Artificial Rupture of the Membranes (a.k.a. A.R.O.M., A.R.M., Amniotomy)

A $12 MILLION DOLLAR COURT CASE ARISES FROM A COMMON INTERVENTION
========

FACTS OF THE CASE

This medical malpractice action seeks damages for brain injuries sustained
by infant Christopher Andres Peraza as a result of the events surrounding
his birth at Arden Hill Hospital (Orange Medical Center) on May 24, 2003,
particularly, the artificial rupture of the mother’s membranes (A.R.O.M.)
by Dr. DiCostanzo to accelerate the baby’s delivery. Defendant-Respondent
Dr. DiCostanzo is the private obstetrician involved in the pregnancy care,
labor, and delivery.

This case is unusual, in that the plaintiff alleges that this invasive
obstetrical procedure (A.R.O.M.) was performed without her consent and
despite her outright refusal of consent. This is not an “informed consent”
case. The claim is not that the plaintiff was given insufficient
information about the risks, potential complications, or alternatives,
needed to make an informed decision. Rather, plaintiffs contend that
regardless of whatever information that was (or wasn’t) supplied, she
never consented to this invasive procedure – the rupture of her membranes
– at all. The procedure was performed against her wishes, disregarding her
refusal of permission. As such, the quality or quantity of the information she was given, is

irrelevant.Amni-hook instrument

The plaintiff (mother) Elsa Peraza, defendant obstetrician Dr. DiCostanzo,
and all three Labor and Delivery Nurses, as well as the plaintiff’s mother
(the infant’s maternal grandmother) and sister, have all been deposed to
completion. Not one witness testified that the mother consented to the
A.R.O.M

A. The Mother’s Refusal of Consent:

The mother, Elsa Peraza, testified that she wanted a natural labor that
would progress at its own speed. Accordingly, she refused to have her
labor accelerated with chemical stimulants, and refused to have her labor
sped up by artificially rupturing her membranes (“A.R.O.M.”). [R. 39-40,
574, 579, 586]

From the time the mother first arrived at the hospital at about 7:50 p.m.,
until her emergency cesarean section at 1:42 p.m. the next day, three
Labor & Delivery Nurses (Donna Daley, RN, Loretta Colgan, RN, and Cindy
Shannon, RN) cared for Mrs. Peraza, over the course of two nursing shifts.
All three nurses uniformly testified that from the time Mrs. Peraza
arrived until Dr. DiCostanzo artificially ruptured the mother’s membranes
some eighteen hours later, the mother refused consent for A.R.O.M.
(Although the parties disagree as to whether or not the mother relented
and eventually consented to induction or “augmentation” of her labor with
drugs, this appeal is limited to the performance of the artificial rupture
of membranes (A.R.O.M.) to speed up the labor.) The fact that all three
nurses whose care spanned the entire time from admission to A.R.O.M.
uniformly testified to the mother’s refusal of consent to the A.R.O.M., is
important, because it disproves the inference of “acquiescence by conduct”
that underlies the lower court’s Decision and Order [R. 9].

Mrs. Peraza testified that her obstetrician, defendant Dr. Lynne
DiCostanzo, pushed to have this delivery expedited for her own (the
doctor’s) convenience, and the mother reluctantly went to the hospital
because Dr. DiCostanzo was so insistent and bullied her into it:

A. So, I want to be everything okay. [Dr. DiCostanzo said] I will
induce your labor. And I say, no, I don’t want it. I want to wait
for the end, because I want to feeling normal; you know, my
normal contraction and everything. I want everything normal.

And she explained to me how she’s going to induce my labor.

And I say, I don’t want it. But she insist. She insist to me. And
she push it to me, like it — she say, no, this is better day.

I think her daughter or somebody, her son or her daughter born
in May. And she say, oh, so, is going to be like my daughter –
May 24th, or something like that. And I say — I don’t say anything
now; I’m think about by myself – so, I don’t care if her daughter
born on that day. So, only, I’m worrying about how I’m feeling
that day.

And she say, I waiting for you 6 o’clock in the Arden Hill
Hospital.

I say, but I’m not ready. You know, I’m not ready with my baby
things and stuff.

Q. Did you tell her you didn’t want to go to the hospital that night?

A. Yeah, I told her. [Peraza EBT, pages 99-100, R. 566-567]

A. And she insist to me to have it – induced labor the same day.
I mean, go to the hospital the same day to induce my labor.
[Peraza EBT, page 104, R, 571]

When she arrived at the hospital, Elsa Peraza reiterated her refusal of
artificial means to speed up her labor, explicitly telling the admitting
nurse (Nurse Daley) that she refused consent to the use of drugs or
rupture of membranes to bring accelerate her labor and delivery. She went
to the hospital, as directed, with the intention of having childbirth on
nature’s schedule, without drug or surgical interventions. Questioned by
Dr. DiCostanzo’s attorney, Mrs. Peraza testified:

Q. And as you’re talking to me now, you told her you didn’t
want to go in for an induction?

A. Yes. I told her, I don’t want it. I say, I don’t want it today.

Q. Why?

A. Too early, you know. I know is three weeks early.

Q. Did you tell her you didn’t want it that particular day, or that
you didn’t want it at all?

A. All. I don’t want it at all. … [Plaintiff’s EBT, page 107, R. 574]

Labor and Delivery Nurse Donna Daley admitted Mrs. Peraza to the maternity
unit at about 7:50 p.m., and wrote in the chart that the patient refused
induction of labor and refused the artificial rupture of membranes. The
Intake Note clearly documents that the mother “States does not want
A.R.O.M. or induction.” [R. 16, 431]

At her deposition, Nurse Daley testified that the mother never withdrew
that refusal [R. 28]:

Q. From the time that Elsa first told you she didn’t want an artificial
rupture of membranes until the time you went off shift about 7:00
the following morning, did she ever say to you, I have changed my
mind, I consent to artificial rupture of membranes?

A. No. [Daley EBT, p. 34, R. 18]

Nurse Lauretta Colgan took over Elsa Peraza’s care for the night shift.
During Nurse Colgan’s shift, Dr. DiCostanzo visited the mother in the
hospital at about 10:00 p.m., and had a discussion with Mrs. Peraza in
Nurse Colgan’s presence. Neither Dr. DiCostanzo, Nurse Colgan, nor Mrs.
Peraza testified to the exact words that were exchanged, nor the quantity
or quality of information that was supplied, but the defense contends that
this was an “informed consent” discussion. In any event, even after this
discussion, the mother did not verbalize any retraction of her prior
refusal of an artificial rupture of membranes (A.R.O.M.).

Dr. DiCostanzo did not testify at deposition that the mother consented to
an A.R.O.M., nor supply an affidavit or affirmation or any other
supplemental materials contradicting Elsa Peraza’s explicit and unyielding
refusal of consent for the A.R.O.M.

Nurse Colgan testified to her impression of that conversation – that
although the mother understood the need to deliver the baby, she still did
not want induction or A.R.O.M. Nurse Colgan could not remember the
conversation verbatim, but she recalled the substance:

Q Can you give it to me in substance, if you can’t give it to me
word for word?

A. I would say that she understood the need for the
induction. Did she want it, no. Did she understand the need
for it, yes. [Colgan EBT, p. 33-34, R. 891-892]

Nurse Colgan further testified that the patient refused all chemical
stimulation to accelerate of her labor, and refused A.R.O.M.:

Q Where did you get this information that she did not want A.R.O.M.?

A It says [in the hospital chart], ‘states does not’. Elsa [said that].

Q She said it to you?

A Right.

Q You said before that she didn’t want any chemicals?

A Right . . . She didn’t want induction of labor. Whether you
want to call it prostaglandin or whatever, a chemical stimulation
or, you know. Yes, Elsa said that to me. [Nurse Colgan’s EBT, P.
21-22. R. 19, 880-881]

* * * * *

Q From the time Elsa first told you she didn’t want an artificial
rupture of membranes, to the time you went off shift about 7:00
the following morning, did she ever state to you that she changed
mind, that she does want chemical stimulation or that she does
want artificial rupture of membranes?

A Stated, no. [Colgan EBT, p. 22, R. 881]

However, despite the complete absence of verbalization, Nurse Colgan
testified that she “absolutely” believed that Mrs. Peraza acquiesced to
the Cervidil induction by her conduct. [R. 881] Mrs. Peraza stayed in the
hospital overnight, and changed from street clothes to a hospital gown. A
change of clothes is necessary to insert the Cervidil vaginal suppository
(to accelerate the labor) [Colgan EBT, p. 32-33, R. 891-892], but there is
no testimony from anyone that Mrs. Peraza changed her clothes for that
purpose, rather than simply to avoid going to bed in street clothes. The
defense contends that the change of clothes implies the mother consented
to induction, and the Order Appealed From adopted the defense’s
conclusion, holding that “Ms. Colgan’s testimony raises a triable issue of
fact as to whether plaintiff acquiesced by conduct to her treatment after
her initial admission to the hospital.” [R. 9].

Although Nurse Colgan surmised that the change of clothes evidenced
unspoken consent to induction, she did not testify that it evidenced
consent to the A.R.O.M. that followed some fifteen hours later. To be
absolutely sure there was no misunderstanding, Nurse Colgan was asked
again:

Q. But she never said I want it [Cervidil] and she never retracted
her prior statement – –

A. Not verbally.

Q. – – that she didn’t?

A. Not verbally. [Colgan EBT, p. 33, R. 892]

* * * * *

Q. From the time Elsa first told you she didn’t want an artificial
rupture of membranes, to the time you went off shift at 7:00 the
following morning, did she ever say to you I have changed my
mind, I consent to an artificial rupture of membranes?

A. No. [Colgan EBT, p. 34, R. 893]

Nurse Colgan was asked about the routine end-of-shift “report” she gave to
the succeeding nursing shift, and she re-confirmed the mother’s refusal of
consent to A.R.O.M. a third time:

Q, If I told you that yesterday, Nurse Shannon gave testimony in
this case and said that you told her Elsa Peraza did not want an
artificial rupture of membranes [at the end of your nursing shift,
when you gave your “report, “], would you have any reason to
disagree with that?

A. No. [Colgan EBT, p. 37, R. 896]

Labor Nurse Cindy Shannon took over at 7:00 o’clock the next morning when
Lauretta Colgan’ shift ended and she went home.

Nurse Shannon testified that when she came on duty, she was informed by
Lauretta Colgan of the patient’s refusal of consent to A.R.O.M., and there
was “no question” that the patient refused artificial rupture of
membranes. [Shannon EBT, p. 31, R. 956] Nurse Shannon testified:

Q Were you aware of this note [stating that patient refused
induction and A.R.O.M.] when you took on the patient [at the
beginning of your shift]?

A Yes, I was.

Q How did you become aware of it?

A Loretta [Colgan, the prior shift nurse, told me when she
went off shift]. [Shannon EBT, p. 30, R. 18, 955.]

Therefore, according to all three nurses that throughout the night shift
and continuing into the following morning, the mother never retracted her
refusal of consent for A.R.O.M.. Even assuming that the mother reluctantly
acquiesced to induction (which is in dispute), there is nothing at all
suggesting she acquiesced to A.R.O.M. Every witness testified Mrs. Peraza
was steadfast in her refusal of consent to A.R.O.M.

This is of great importance, because it directly refutes the inference the
defense drew from Nurse Colgan’s testimony, that the mother acquiesced by
conduct. Nurse Colgan herself testified to the mother’s unwavering refusal
of consent to the A.R.O.M. right to the time she ended her shift Dr.
DiCostanzo never testified that the mother consented to an A.R.O.M.,
either. No one did.

B. Dr. DiCostanzo Proceeded Without Consent:

When Mrs. Peraza was admitted, her obstetrician, Dr. DiCostanzo, had not
yet arrived at the hospital. Notwithstanding the mother’s
clearly-documented refusal of induction and A.R.O.M., Dr. DiCostanzo
issued a telephone order that a chemical labor-inducing/accelerating drug
(Cervidil) be ready for administration as soon as she arrived at the
hospital. Dr. DiCostanzo inserted the Cervidil vaginal suppository
immediately on her arrival. [Nurse Colgan’s EBT, R. 269, 887-889] Doing so
was in direct violation of the mother’s explicit, documented refusal.

Thereafter, when the labor still did not progress fast enough to suit Dr.
DiCostanzo, a second labor-accelerating drug, Pitocin, was added. [R. 287]

Later, when the two chemical stimulants still did not speed things up as
fast as desired by Dr. DiCostanzo, she undertook a third, fateful
procedure to expedite the delivery: Dr. DiCostanzo performed an elective
artificial rupture of membranes (an A.R.O.M.). This invasive procedure
consists of inserting a blade or hook, up and into the birth canal and
piercing the amniotic membrane that contains the baby, the umbilical cord,
and the amniotic fluid. [DiCostanzo EBT, p. 159, R.830]

Elsa Peraza’s flat-out refusal of this A.R.O.M. procedure is clearly
documented in the Nurses’ Admitting Note [R. 16, 431] and was testified to
by all three labor nurses, who agreed that the mother’s refusal of the
A.R.O.M. was never withdrawn or modified. Dr. DiCostanzo simply pressed
on, disregarding her patient’s documented refusal of consent.

Labor Nurse Shannon was an eyewitness to the A.R.O.M. and the delivery.
Nurse Shannon testified that Dr. DiCostanzo ruptured the patient’s
membranes artificially although she specifically told the doctor that the
patient refused consent just before the membranes were ruptured:

Q Was there any conversation between Dr. DiCostanzo and Elsa Peraza that
you observed or overheard at about the time the membranes were ruptured up
to the time of the rupture itself?

A I made Dr. DiCostanzo aware that she didn’t want ruptured
membranes.

Q That the patient didn’t want it?

A That the patient didn’t. And the conversation I can’t recall her
discussing it with Elsa.

* * *

Q Did she go ahead and rupture the membranes anyway?

A. Yes, she did.

Q In your presence?

A Yes, she did. [Nurse Shannon’s EBT, p. 43-44, R. 20-21, 968-969]

(4) Nurse Shannon testified:

Q. Is cord prolapse something which was recognized in the labor and
delivery service as being a real obstetrical emergency?

A. Absolutely.

Q. Why?

A. Because the head would come down and press on to the cord and
cut off the oxygen supply to the baby….. [Shannon EBT, page 53, R.21,
978]

Holding amni hook to insert up vagina

C. The A.R.O.M. Caused a Catastrophic Cord Prolapse:

Immediately after the membranes were artificially ruptured, a loop of the
baby’s
umbilical cord popped out of the birth canal. This condition, known as a
“prolapsed cord” or “cord prolapse,” is an obstetrical catastrophe
requiring an emergency cesarean section.

Cord prolapse is an obstetrical emergency because the baby’s head is still
undelivered, and the head pinches off the umbilical cord (from which the
unborn baby gets its oxygen from the mother) in the confined, tight space
within the birth canal. Before the membranes are ruptured, the intact
membranes hold the cord back, preventing prolapse. A frank cord prolapse,
as herein, can only happen after the membranes are ruptured. [21-22, 32,
1030]

Because the prolapsed cord is pinched shut in the birth canal, the baby
cannot get oxygen and asphyxiates within the womb. That is exactly what
happened here. [R.22, 31, 978, 1939]

Despite an emergency cesarean section and emergency resuscitation 32
minutes after the A.R.O.M. produced the cord prolapse, the baby was born
with severely depressed Apgar scores of 1 one minute after birth, 1 five
minutes after birth, and only 5 at 10 minutes after birth. (10 would be a
perfect Apgar score). [R. 22, 328, 1002]

The newborn was rushed to Westchester County Medical Center, where he
remained in the Neonatal I.C.U. for several weeks. Now, at approximately
age 2-1/2 years, he shows the severe brain injury from these terrible
events. [R. 22, 121-123]

Defendant Dr. DiCostanzo reluctantly admitted that prolapsed cord “very
likely” caused the precipitous drop in the fetal heart rate. She
testified:

Q. Is it your testimony that you are not sure if this dramatic drop in the
heart rate eight minutes after the prolapse is related to the prolapse? Is
that your testimony?

A. My testimony is that I don’t think anyone can say that it ‘absolutely’
is caused by the prolapse.

Q. Is it very, very likely that it was caused by the prolapse?

A. Very likely. [DiCostanzo deposition, page 172, R. 22, 844]

Thus, even though the defendant tried to evade the question by couching
her
testimony in absolute terms, when pushed, she was forced to concede that
this was “very likely.” Since the law only requires that expert testimony
be given with reasonable certainty, and not absolute certainty, causal
connection is established through the defendant’s own testimony.

Plaintiffs’ expert, board-certified obstetrician Dr. Jeffrey Soffer,
confirmed the causal connection:

It is also my opinion within a reasonable degree of obstetrical certainty,
that there is absolutely no question that the A.R.O.M. in this case
directly caused the cord prolapse, which caused a deprivation of oxygen to
the infant, and the infant’s resultant brain damage. [R. 31]

In what may have been evidentiary overkill, plaintiffs also submitted an
excerpt from the Gabbe, Niebyl, and Simpson’s authoritative textbook,
Obstetrics – Normal and Problem Pregnancies, (2002), “Intrapartum
Complications,” which instructs that:

Cord Prolapse: Cord prolapse refers to passage of the umbilical cord into
the vagina ahead of the presenting part following rupture of the fetal
membranes. … Prevention of iatrogenic cord prolapse can be achieved
by performing amniotomy [rupturing the membranes] with fundal
pressure and only when the vertex [the top of the baby’s head] is well
applied to the cervix. [Emphasis ours] [R. 1038-1039]

This published statement, made without hedging or qualifications, tells us
both that iatrogenic cord prolapse is preventable (“prevention can be
achieved”) through proper technique, and that the cord prolapse herein
could not possibly have happened but for Dr. DiCostanzo’s unconsented-to
A.R.O.M. (“Cord prolapse [happens] following rupture of the fetal
membranes.”) [R. 1039]

========

Mark won $1,500 per month, every month, for the rest of the child’s life.

“In addition, when Christopher turns age 18, the structure will
additionally pay a “college fund” of $50,000.00 per year ($200,000.00
total) to fund his higher education. In addition, the structure will pay
our further lump sum cash payments of
$ 60,000 on 05/24/2028
$ 80,000 on 05/24/2033
$100,000 on 05/24/2038
$150,000 on 05/24/2043

In all, it is anticipated that over a lifetime of 75 years, this structure
will pay Christopher Andres the total sum of $12,680,842.56.”

15 thoughts on “Artificial Rupture of the Membranes (a.k.a. A.R.O.M., A.R.M., Amniotomy)

  1. Wow, what a stunning case. Among the most interesting points: who knew that changing into a gown = consenting to procedure, despite prior verbal refusal. I was also already thoroughly exasperated by the doctor’s insistence on the early induction, using her OWN daughter’s birth day as a “reason” to choose that date. ?!?

    I’m really happy for the legal outcome, though it’s a small price to pay for a life forever altered.

  2. To me, the whole case is a matter of bullying. Mother has English as a second language and still sticks up for herself and her unborn baby. Doctor has an agenda that she won’t budge on. No amount of money could make up for a lifetime of unnecessary difficulty. Bloody shame.

  3. I honestly can’t believe the attitude of the doctor. Why did she try and push the induction 3 weeks early, what was the reason?

    I am proud of this mother for sticking up for herself and hopefully this doctor will lose all her insurance coverage and won’t be practicing anymore.

  4. I was in the room as a student, with a woman being induced for IUGR. She was trussed like a turkey to the monitor and consented to AROM because she couldn’t stand her contractions trapped on the bed, and we kept losing contact with the CTG when she sat on the ball… Soon after the arom, the baby’s trace started dipping horribly, really slow recovery, after 15 to 20 mins, the RMO decided she wanted to ventouse the baby out…me too, at this point I was scared, luckily he was well applied to the cervix and she had progressed to fully in the short time, so she pulled him out quite easily, as the head crowned, I saw the cord coming down on the side of his head, it wasn’t ‘frank’ but it was obviously being compressed causing the horrible decels. The RMO didn’t blink when she told the woman the cord had been around the baby’s neck, causing the decels. I should have reported this flat out lie. But I didn’t. Thing is the RMO who did the ventouse was protecting her consultant, who had done the AROM, usually ‘routine’ even with a high head in inductions. That’s how it works. I guess I’m complicit too. Baby was Ok if that makes it any better. You see a lot of scary routine as a student.

  5. wow. that was one arrogant doctor. another reason why I fear going into a hospital for a delivery. You still have to be careful of midwives at a home delivery too. My Midwife promised me she wouldn’t break the amniotic bag. she PROMISED! I knew of her fear of the sac staying intact, she won’t tell me why tho but has seen one delivered once and it freaked her out. Baby and mom was fine. She is just, irrational. At the very end of my labor she went in my vagina and said, “Wait I need to see if the cervix is out of the way”. I already told her it was before her swift move. Midwives here can have a hidden hook on their middle finger. It looks like a condom with a small hook attached. I know she used it because as soon as I pulled her hand out i felt the bag of waters release. My baby was born 10 minutes later. Everything was fine, but I still felt violated. I will not go to her again if I have anymore babies. I can’t believe I trusted her. My gut said not to but I have a hard time trusting my gut sometimes. lesson learned.

  6. The woman in this story is amazing. What a tragedy for this woman and her baby. Gloria rightly pointed out that this terribly sad situation came about through bullying. Gloria also commented on the fact that English is this woman’s second language. These parents and this child will have the consequences of this despicable lack of respect to deal with for the rest of their lives.

    The nurses are complicit in this sad and sorry tale because they did not tell the woman her rights. They did not give her the necessary information which would have enabled her to make an informed choice to not put on that gown and to choose to leave that hospital.

    People are so vulnerable to power plays, especially when the power play involves so called professionals who people are socialised to believe have their best interests at heart. It is no different to anyone in a position of trust who violates another. That confusion that arises in these situations when there is dissonance between what feels right and what is told to them to be ‘right’ is hard to negotiate.

    The biggest lesson from this woman’s epic drama of the highest order for every health professional is the pivotal, central and crucially important requirement to listen to women.

    This woman knew something, something embodied, her inner intelligence knew what was right for her and her baby. That is a reality that it seems many of the medical and from what Michelle said about her experience, midwifery professionals need to get really clear about.

  7. I am shocked at the doctor’s actions. I am just a layperson and I know, just from giving birth 5 times, how dangerous it can be to rupture membranes. With my fourth pregnancy I had polyhydramnios and labor wouldn’t progress. I did consent to AROM but my doctor just put a tiny nick in the sac, to gently release the water. She told me she would not use an amniohook because it could cause cord prolapse. I don’t understand how a person can go through medical school and not understand this very basic concept.
    With my last baby, born at home 10 days ago, my midwife asked if I wanted her to break my water. I said no. She checked my cervix and as she did, I had a big contraction and my water broke. It was odd to feel it break naturally. Every other time I had it done artificially and with an epidural.

  8. Thank you for sharing this, Gloria. I am horrified. And I can’t help but wonder how many other iatrogenic cord prolapse cases there have been that didn’t go to court and were just assumed to be caused by nature. It’s startling and I hope that bringing cases like this up will encourage mothers all over to begin taking greater responsibility in all birthing decisions, including interviewing ALL of our providers and getting as much in writing, as possible. I’m so sad that this was such a difficult outcome, but very proud of this momma for holding her doctor responsible for purposely going against her wishes.

    And SM’s story above…just WOW! I think of the women in recent news who have been put in mental custody after giving birth because they claim their doctor lied to them (VBACs, particularly). Why does society expect that a doctor can’t possibly lie or that mothers are mentally unstable if they claim they were lied to during labor? Amazing.

    Thanks again!

  9. Cord prolapse is such a horrible thing to happen during childbirth especially when it could be so easily avoided. This case is such a shame. I feel so bad for both the baby and the mother. Who I do not feel bad for is the Doctor. She should have known better and have been thinking more about her patient than time constraints.

  10. I have seen this same scenario happen–a woman who was only 1 cm. dilated, the OB broke her bag of waters, and she had an immediate cord prolapse. Baby in this instance was fine, but it could easily have been another brain damaged child.

    As a midwife, I’ve been pressured to break the water, often by the woman who has always had her water broken before and actually believes she won’t give birth without breaking the water!

    Recently, my backup suggested breaking the water for a woman who was having a medically necessary induction. I told her that when a woman is barely dilated, and I can’t feel exactly what I am doing, I do not want to blindly poke around with a hook, trying to break the water.

    There are a couple of situations where major blood vessels can be snagged and torn with the hook, creating another disaster. If the care provider can’t feel exactly what they are doing, it is foolish to attempt to break the water.

    Is there ever a situation where it is dangerous not to break the water? The only time I can think of would be when the baby is born inside an intact bag of water. I have had this happen twice, and it’s not a scary thing. You just break the bag at that point, and the baby will be just fine. Other than that, I do not know of any time when it is truly necessary to break the water for the safety of mother or baby.

  11. Unfortunately I am very aware of what Dr Dicostanzo is capable of. She delivered my baby in Sept of 2008 in horton hospital. I never had her during any of my prenatal visits, in fact I never met her until the day I gave birth. She was the doctor on call that day unfortunately. She made what should have been a beautiful experience into a nightmare. She was very rude for one. When I got to the hospital at 8 centimeters and in extreme pain I asked her if she can wait 1 minute to check me until my contractraction passed and she took off her gloves and said “I don’t have time for this, i’ll come back later i have other stuff I need to do”. I was shocked and my boyfriend heard it from the hallway and asked her why she was being so rude. She just said “Do you have to be escorted out of the hospital?” Then as I’m still in triage she said to one of the nurses “Did you hear this girl (referring to me)asked to have a wheel chair ready for her when she got to the hospital I guess we forgot to put the mint on the pillow.” Now that was just crossing the line. I had no epidural available to me and was in extreme pain. They moved me in the room next door to deliver and by then the Dr. told the head nurse she can deliver my baby. When I was ready to push the nurse had to almost beg her to come back and deliver my baby. After my baby was delivered I never saw this Dr. again. My boyfriend saw her come in the nursery smelling like cigarrettes with a pepsi and she was never seen again. Never came to check on me or anything. It was not a good experience and its really sad that I can never get that moment back to make it a good one. I feel for this women and her son. Dr Lynne DiCostanzo should not be in this field of work. May I suggest a corrections officer as her next profession.

  12. I’m not surprised at this at all. A very similar thing happened to me, only it was a nurse and not a doctor who did it. And thankfully there was no prolapse and subsequent brain damage. This kind of thing isn’t uncommon at all, and laboring women would be best served by staying home rather than losing their autonomy when they step through the hospital doors. Apparently dressing in a hospital gown is implied consent to whatever the hospital staff wants to do to you. I feel for this woman, and while I normally don’t support medical malpractice suits because they raise the cost of care for everyone else, I applaud the success of this lawsuit, which protects the rest of us from abuse. However, I think criminal charges would have been more appropriate. After all, this doctor is probably still practicing, her insurance would’ve paid for the lawsuit, meaning that GOOD doctors who have to buy malpractice insurance are paying for it, rather than the person who actually violated this woman’s rights. Despicable system.

  13. An appalling situation with an appalling result.
    Thank God I live in a country/state that does not take your dignity by making you change into hospital gowns and so consent to anything and everything.
    It is about time that all hospital staff start treating all patients with respect.

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