New York hospital physician fired after maternal, infant deaths

A physician was fired, and NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull was placed in immediate jeopardy, following two patient deaths in the hospital's maternity ward, The New York Times reported April 11.

In the first case, a woman arrived at the New York City-based hospital Oct. 29 and was in labor for 24 hours. She attempted a vaginal delivery, but the fetal heart rate dropped multiple times. The nurses and midwives caring for her did not notify the attending physician until more than 12 hours later and on Oct. 31, the physician recommended an emergency C-section. During the procedure, the woman's uterus ruptured, injuring her bladder and the baby did not live, though the cause of death was not stated, according to the report.

Two weeks later, a 30-year-old mother was given too long of an incision during an emergency C-section. The attending physician, Ronald Daniel, MD, filed a report saying there had been "no intraoperative surgical complications." However, the mother began to bleed internally and later died.

Dr. Daniel, 72, was fired Dec. 5 after the mother's death, his employer told the Times

State health officials issued the hospital an immediate jeopardy warning, which was lifted shortly after when the hospital submitted its corrective plan. A Woodhull spokesperson told Becker's, "The NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull team has revamped and enhanced its protocols across its obstetrics and anesthesiology departments, and hired two new clinical leaders in these areas. The hospital is also strengthening the role of nurses in the management of maternal health patients. Across our health system we are using innovative interventions that we believe will address the disparities and race-based health care gaps that historically and disproportionally affect the diverse population of patients we proudly serve.

It also recently hired a new chief medical officer, a new vice chief of anesthesia and a new head of obstetrics.

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