Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Lots of New Info on Giseline Lafontant

Originally I only had the briefest write-up on the death of Giseline Lafontant. Today, while looking for information on a different woman I found a reference to Giseline's death and this led to a treasure-trove of information. The new write-up is below, including the news clippings.

On October 9, 1993, 25-year-old Giselene Lafontant, an immigrant from Haiti, underwent an abortion by a Dr. Irwin Scher at Gynecare in Monsey, New York. She was 9 or 10 weeks pregnant. Scher started the abortion at 10:50 a.m. and finished at 11:05 a.m. About 10-15 minutes later a nurse in the recovery room tried to awaken Giseline to no avial. The patient had only a faint pulse. The nurse summoned Scher, who began CPR and summoned an ambulance. Two minutes of CPR restored a pulse and blood pressure.

She was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital and placed on a respirator. Efforts to save her life failed; Giselene died on October 28.

The Medical Examiner, Dr. Frederick Zugibe, found that Giseline had been healthy prior to her abortion and should have sailed through without any trouble. There were also no signs of abortion injury, which led Dr. Zugibe to suspect anesthesia complications.

Scher told investigators that Gynecare's procedures called for vital signs to be checked every 10 - 15 minutes while patients are in recovery. He didn't know if anybody had checked Giseline's vitals. If anybody did check, they didn't chart them. Dr. Zugibe noted that no pulse oximeter was being used to monitor Giseline's pulse and blood oxygen levels. This was a failure to follow appropriate standards of care.

Since Giseline's pulse was restored after two minutes of CPR, and brain damage sets in after six to eight minutes, the failure to use a pulse oximeter meant a failure to capture Giseline's distress until it was too late.

Giseline had come to the United States from Haiti about eight years before her death. She worked packing dog biscuits at Triumph Pet Industries. The company's owner, Milton Gittleman, said, "She was a good employee, a lovely person. I have nothing but good things to say about her. We were all shocked."

Giseline left a 2-year-old son motherless. Her family brought her body to Haiti for burial.

Newly added sources: 

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