Late last night I saw a link on Face Book about a Christmas miracle in Colorado. A woman was in labor and all of a sudden without warning had cardiac arrest and died. Her lifeless baby was delivered via a cesarean section and in perfect Christmas miracle fashion the mother and infant were revived and lived to talk about it.
The story is all over the media. “She inexplicably went into cardiac arrest” and like a perfect Christmas miracle both mother and infant came back to life. According to many articles she was given an emergency cesarean section right in her labor room with “no anesthesia.”
Now before we look at the TRUTH of what happened, please know I am GRATEFUL that she and her infant were able to receive life saving treatment. God bless her and her family.
Unfortunately the story the media is giving is covering up the facts of what really happened and I am infuriated that the entire story is not being told. In eliminating the TRUTH of what happened we are preventing women from getting honest information about “routine” hospital procedures that carry multiple risks. This is NOT fair!!
Understanding that I don’t have EVERY fact of the case… the deal is this… her water bag broke on its own. When she arrived at the hospital they decided to give her Pitocin to speed up labor. The contractions became difficult for her to handle and while she did NOT have an epidural with her first or second birth she decided she would get an epidural this time. AFTER the epidural was placed, she went into cardiac arrest.
Watch the video interview on GMA as Tracy, the Miracle mom herself, tells you the true story.
This is a risk of getting an epidural and its unfortunate that the media is saying NOTHING about the possible link between her epidural and her “unexplained cardiac arrest.” Does it happen often? No. Is it possible? Yes, just ask the Miracle mom and baby.
Addendum: Because I was personally NOT present during the case mentioned there is no way for me to say for SURE that the epidural in fact CAUSED this woman’s cardiac arrest. (As pointed out by one of my readers.) She is right we can’t automatically say one thing caused the other without full investigation. I just want it to be clear that Epidurals can indeed cause cardiac problems and can also stop a woman’s breathing immediately after administration. Does it always happen. NO. Does it usually happen NO. Can it happen. YES. And did the media completly ignore the possiblity of the epidural having anything to do with the cardiac arrest YES.
In fact just a couple of months ago a similar situation happened in a hospital where I was working. The outcome was a little different because the anesthesiologist was still in the room. He immediately intubated the patient and they went straight to the OR for an emergency cesarean section.
Often when I tell people I don’t want an epidural they don’t understand why. THIS is why. The risk in my humble opinion are high for a procedure that is considered elective.
Often when I tell people epidurals carry risks that are not discussed with women resulting in Mis-informed consent for a procedure they know little about, I am considered an extremist. PLEASE if you want an epidural, that’s your choice but get INFORMED!!!
ADDENDUM #2: While commenting on Reality Rounds discussion of this same situation a few points accored to me that I wanted to bring to the discussion…
I SPECULATE that there are four things that could have happened…. She got TOO MUCH medicine, the medicine went into the WRONG SPOT, she got the WRONG MEDICINE, or she had an ALLERGIC REACTION.
Also…. When she mentioned a catheter being placed, I initially did think about the epidural cath but then realized she also said she was laying down which then made me think it was a urinary catheter. If she was flat on her back immediately after her epidural placement that could have caused her to have a servere HYPOtensive episode resulting cardiac arrest. Hypotension does happen with many epidural placements so perhaps she was getting hypotensive and laying her down made took it to the bottom! I always do BPs during epidural placement but through my travels have worked in facilities where they don’t monitor the BP so closely. *smh* Who knows.
And one last thing… can the media tell the truth for once. The real truth, The whole truth. GEESH!! I guess that’s why we have blogs, twitter, and the like so we can share the truth. Okay enough yelling for one day Peace and Blessings Yall!!!
In Birth and Love