A C-Section Without Anesthesia Leads New Mom To Sue California Hospital

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A new mom from San Diego filed a lawsuit against a California hospital after experiencing an emergency C-section without anesthesia.

According to a Time report, 26-year-old Delfina Mota went to the Tri-City Medical Center in San Diego for an induction when she was 41 weeks pregnant last November. After several hours, when hospital staff could not locate a fetal heartbeat, Mota’s physician, Dr. Sandra Lopez decided to order an emergency C-section for Mota.

Even though anesthesiologist, Dr. David Seif was not present, Dr. Lopez made the decision to move forward without any anesthesia, according to the lawsuit Mota and her fiance, Paul Iheanachor, the baby’s father, filed.

Mota said that after hearing the doctor tell others to keep paging the anesthesiologist, “All of the sudden I felt cutting on my stomach … a burning sensation.” Ultimately, she passed out from the excruciating level of pain she endured having the surgery without the benefit of medication to numb the region, according to a San Diego Union-Tribune report.

According to Mota’s lawsuit, the missing anesthesiologist showed up about halfway through her C-section. During the surgery, she was “crying and screaming at the top of her lungs, that she could feel everything that was happening, and was also pleading for help.” However, nobody helped relieve her pain as they cut through her abdomen to deliver her baby during the emergency.


Mota’s daughter, Cali, who is now seven months old, was delivered healthy, but she doesn’t feel that excuses the terrible situation she endured during her daughter’s birth. Mota said, “I understand why they did it. But this is a hospital… There should have been measures in place.”

Iheanachor said that he stood by helpless as he realized his daughter’s mother experienced the emergency C-section without the benefit of anesthesia.

The hospital, however, denies the family’s claims against it. According to Tri-City Medical Center’s second statement on the situation, “The patient was administered anesthesia prior to the surgery. We are pleased that the baby is ‘healthy’ and ‘happy.'” The reason they spoke about the litigation publically is that Mota also spoke out about the situation in such a public way, and they felt they needed to defend themselves.

The suit names the hospital, surgeon, and the anesthesiologist, and it charges medical malpractice and assault and battery against those named.

While many women deliver by C-section every year and many are considered emergency situations, it’s highly unusual to hear of any surgery happening without the benefit of anesthesia.