Things That Matter

A 23-Year-Old Latina And Her Baby Died During Labor, Now Her Parents Are Suing Her OBGYN

In 2018, a startling report published by Obstetrics & Gynecology showed that minorities have a higher risk of dying during childbirth or experience complications during labor. The study concluded that black women, Latinas, and Native American women have a 70 percent chance of experiencing life-threatening complications.

 While the factors for these results may vary, including health issues, some speculate that minority women aren’t properly cared for by medical personal. 

A 23-year-old woman and her infant son died just hours after she had given birth. 

Credit: Facebook/@tracy.dominguez

The story of Demi Dominguez, of Bakersfield, California is a tragic one because it could have been prevented. Dominguez first went to see her doctor on April 16 because she was experiencing swelling and high blood pressure. The doctor gave her medication for the high blood pressure and sent her home. She then returned a couple of days later and was told to go home after they checked her blood pressure. On April 19, Dominguez’s family found her seizing and unresponsive. She was rushed to the hospital, and medical officials were able to deliver the baby boy. Unfortunately, the baby died soon after, and so did his mom. 

Now her family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against two OBGYN’s at Mercy Hospital in Bakersfield. 

One of the most disturbing parts about this story is that one of the doctors named in the lawsuit, who the family alleges contributed to the death of this young woman, is also part of other litigations. The doctor in question, Dr. Arthur M. Park is also facing charges of malpractice in the death of another one of his patients. A mother of three died in 2016 during childbirth under his care. The Medical Board of California suing him for negligence and are attempting to take his medical license away. 

According to court documents, obtained by a local NBC News affiliate, the suit says the “doctors were negligent in that they failed to do the following: timely or appropriately evaluate the seriousness of Dominguez’s condition; order appropriate studies to properly diagnose and treat her; timely administer appropriate medications to her; schedule appropriate followup care for her; and otherwise treat the condition of Dominguez and her son in an appropriate manner.”

If this story could not get more unfortunate, the family allege that the baby was healthy and could have survived.

Credit: Facebook/@tracy.dominguez

 However, because the doctor rushed to take out her placenta, he caused further damage, which led to both deaths.

Her family said that because Dr. Park too out her placenta so quickly, this resulted in a lot of blood loss. They also allege that Dr. Park failed to call a proper response team to tend to Dominguez. 

In the 2018 Obstetrics & Gynecology study, blood pressure is a huge factor as to why minority women experience complications during childbirth. Doctors say to avoid complications while pregnant women should attempt to get in the best shape they can be. However, even the most healthy women experience issues, especially if their minorities. 

Celebrity tennis champ, Serena Williams shared her frightening ordeal during the delivery of her baby girl, which brought so much awareness to this relatable issue. 

Credit: Instagram/@serenawilliams

Williams understood the state of her body and health better than anyone, so when she began having shortness of breath, she knew it could lead to a pulmonary embolism. When she informed the nurses to get a CT scan and a heparin drip, they at first didn’t take her seriously. Once they finally did, they realized Williams was correct. In other words, if Williams hadn’t advocated for herself, she could have died right there and then. 

“In twenty-first-century America, in the most powerful nation on Earth, no woman should ever die from pregnancy and childbirth. Yet every year in the United States, more than 700 women die from pregnancy-related causes, and more than 50,000 women suffer a life-threatening complication,” Michael Lu, senior associate dean at George Washington University School of Public Health and former director of federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau, told People magazine

Unfortunately for Dominguez, it wasn’t just that she had high blood pressure, it’s that her doctors didn’t do anything to help her.
 Credit: Facebook/@tracy.dominguez

Her life was just beginning. The 23-year-old was just a month away from graduating college at Cal State University, Bakersfield. Her mom ended up going to graduation and accepting the diploma on behalf of her daughter. She left behind her husband and a huge family. 

“People gravitated to Demi’s outgoing personality,” her obit states. “She was admired for her big beautiful smile, larger than life personality, and fierce independence. She had an incredible ability to always be present, to listen, to cry with you, and wanted to have a hand in changing your life. She was a passionate follower of Christ, always ready to pray, so full of joy, and unconditional love. She had an incredible sense of humor, loved to dance, and she was so much FUN!” 

READ: She Dropped Out Of High School When She Got Pregnant And Her Farm Working Parents Gave Her All The Advice She Needed To Get A Master’s

 
 

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