Childbirth Deaths Spark Investigation


Share this Post

Within weeks of each other, two women died shortly after childbirth at the South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, Mass., authorities said.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has launched an official investigation into the hospital where the deaths occurred.

When women die in childbirth-related deaths, the Department of Public Health considers them "serious reportable events." There were three childbirth related deaths in 2012, three in 2011, and two in 2010 reported the state Board of Registration in Medicine.

One of the young women, Colleen A. Celia, 32, of Middleboro died last Wednesday after suffering an amniotic fluid embolism. She was a mother of four, including her newborn baby girl, Mya, .Christie Lee Fazio, 30, of Marshfield died Dec. 14 after giving birth to her first child, a healthy baby boy named Jonathan. She had complications from a Caesarean section.

“I was in the room with her. I wouldn’t leave her,” Colleen’s husband, Paul Celia, 31, told the Herald last night. “They tried everything they could to save her.

“I’m not angry,” the grieving husband said. “I just want to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

John Fazio, 27, told the Herald he takes comfort knowing his wife is “with the Lord” and no longer in pain. “She loved the Lord,” Fazio said. “She lived life every day loving her family and friends.”

Both women saw their babies before they died, their husbands said.

Both men are getting help from family members to care for their newborns. They described the new babies as blessings that came out of tragedy.

In a statement, the Public Health agency said the investigation was “standard protocol” due to the rarity of childbirth-related deaths and the fact that they happened within weeks of one another.

The Weymouth Hospital has launched its own review but is defending its medical staff and calling the deaths unpreventable.

“Our teams responded to both cases swiftly and aggressively — they did everything possible,” a South Shore statement reads. “It is too early to know the exact nature of the underlying factors that led to these tragic outcomes. All signs suggest that the two situations were unrelated, unanticipated and unpreventable.”

However the sharks are circling, as indicated by a malpractice attorney's recent statement about the deaths:

“In this day and age, maternal deaths in most circumstances should not occur,” said Boston medical malpractice lawyer Andrew Meyer. “There are those rare cases when they do occur ... but the reality is in 2014, healthy mothers going into childbirth should not run into fatal complications.”

The board’s online physician profile database shows no discipline or malpractice decision against obstetricians who South Shore Hospital lists as working there.

Image via NDN