37-year-old woman pregnant with twins dies. Family blames hospital
Agnieszka, a 37-year-old woman pregnant with twins, was admitted to the Voivodeship Hospital in Częstochowa, where the first of her sons died on December 23. "We decided to wait as there was a chance to save the other baby," the hospital explained in a statement. The pregnancy was terminated only on December 31, despite the death of the second foetus had been pronounced earlier. The woman died on January 25 at another hospital. She was survived by three children.
Kamila Ferenc, a trainee solicitor at "Prawo do Prawa" law firm, and legal advisor at Federation for Women and Family Planning, and Foundation Against Rape Culture asked the Voivodeship Hospital in Częstochowa on Twitter about the 37-year-old Agnieszka, who had been pregnant with twins and died at this hospital.
"Three questions - was it the patient's will to save the second foetus? And if yes, then had she been informed about the risk that goes with it? And why Polish doctors don't carry out selective abortions in twin pregnancies? Today I'm seeing Agnieszka's sister, I'll try to find answers," Ferenc said on Twitter.
In response, the hospital issued a statement. "After the death of the first child, we decided to wait as there was a chance to save the other baby. Despite the doctors' efforts, the second foetus also died. Immediately a decision was made to terminate the pregnancy," the hospital said.
The clinic did neither reveal the exact time of death of the second twin, nor when the decision to terminate had been made. Further in the statement we read that the medics tried to induce labour mechanically and pharmacologically, but to no effect (of cervical dilation and uterine contractions). Only on December 31 "it was possible to induce the miscarriage".
Death of the first twin
According to information posted on Facebook by Agnieszka's family - and spread by the "Ani jednej więcej" (Not One More) group - it appears that the woman was in the first trimester of twin pregnancy. On December 21 of last year she was admitted to Gyneacology Ward at the Voivodeship Hospital in Częstochowa - according to her relatives, due to abdominal pain and vomiting. "Her earlier complaints were disregarded by saying that it was a twin pregnancy which can hurt like this," the family argued.
The condition of the 37-year-old began was getting worse. "She arrived there fully conscious, in good physical and psychological condition, with gyneacological ailments. Through phone calls we were witnessing her condition getting worse each day," the family added.
Her relatives quote the medical epicrises, according to which the first twin died on December 23. "Unfortunately, they wouldn't allow the removal of the dead foetus, because the law in Poland strictly prohibits it. They waited until the second twin's vital functions would stop on their own. Agnieszka carried a dead baby in her womb for the following 7 days," they said.
Death of the second twin
According to the family, the death of the second twin occured as late as December 29. "Another inexcusable fact is that manual extraction of the foetuses was done only after 2 days (!!!)" - Agnieszka's relatives say. "Through all this time, she was left with decomposing bodies of her unborn sons. But they didn't forget to notify the priest on time, so he could come to the ward and conduct a funeral for the children (!!!)" - they stress.
The family suspect that Agnieszka contracted sepsis. "We base our judgement on test results because when she was admitted to hospital the CRP test showed 7 units, whereas a day before death it was as high as 157,31H (with norm at 5), and yet information on sepsis is nowhere to be found in the documentation. Her vital functions kept deteriorating with each day to a point that within a few days she turned into a proverbial 'vegetable' and was transferred from gyneacology to neurology," they wrote in social media.
The woman's relatives also argue that the hospital was hindering their contact with the patient, and would not allow them to see the medical documentation, arguing that Agnieszka had not left a written authorisation for her husband or sister. "Words were uttered about suspicion of the mad cow disease, insinuating that Agnieszka's poor health was caused by her bad diet, rich in raw meat. To quote a physical therapist from the hospital: 'she probably ate too much raw meat', and now she's in the 3% of population affected by this disease (variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease)".
Change of hospitals and death of the mother
On January 23, the woman suffered from cardiac arrest, but a resuscitation attempt proved successful. The next day, she was transferred to a hospital in Blachownia, where - as her relatives say - medics spoke with them and provided documentation.
"She brought to us in critical condition, at night," Blachownia Hospital spokesperson Marta Bełza said, but refused to provide any more details due to doctor-patient confidentiality.
Bełza confirmed that Agnieszka had died in Blachownia on January 25. Her family are convinced that a crime was committed at the hospital.
The hospital said in the statement that multiple medical procedures had been carried out that meant to help the patient, including three tests for coronavirus. Two of them were negative, whereas the third - taken on Jan. 23 - was positive. The hospital added that on that day the 37-year-old had suffered from dyspnoea and her saturation dropped. The clinic also said that the patient's family had contact with her, limited only by pandemic restrictions.
"It was a high-risk pregnancy"
Director of the Municipal Hospital Complex in Częstochowa Wojciech Konieczny decided to talk to TVN24. The facility he is in charge of is the third one the prosecutor's office is looking into. Agnieszka was hospitalised there in November, 2021. "She left the hospital on December 3 in good general condition. Both foetuses were alive. With recommended further treatment and control at a pregancy pathology clinic. Anyway, in good condition, there were no indications of what happened three weeks later," Konieczny said.
"It was a high-risk pregnancy, a difficult one. A state after three Caesarean sections, and a fourth pregancy in which she didn't feel well. She reported various ailments, but they typical during pregnancy, they happen. Hence, hospitalisation with us, tests. During her stay at our hospital nothing suggested any complications, or that the future course of this pregancy would be so adverse. As far as I can remember, she stayed with us for four days," the director said.
Źródło: TVN24 News in English, TVN24 Katowice
Źródło zdjęcia głównego: TVN24