Posts Tagged ‘ Sickle Cell Anemia ’

Why This Woman Sued Her Doctor After Getting Pregnant

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

While you are likely over-the-moon ecstatic to be pregnant, Cynthia Williams of Illinois was not. She and her husband both carry the trait for sickle cell—which causes pain, infections and eventually life-threatening organ damage—so after having three kids, one with sickle cell anemia, Cynthia decided she wanted to get her tubes tied, a permanent birth control operation. Six months after undergoing the procedure, Cynthia found out she was pregnant.

Instead of calling all of her friends to tell them the good news, Cynthia admits to ABCnews.com, “I was livid! I just lost it.” Cynthia’s worst nightmare came to fruition: she gave birth to a baby girl with sickle cell disease, Kennadi, now four. The same year Kennadi was born, Cynthia filed a lawsuit against Dr. Byron Rosner of Reproductive Health Associates in Hazel Crest for “wrongful pregnancy” in hopes of getting money to cover the “extraordinary” medical expenses of raising a child with sickle cell disease as well as personal injury to her, emotional distress, and for lost wages.

A small percentage of women do become pregnant after having tubal ligation (2 to 10 out of every 1,000 procedures), but since Cynthia only had one ovary, the doctor only tied one fallopian tube, and Cynthia believes her doctor tied the wrong one, causing her to still have the ability to get pregnant. It seems she was right. According to medical records obtained by ABC, Dr. Rosner ‘tied,’ ‘excised’ and ‘cauterized’ Williams’ right fallopian tube. However, her right ovary had been removed at age 12 due to a cyst. So he should have been tying the left one.

To make matters worse, Cynthia also suffered from congestive heart failure following the pregnancy she never wanted in the first place. Due to the congestive heart failure, Cynthia was in intensive care for two weeks after her C-section with Kennadi and wasn’t able to work for nine months—that’s why she’s also suing for lost wages.

Though Kennadi is now the love of her life, Cynthia says that raising Kennadi and knowing all the pain she will be suffering is very difficult. So she was delighted to hear that after years in court limbo, an appellate court has finally ruled that her case could go forward despite a move to dismiss it by Dr. Rosner’s attorneys.

TELL US: Do you think Cynthia has the right to sue her doctor?

 

When to Worry: Anemia
When to Worry: Anemia
When to Worry: Anemia

Silhouette of pregnant woman courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Genetic Testing: Don’t Be Bullied into an Amnio

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Alternatives to Amniocentesis and CVSWomen over 35 and those with a high chance of having children with Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, or other genetic disorders are often faced with the decision to have an amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling (CVS), and both require inserting either a really long needle or tube into the fetus through the mother. Ouch! But more disturbing than that painful visual is the idea that the very tests that are supposed to tell you if you will have any genetic complications with your pregnancy can actually cause major complications—by way of infections or even miscarriage.

It’s shocking to me that not everyone is being told about the wonders of non-invasive prenatal testing, or genome sequencing, which can now be done via a simple blood draw through the mama-to-be’s arm. A friend of a friend is due in September, and I couldn’t believe it when I was told that her doctor was insisting she have either an amnio or CVS purely because of her age (she’s 35).

That’s upsetting to me because there are so many more elements that contribute to whether you have genetic disorders—um, like genetics! Your and your partner’s ethnic background and family history are the most important factors. Both parents need to screen positive for a genetic abnormality for your child to inherit the condition, and even then there is only a 25 percent chance your baby will have the disease.

So when this woman was unsure whether she wanted to have either an amnio or CVS done because of the risks both bring to the baby, she spoke to a genetic counselor (thank God!), who then told her about the risk-free blood test version. Her OB never even mentioned it as a possibility! It goes to show you that unfortunately you can’t always rely on your doctor to tell you everything. You need to educate yourself as much as possible about all things pregnancy so you can advocate for yourself and your baby.

TELL US: Has your doctor told you about non-invasive prenatal testing? Has a doctor insisted you get amnio or CVS?

Image of woman and doctor courtesy of Shutterstock.

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