A Common Delivery Room Mistake May Have Cost This Mom Her Limbs

mom is amputated after giving birth
CTV News

Even during a time of amazing medical advances, tragic birth complications aren't necessarily uncommon. With attentive, knowledgeable care, most of these complications can be avoided. Unfortunately, not all women are so lucky. After losing all four of her limbs just days after she delivered her child, one Canadian mother is suing a hospital over dangerous mistakes she claims her doctors made in the delivery room. 


According to CTV News, Lindsey Hubley of Halifax, Nova Scotia, went into IWK Health Centre to deliver her son, Myles, on March 2, 2017. While her delivery seemingly went fine, she was rushed back to the hospital on March 5 -- only one day after being released -- due to extreme stomach pain. After doctors heard her complaints, they decided to forgo performing an official examination, instead diagnosing her with constipation and sending her home. 

More from CafeMom: Mom Dies Hours After Birth Due to Rare Pregnancy Complication

The next day, March 6, Hubley was rushed back to IWK Health Centre after experiencing even more abdominal pain and discoloration on parts of her body. Doctors realized she was suffering from secondary septic shock and multisystem organ failure.

mom loses limbs after giving birth
CTV News

Later that day the mother was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis -- an extreme skin infection that occurs when bacteria enters the body and kills soft tissue. Because this flesh-eating disease was not caught in time, Hubley was forced to undergo multiple surgeries, including four amputations of all limbs below her knees and elbows. She also had a complete hysterectomy.

Ray Wagner, Hubley's lawyer, told CTV News that he and his client believe the infection occurred because part of the mother's placenta was not removed following the birth of her son. They also allege that Hubley had a tear in her vagina that required sutures but she did not receive them. "She was very lucky to have survived," Wagner said. 

Since March, Lindsey Hubley has been forced to spend almost all of her time in the hospital recovering, missing some of the most important moments of her son's life. While her fiancé, Mike Sampson, is trying to stay positive, he admits that it has certainly been difficult. "Myles and I make our way into the hospital pretty much every day to see mama," Sampson told CTV News.  "Our lives have been turned upside down."

In the wake of these tragic events, Hubley and her fiancé are suing IWK Health Centre for malpractice, citing negligence on the part of the hospital and five doctors as the cause of Hubley's trauma. "Our allegations are that had she been properly assessed when she presented at the hospital ... a substantial part of the damage, if not all of it, could have been prevented," Wagner told CTV News. 

These allegations have not yet been proven in court and IWK Health Centre did not immediately respond to CafeMom's request for comment.

Still, Lindsey Hubley's experience sheds light on the importance of fighting negligence in the delivery room. Research done by the CDC found that in the US, over 600 mothers die due to pregnancy-related causes every year. In a more astounding number, 65,000 women face life-threatening complications during and post-birth, like the one Hubley experienced. 

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Completely preventable instances like these are wholly unacceptable, especially in countries where access to proper and high-quality medical care is readily available. New mothers have enough to worry about without having to fear that their hospital may overlook something that could potentially put their lives in danger.

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