A woman who gave birth to a girl last November has filed a lawsuit against her doctor and Tri-City Medical Center, alleging she underwent an emergency C-section without anesthesia.
Delphina Mota and her fiance Paul Iheanachor arrived to the hospital for the birth of their daughter on Nov. 15 and asked for an epidural before the delivery process. She was given an epidural to numb her from the waist down and Pitocin to move along the labor process.
The next day, Mota’s blood pressure dropped and the doctors had trouble reading the baby’s heart rate. Dr. Sandra Lopez called for an emergency C-section. Dr. David Seif, the anesthesiologist, was allegedly paged several times to administer the anesthesia, but he didn’t respond. Moments later, Lopez started performing the C-section without any anesthesia.
Iheanachor said he heard Mota’s screams and cries.
“If somebody put a knife in your stomach and cut you open, and had their hands on your insides, and ripped your baby out, you know. I just tried to put myself in her shoes,” he explained. “Just tried to wrap my mind around how it would feel to basically be gutted like a fish.”
While the baby didn’t have any complications, Mota claims she suffered permanent injuries and emotional distress from the incident.
“It’s probably going to stay with me for the rest of my life,” she said.
“As a direct and legal result of the above described negligence, Plaintiff Delphina Mota, underwent excruciating and unnecessary pain and suffering, until she eventually passed out from the pain,” the lawsuit said.
Norman Finkelstein, the family’s lawyer, said that he was shocked by the hospital’s actions.
“I’ve discussed this with people, and they say, ‘Where did this happen, in India, in some third-world country? And I say, ‘No, right here in San Diego, which is just unbelievable,” he said. “If you want the best care, in case, God forbid, an emergency situation arises, you want to be in a big hospital, and this hospital failed.”
A representative of the Anesthesia Service Medical Group (ASMG), of which Dr. Seif is a member, said the allegations aren’t true.
“The group, on behalf of Dr. Seif, is confident that anesthesia services would have been available, and were available,” an ASMG representative wrote in an email response to NBC 7 Investigates. “Additionally, the group and Dr. Seif are confident that the care provided by Dr. Seif was appropriate under the circumstances.”