Bad things can happen in good hospitals

Post On Tuesday, December 04, 2018 By Debbie Helton

Bad things can happen in good hospitals

“I thought I had the best care possible, but it wasn’t enough to save my baby.” – Liliana Luzquinos

From the very beginning, Liliana Luzquinos knew her pregnancy was high risk due to her Crohn’s disease, a chronic inflammatory disease of the digestive tract. Liliana was under the care of a highly regarded Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) physician and chose a hospital with a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit considered to be one of the best in the U.S.

In her own words, “I wasn’t your average patient. I asked a lot of questions and was very involved in my care.” So when Liliana started to experience upper right quadrant pain at 34 weeks, she immediately went to the hospital’s Labor and Delivery Emergency Unit, but they were unable to identify a cause.

Liliana continued to have abdominal pain over the next month, although it had lessened somewhat and the OB doctor wasn’t concerned. At her 38-week appointment, her right hand was swollen and her blood pressure was high for her. When an ultrasound showed that the baby fell below the 10th percentile in growth, she was told to go see her MFM doctor in the same office.

“There was zero urgency in my MFM’s office,” said Liliana. “They told me to go home, pack my bags, that the environment was changing and it’s time to deliver.” Her MFM doctor later admitted her and started a long induction of 36 hours.

Again, there was no sense of urgency or concern in Labor and Delivery. “I think perhaps that the apathetic response or inattention to the seriousness of what was happening led to the events that unfolded in Delivery,” said Liliana.

Liliana’s condition continued to deteriorate and an emergency C-section was performed. She was anesthetized for the procedure but the anesthetic failed and Liliana awoke to a nightmare to find that her son had passed. The doctors were in shock; they didn’t know what happened.

As Liliana and her husband Kishin Kirpalani were struggling to cope with this devastating loss, she still experienced high blood pressure for her and was told “that’s completely normal.” Despite having significant swelling and multiple complications after delivery, hospital staff prepared her for discharge five days later, until her sister – a physician’s assistant – insisted on lab work before bringing her home, noting “something’s wrong here.”

Lab tests showed elevated liver enzymes and Liliana was transferred to the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit. She was diagnosed with partial HELLP syndrome and preeclampsia, and began her long road to recovery, both physically and emotionally. “Being an educated patient saved my life,” she said.

“I want the short life my son had to have meaning,” said Liliana. “You hear the same story over and over and over again, and I’ll do whatever I can to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else.”

Liliana and Kishin are now the proud parents of 19-month-old Elle and they’re more dedicated than ever to supporting the Preeclampsia Foundation’s mission. They join us in asking for your support. Please help us create a brighter future for families by making a gift to the Preeclampsia Foundation.

 
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Moms and babies are depending on us – and we’re depending on you. As we enter the season of giving, your year-end gift will guarantee that we can continue to move forward with our shared mission.

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As the nation’s only patient advocacy organization dedicated to preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome, moms and babies are depending on us to save them from these hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. Your generosity helps us advocate for policies and practices to prevent maternal and infant deaths and illnesses, educate and support our community, and fund research to find a cure.

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