Two Childbirth Related Deaths At Same Hospital Prompt Investigation

After two childbirth related deaths occurred at the same Massachusetts hospital, an investigation has been launched into their cause.

Childbirth deaths in the US are rare, but not unheard of, however, two new mothers dying at the same hospital in the span of a month, is a little more unusual and the investigation is standard procedure, according to authorities.

Colleen Celia, 32, died on January 15 moments after her fourth child was born at the South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, Massachusetts and Christie Lee Fazio died on December 14 after giving birth to a baby boy.

Massachusetts Department of Public Health is conducting the investigation into the childbirth deaths following “standard protocol”, due to the unusual nature of the events and the fact that they happened within weeks of each other.

The hospital, which sees about 3,600 births each year has launched its own review of the incidents, officials said.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has designated South Shore as a level III hospital, equipped to care for expectant mothers with high-risk pregnancies and neonatal units to care for newborns.

In a statement, hospital officials said they did all they could for the expectant mothers:

“It is too early to know the exact nature of the factors that led to these tragic outcomes,” the statement said. “All signs suggest that the two situations were unrelated, unanticipated and unpreventable.”

The hospital could not confirm the cause for the childbirth deaths, but the Boston Herald reports, Celia died from an amniotic fluid embolism — where amniotic fluid enters the mother’s bloodstream — and Fazio, 30, from complications from a cesarean section.

Paul Celia, husband of Colleen said the hospital did do everything possible to help his wife, who gave birth to a baby girl they called Mya, the couple’s first child together.

“I’m not angry,” he said. “I just want to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

According to family members of both women, the mothers were able to see their babies before they died.

In Fazio’s case, her cousin Jennifer Billodeau says this was her first child.

“She was only able to look into her son’s beautiful face very briefly before she was rushed into emergency surgery,” Billodeau posted on a website she created to raise funds for the family, which has raised more than its $60,000 goal.

Even though childbirth death is rare, it happens in the US, however, only three such deaths occurred in Massachusetts in all of 2012.