Home Headlines IMSS Yucatán keeps deceased baby inside mother’s womb

IMSS Yucatán keeps deceased baby inside mother’s womb

by Sofia Navarro
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Bitelia and Wilberth, residents of the municipality of Umán, were eagerly awaiting the arrival of their baby. However, starting last week, the story of this young couple drastically changed due to what is presumed to be medical negligence by the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS).

The 30-year-old woman arrived at the General Subzone Hospital (HGSZ) #46 in Umán on Thursday, July 20, with abdominal discomfort and absence of fetal movement.

She was admitted to the gynecology-obstetrics area, where protocol tests were conducted to check the baby’s health, confirming that the fetus no longer showed signs of life, which was communicated to the family at that moment.

Fetal death is a relatively common event that affected 23,000 pregnant women in Mexico in 2021, of which 83.5% occurred before delivery.

When fetal death occurs, specialists are aware of various procedures that can be followed for the expulsion of the non-viable fetus to protect the life of the mother.

Depending on the weeks of gestation, the size of the fetus, and its position, obstetricians may wait for the product to be expelled naturally through the mother’s vagina or perform a surgical intervention to remove it.

In Bitelia’s case, as her husband stated, the doctors at the IMSS in Umán told her to wait for her body to expel the fetus naturally, leaving her in the hospitalization area where she was attended.

However, more than 24 hours passed, and the woman did not expel the fetus, causing Wilberth to become concerned about the development of symptoms of a possible infection, including fever and abdominal pain.

Because of this situation, on Saturday, the 22nd, Wilberth requested a surgical intervention for Bitelia, aiming to have the non-viable fetus removed through a cesarean section due to umbilical cord prolapse, which refers to the entanglement of the umbilical cord around the fetus’s neck.

However, the director of the IMSS hospital in Yucatán, Jhonatan “N,” allegedly denied the order to admit her to the operating room and asked the family members of Bitelia to leave the area where she was hospitalized.

Considering this as medical negligence on the part of the HGSZ #46 director, Wilberth went to the State Attorney General’s Office (FGE) of Yucatán on Sunday to file a complaint, which was recorded in the preliminary inquiry file UNATD/104/2023, initiated on the same day.

As part of the proceedings to investigate the complaint, FGE personnel visited the hospital where Bitelia was hospitalized and requested the fetus, but it was not handed over because it was still inside the mother’s body.

For this reason, the intervention of a medical examiner from the Prosecutor’s Office was requested, who certified the delicate state of the mother’s health and ordered the immediate surgical intervention to remove the fetus, which was about 70 hours after the unfortunate diagnosis.

A few hours later, the body of the unborn baby was handed over to the Forensic Medical Service (Semefo) for transportation and the corresponding autopsy to determine the cause of death.

The 30-year-old woman remains hospitalized because, after the cesarean section, she continues to experience symptoms caused by the possible infection and the anemia she suffered after her admission to the operating room.

Meanwhile, Dr. Jhonatan “N” is under investigation, accused of medical negligence.

In response to this situation, IMSS Yucatán stated through the Yucatán Delegation that after informing the family that their baby no longer showed signs of life, the hospital staff in Umán acted at all times in accordance with the Clinical Practice Guidelines for Diagnosis and Treatment of Fetal Death.

The document establishes that in these cases, there are two types of management: expectant management, where spontaneous labor is awaited, and interventional management, which requires a cesarean section.

In Bitelia’s case, due to her good health, expectant management was chosen, as in 90% of cases, the woman expels the product within the first 24 hours. However, according to the IMSS document, specialists may wait for more than 48 hours when they detect that the risk of infection or bleeding is low.

The Institute also added that the patient remains hospitalized under surveillance and continuous medical care, while cooperating with the ministerial authorities to provide the requested information.

TYT Newsroom

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