B.C. Women’s Hospital Lawsuit

I’ve always thought it was wrong to call our provincial tertiary care obstetrical hospital “B.C. Women’s Hospital” because it implies that women are in charge.  It should, more honestly, be called “B.C. Obstetrician’s Hosp.” or “B.C. Obstetric Anaesthetist’s Hospital”. 

Although the uterine rupture and subsequent harm to the baby boy in this story happened 7 years ago, the public has just been made aware of it because of the completion of court proceedings.  Keep in mind that Canada is very different than the U.S. when it comes to obstetric lawsuits.  Canadians do not sue as often nor do they get the large payouts that U.S. litigants are awarded.  It’s much more difficult for Canadians to get to court with injuries and, when they do, they lose the case more often than not. 

Vancouver Sun story

B.C. boy gets $4 million in damages for birth injuries at Women’s Hospital. The
mother was induced with prostaglandins at 10 days postdates. A normal pregnancy is 38 to 42 weeks, so this woman was induced 4 days before her pregnancy was even out of the normal range.  The Vancouver Sun makes it sound like the problem was created because the mother had had a previous cesarean but the real problem was putting prostaglandin gel on a uterus with a scar.  Many women have healthy vaginal births after cesarean but they should never be induced with pharmacological agents.  This woman’s uterus ruptured and the baby was brain damaged. Take a look at the B.C. Supreme Court document of  the judge’s decision.

For more information on how to have the safest possible VBAC birth please see my blog category VBAC Very Beautiful and Courageous.

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