Expert examination over the fact of a death of a woman after childbirth established grave violations in doctors' actions

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03 March 2015

The results of the expert examination conducted by the specialists of the Republican Bureau of Forensic Medical Examination of the Ministry of Health of Tatarstan over the fact of a death of Irina Fomina from Nizhny Novgorod during the postnatal period came into disposal of INGO «The Committee Against Torture» lawyers. Medical commission examination established grave violations committed by the doctors during the patient’s treatment.

(Photo: Denis Fomin and Irina Fomina) 

On 12 October 2014 Denis Fomin from Dzerzhinsk applied to Nizhny Novgorod office of the Committee Against Torture for legal support – he believed that his wife died shortly after childbirth due to medical malpractices.

Denis explained that his wife’s pregnancy developed normally and nothing foreboded the tragedy. Not least because Dzerzhinsky  perinatal center, where his wife was giving birth, meets all modern standards. However, on the morning after the childbirth, when Denis called the doctors on the phone, they informed him that on 30 June 2014 his wife underwent the Cesarian operation. No-one informed him about the complications which developed after that. At noon of the same day when Denis telephoned the maternity clinic he was told that the young mother and the baby were feeling fine and were having rest. 

According to Denis, he and his relatives tried to reach Irina on the phone, but in vain – her mobile phone was switched off. Irina’s mother went to the maternity clinic and witnessed her daughter in the state of unconsciousness being taken to the ambulance in order to be transported to the Emergency Care Hospital. After two days Irina was transferred to Nizhny Novgorod Regional Hospital named after Semashko. Doctors of this medical establishment were struggling to save the young woman’s life for almost two weeks, but on 16 July 2014 she died.  

As the experts established later, Irina Fomina died due to acute cerebrovascular disorder, developed due to massive blood loss.   

«I was appalled by rude manners of the maternity clinic personnel. They told me to leave and not to draw them off their work, and that my wife was ill when she came here. My suspicions immediately arose due to the fact that video surveillance cameras installed in the clinic were off. I had to make my tragedy public, otherwise, this case would have been covered up»,  – explained Denis Fomin. 

On 5 August  2014 a criminal case was opened over the fact of Irina’s death under part 2 Article 109 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (infliction of death by negligence in consequence of improper performance of professional duty). Denis was qualified as the victim party.  

In the course of the criminal case investigation the Ministry of Health of Nizhny Novgorod region conducted the medical care quality audit. «Labour induction with oxytocin is prescribed after 4 hours from the moment of premature rupture of the foetal membrane, whereas it should have been prescribed not earlier than after 6 hours», – medical care quality audit report stated.  

«There are some discrepancies between the records in the logs about the nature of childbirth action… –  therefore, the childbirth action was underestimated».

«During the analysis of the clinical situation there is an impression of untimely compensated massive blood loss with development of hemorrhagic shock and decrease of arterial tension…».

Expert examination was also ordered at the Republican Bureau of Forensic Medical Examinations of the Ministry of Health of Tatarstan, in order to maintain objectivity. Recently its results have been made public. Expert examination established that the doctors of Dzerzhinsky perinatal center not only were wrong in choosing the method of surgery, but also untimely compensated for blood loss developed in this regard, which practically deprived the woman of any chances of survival.   

The head of the investigative department of Nizhny Novgorod office of the Committee Against Torture, representing the interests of Denis Fomin: «During the trial we filed a number of motions aimed at identifying the persons guilty of Irina’s death. The work is being conducted in cooperation with our colleagues from «Agora» organization, who have extensive experience of medical malpractice cases. The victim party is being supported also by professional psychologists working with the Committee Against Torture. In our view the medical expert examination eliminates the issue of the defect of medical care and its consequences. Now, we hope that the investigation gives adequate legal assessment of the doctors’ actions. Since the period of limitation for the institution of criminal proceedings per this article is only two years, we also hope that the investigations is timely and prompt. In our turn, we shall continue rendering legal support to the victim party in relation to this case».