October 16, 2014
A mother, close to 6 months pregnant with twins, was rushed to a Staten Island hospital last month, but instead of performing an emergency C-section, physicians delivered her babies naturally. Shortly after, the mom and twins passed away at the hospital.
According to reports, Victoria Rexach, 30, was taken to the Richmond University Medical Center (RUMC) in late August, after starting early labor. This was her third pregnancy. During her first two pregnancies, both babies were born via C-section without incident. However, doctors at RUMC carried out a natural delivery, despite the fact that Rexach’s primary physician, a high-risk pregnancy specialist doctor, wanted her twins to be delivered by C-section.
Tafari Brathwaite, the father of the twins, is demanding answers as to why Rexach wasn’t given the option of a C-section, given her premature labor and her past history of high-risk pregnancies.
“She screamed, and then she was just holding my hand and then her eyes closed and I kept smacking her face, telling her, ‘Don’t fall asleep on me, don’t fall asleep. She looked at me and said ‘OK’ and then closed her eyes, and that was the last time I saw her,” Said Brathwaite.
The twin babies, two girls, Chali and Chassidy, died only two minutes after being delivered. Since so much blood was lost during the delivery, Rexach passed away after she went into cardiac arrest, according to family members.
Although the family of the victims believe that the deaths happened due to failing to plan and carry out a C-section, the New York medical examiner’s office has not yet released an official cause of death.
RUMC, although sympathetic towards the family, released a statement, stating that the babies were not viable when born.
“The hospital and our staff who provided care to the patient worked diligently and heroically to save the life of this young woman, who had a very complex obstetrical history. Immediately upon presentation, all appropriate clinical interventions were undertaken to manage the care of both the mother and the non-viable fetuses,” the hospital statement read.
The hospital has yet to acknowledge the advice of Rexach’s high-risk specialist physician, and they’ve also failed to take any blame for their part in the unfortunate situation.
Meanwhile, Brathwaite plans to file a lawsuit against RUMC. According to family members, Rexach told physicians at the hospital that she needed to have a C-section, under the advice of her primary physician. She reportedly also told RUMC physicians that she was unable to push during delivery, but they insisted. Shortly after, she passed away.
C-section deliveries have gained a lot of popularity since the 1970s, yet many physicians are now concerned that in many instances, they are unnecessary, and can result in complications that could have otherwise been prevented. However, in the case of Rexach, who had a history of delivering her babies via C-sections, advocates feel that RUMC’s decision to deliver the babies naturally is what ultimately caused the deaths.