, for the birth of her baby girl, and has filed a lawsuit as a result.

Preparing for the birth of a child can be a stressful, yet exciting time for any expectant mother and father. From planning and decorating a nursery to taking birth preparation classes, expectant couples have a lot to tackle before their child arrives. Then, when it’s time to welcome that new life into the world, few parents have time to worry about anything going wrong during the delivery, and rightly so. In many cases, labor and delivery go off without a hitch. However, one California mom had a less than desirable experience when she was admitted to Tri-City Medical Center on November 15, 2017, for the birth of her baby girl, and has filed a lawsuit as a result.

According to the suit filed on July 13, Delphina Mota and her fiance, Paul Iheanachor arrived at the hospital on November 15 for the birth of their child and immediately “requested an epidural before a planned vaginal delivery.” However, according to the suit, things didn’t go as planned. Instead of the uncomplicated vaginal delivery, the couple had planned, Mota ended up having to undergo an “emergency caesarian section without anesthesia.”

Image of doctors performing a surgery
Doctors performing a surgery; image courtesy of
sasint via Pixabay,

Prior to the c-section, the suit claims “Dr. Sandra Lopez oversaw her care, and that Dr. David Seif administered the epidural to numb her from the waist down.” Additionally, she was also given Pitocin to help keep her labor going. However, the day after arriving at the hospital, Mota’s doctors determined that her “blood pressure dropped and that the baby’s heart rate was difficult to read, prompting Lopez to call for an emergency C-section, in which the baby is taken out through the mother’s abdomen.” C-sections aren’t uncommon and “account for about 1 in 3 births in the U.S., with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting that in 2016, C-sections accounted for 31.9 percent of all U.S. births.

But while c-sections aren’t uncommon, undergoing one without anesthesia is. According to the suit, prior to the c-section, “Seif was paged multiple times, but did not respond, so nine minutes later, the C-Section was performed by Defendant Sandra Lopez, M.D. without anesthesia.” In the suit, Mota said “Lopez instructed staff to strap her down to the operating table before cutting her open.” She added that Seif only entered the operating room “after multiple incisions were made and that she had been crying and screaming because she could feel everything that was happening and was also pleading for help, and for Defendants to stop cutting and hurting her.”

When commenting on his fiance’s ordeal, Iheanachor said:

“If somebody put a knife in your stomach and cut you open, and had their hands on your insides, and ripped your baby out, you know. I just tried to put myself in her shoes. Just tried to wrap my mind around how it would feel to basically be gutted like a fish.”

Fortunately, the baby did not suffer any complications during the delivery, but Mota and Iheanachor allege in their suit “that the hospital and staff were careless and negligent and that Mota suffered permanent and significant injuries and emotional distress.” The suit states:

“As a direct and legal result of the above described negligence, Plaintiff Delphina Mota, underwent excruciating and unnecessary pain and suffering, until she eventually passed out from the pain.”

The hospital has yet to respond to requests for comment.


Mom given emergency C-section without anesthesia, lawsuit claims

Mom-to-be was given C-section without anesthesia, according to lawsuit

Join the conversation!