• Miscarriage-Related Tragedy Spurs Outrage And Protests In Romania Over Healthcare System

    August 23, 2023
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    Alexandra Ivanov, a 26-year-old woman, and mother of three children tragically died at the Mavromati Hospital in Botosani after 7 hours in agony following a missed-misscarriage. The forensic medical team discovered her passing was caused by a septic uterine infection mixed with pulmonary edema, and cardio-respiratory insufficiency. In her last text to her mother, she said she couldn’t breathe before going into cardiac arrest.

    Alexandra did not get medical assistance for about seven hours, according to the preliminary report prepared by DSP Botoșani. At 11:30 p.m., the young woman was admitted to the hospital with "external genital bleeding, hypogastric and lumbar pains." The diagnosis was "suspended pregnancy, minor metrorrhagia, observation of secondary anemia" at the time of admission. According to the health inspectors, "from 00:45, when she was administered an IV, until 07:35, no medical care was performed."

    Alexandra pleaded with the doctors to help her. The messages found in her phone, sent to the doctors the night before the tragedy, are proof. "I can't take the pain any longer!" "I beg you from the bottom of my heart," the young woman wrote to her doctor barely four hours before she died.

    No protocol or medical procedure has been identified for managing cases of missed miscarriage.

    In other words, the doctors at the Mavromati Maternity Ward do not have established clear procedures regarding the situation Alexandra faced.

    The doctor on staff who evaluated her and decided on her admission indicated in the medical record that there was no immediate need to terminate the pregnancy during the night due to very minor external genital bleeding and because the cervix was closed. However, tests were performed on the young woman, and the doctor ignored the results, which arrived after the decision to admit the patient and keep her in the ward.

    The heartbreaking messages Alexandra sent to both the medical staff and her family members remain a testament to the ordeal she went through before taking her final breath.

    "I can't breathe!" Alexandra wrote to her mother shortly before taking her last breath.

    In other messages, she pleaded with her doctor and other medical staff to do something to save her life, but no one came to her aid.

    "Good evening! I am Ivanov Alexandra, 13 weeks pregnant. I came to the maternity ward with severe abdominal pain and bleeding. Unfortunately, the baby has stopped growing. Do you think I can have a D&C procedure tonight? I can't bear the pain anymore. It feels like childbirth. Please, from the bottom of my heart! […] I beg you, please, I feel like I'm losing my mind," she texted her doctor.

    Her case went viral on social media sparking outrage nationwide

    "I can't breathe," is now the motto of protests that started in Botoșani after the young woman's death that are continuing even now.

    The protests have been going on for days, with people gathering at the hospital where Alexandra took her last breath, or driving with her photo on their car windows.

    Alexandra's brother has called upon the people to light candles in silence and, during the hours spent in front of the Maternity Ward in protest, to refrain from chanting slogans.

    Meanwhile, the hospital management has suspended all medical staff on duty that night. Additionally, the College of Doctors has initiated an investigation.

    Only a few days before the tragedy, Context.ro, a Romanian media investigation outlet launched several grim materials about the hospital where Alexandra died, including an interview with a former nurse at the maternity.

    According to the journalists, the Mavromati Hospital in Botosani it’s dangerous not only because of the lack of care by some staff but also because they don’t have enough personnel to care for the babies, and the constant explosion threat.

    Despite spending millions on renovations and electrical system upgrades, the hospital's electrical installations are problematic. The journalists identified overpriced equipment, defective technological projects, and manipulated auction procedures after some of the money ended up being spent on companies with criminal records.

    The former nurse who was interviewed also mentioned staff shortage as a source of concern. She claims to have worked alone on shifts for years until retirement, caring for up to 15 children at the same time, with no possibility to save them all in case of a fire. Representatives from the hospital, on the other hand, claim that "the activity schedule in the Intensive Care department is prepared in accordance with staffing norms and current legislation."



    Diana Livesay

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