New circumstances in the case of the woman who died after child-bearing


15 December 2015

(Photo: Denis Fomin  and Irina Fomina)

Actions of the medical staff have been reclassified to a graver article; however, it won’t be easy to identify the culprits responsible for the death of the patient.    

As we have previously reported, 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.
Three medical forensic examinations were performed with regard to this case. The first forensic examination made in Kazan established that the doctor’s methods of surgery were far from optimal and that the medical staff failed to compensate for the massive blood loss that developed in this regard. At that time the gynaecologist of Dzerzhinsky Prenatal Center was charged.

At the initiative of the accused the opinion of a specialist from the Ural Medical University was obtained. According to the opinion of the Doctor of Medical Science, Fomina had a number of life-threatening conditions, each of them was hard to predict and control.  In his opinion, the lethality of each of these conditions was high and the patient’s death was inevitable.

In order to erase doubts the investigator in charge of the case commissioned a comprehensive forensic medical examination at Nizhny Novgorod regional bureau of forensic medical examination.  Based on its results the experts did not find faults of medical assistance in actions of the doctors who performed caesarean section surgery.

According to the experts the blood loss was not critical. The reason of pulmonary edema and subsequent cerebral hematoma (which caused death) was    fresh frozen plasma transfusion. Irina’s body reacted to plasma critically because the patient had a number of autoimmune conditions.     

The experts also pointed out that the choice of preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative tactics was wrong due to understaging of the patient’s condition at all the stages of treatment.     According to the experts, the medical staff also underestimated the amount and severity of the patient’s blood loss, which led to postoperative complications.
Now the human rights defenders have become aware that the criminal case with regard to the death of the woman in labor was reclassified to a graver article.  And the criminal case initiated under part 2 of Article 109 of the Criminal Code of the RF («infliction of death by negligence in consequence of improper performance of professional duty») against the gynecologist was closed.  Her actions in the part of conducting the surgery were declared legal.    

Investigator Nadezhda Subbotina extracted the materials which contain information on failure to render medical assistance to Irina Fomina from the materials of the criminal case.  In the opinion of the investigator, the actions of an unidentified medical worker amount to crime under part 2 of Article 124 of the Criminal Code of the RF («failure to render medical assistance to a sick person which led to the patient’s death»).

According to the investigative jurisdiction, the materials were submitted to the Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for Dzerzhinsk town of the Nizhny Novgorod region. The human rights defenders have also become aware that, according to the graphological examination, the part of signatures in the medical card of Irina Fomina turned out to be forged. The materials on this fact have also been submitted to the Ministry of the Interior.     

Lawyer of INGO «The Committee for Prevention of Torture» Dmitry Utoukin: «Taking into account the data of the latest examination, it is not clear who exactly overlooked Irina Fomina’s condition. I think that it will be very hard to identify the culprit. However, Article 124 of the Criminal Code provides for extended   period of limitation on criminal conviction and the investigators of the Ministry of the Interior will have enough time in order to solve this hard case».

At the stage of pre-trial investigation human rights defenders will continue to represent the interests of Denis Fomin, Irina’s husband.

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