One week after the delivery of her first child, this eighteen year old
mother lost her life as a result of a blood clot that was not diagnosed.
The relevant history included a normal pregnancy that went to full term.
A vaginal delivery was induced mid-day on Friday and the baby was born
early morning on Saturday. By Wednesday the young mother started looking
bad, feeling bad and being short of breath. The next day the mother, father
and baby went to the doctor’s office for their first “well
baby visit”. Mom and dad expressed concerns about mom’s shortness
of breath. The doctor, rather than seeing it as a sign of a potential
pulmonary embolism (PE) or blood clot simply explained that her symptoms
were to be expected and would likely resolve within two weeks. Unfortunately
the shortness of breath continued and by late that evening vomiting began.
Both parents thought the vomiting must have been something she ate. Without
having experience in this area, and having been comforted that the shortness
of breath was to be expected and should resolve quickly,
the family knew nothing else to do. Ultimately, the mother lost consciousness and, although 911 was called,
she died in the hospital. Autopsy results confirmed that a blood clot
was the source of the mother’s shortness of air and the cause of
her death. Not only is it tragic that the eighteen year old died so young,
but the tragedy is compounded by the fact that this new baby will have
to grow up without a mother.