A Californian woman slipped into a coma due to her undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy. Her relatives are now blaming the hospital because the doctors were unable to detect the internal bleeding which led to her coma.
Lisa Avila, a 36-year-old mother-to-be woke up on Valentine’s Day with acute abdominal pain. Together with her husband they went to the Anaheim Regional Medical Center’s emergency department to check if there was anything wrong with her 12 week pregnancy.
According to the report, doctors examined her using ultrasound and came to the conclusion that she and her child were “doing fine” and that the pain she was feeling was normal. She was given a prescription for painkillers and sent home.
Doctor’s couldn’t see anything wrong on the ultrasound so they weren’t able to diagnose the ectopic pregnancy, a condition where the fetus develops outside the uterus.
Her husband went to the pharmacy and left the mother-to-be in the car. When he came back, he found her unconscious and barely breathing. Avila was rushed back to the same hospital where she was diagnosed with internal bleeding due to the ectopic pregnancy.
Almost 1 percent of all pregnancies in the U.S are diagnosed as ectopic, meaning this phenomenon isn’t as rare as one would think. Usually, such conditions can be quickly identified but in some cases, they remain unseen during ultrasound check-ups.
Dr. Keith Eddleman, director of obstetrics at The Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan explains that if a pregnant patient shows signs of abdominal pain and bleeding in the first semester and ultrasound shows the uterus lacking the future baby but the pregnancy test is positive, the first assumption has to be related to an ectopic pregnancy.
It is important to detect such conditions early on as they can develop to be life-threatening. This happens when the fetus grows in the Fallopian tube to such an extent (somewhere along the fifth or sixth week of pregnancy) that it cannot hold the embryo any longer and bursts, causing the internal bleeding.
It was unusual that Lisa was able to hold the pregnancy until the 12th week. One day after her readmission, she fell into a coma and had to be rushed for emergency surgery.
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