Thursday, November 17, 2022

Lime 5: Heart Failure


This section started with a death I'd somehow lost track of after leaving Life Dynamics. "Cindy" was 17 years old when she traveled from her home in Iowa for a safe, legal abortion in California. She suffered injuries during the abortion resulting in "acute cardiac insufficiency." She was pronounced dead on July 16, 1969 at 4:45 pm. (ORIGINAL SOURCES NEEDED: California Death Certificate No. 21728; Fresno County Superior Court Case No. 146000)

Sara Lint, a 22-year-old coed, submitted to a safe and legal abortion at San Vicente Hospital in Los Angeles, California, on August 11, 1970. She went into ventricular fibrillation soon after the abortion was initiated. The technique being used on Sara, hysterotomy, was one with a known high maternal mortality rate. It was, in fact, surgery similar to a C-section but with the intention of allowing the baby to die of prematurity. San Vicente staff treated Sara for an hour before transferring her to Midway Hospital down the street, where she died at 4:57am on August 12. The autopsy found yellow fluid in Sara's heart, frothy tan fluid in her lungs, and a seven-inch male fetus in her uterus. San Vicente was where five other women underwent their fatal abortions: Natalie Meyers (1972), Mary Pena (1984), Laniece Dorsey (1986), and Joyce Ortenzio (1988). (ORIGINAL SOURCE NEEDED: Los Angeles County Coroner's Report No. 70-8468; Los Angeles County Superior Court Case NO. C857)

Mark notes three cases from "Maternal Mortality Associated With Legal Abortion in New York State: July 1, 1970 - June 30, 1972," Berger, Tietze, Pakter, Katz, Obstetrics and Gynecology, 43:3, March 1974: a 25-year-old New York woman ("Kimberly") who went into cardiac arrest and died during an abortion performed on December 23, 1970; a 44-year-old woman ("Audrey") who went into cardiac arrest during a first-trimester abortion on July 1, 1971, and a 31-year-old woman ("Connie") who died from cardiac arrest during an abortion on March 8, 1972.

Thirty-one-year-old Mitsue Mohar went to Pacolma Lutheran Hospital in Los Angeles County for a safe and legal abortion on August 5, 1975. Dr. Baca (John Roe 100) performed the D&C abortion under general anesthesia. After the abortion, Mitsue went into convulsions. She remained 16 days at Pacolma Lutheran without regaining consciousness. On August 21, she was transferred to LA County/USC Medical Center, where she died on September 10 without ever regaining consciousness. The autopsy found that she had suffered hypoxic encephalopathy due to cardiac arrest during the abortion, and had developed pneumonia which eventually killed her. (NEED ORIGINAL SOURCES: Los Angeles County Coroner's Report Nos. 75-10935 and 75-9493; California Death Certificate No. 118660)

"Gloria," age 36, delayed for over five weeks before finally going through with an abortion suggested -- "counseled" -- by her doctor because she's had x-rays for a possible ulcer. The doctor injected prostaglandin into Gloria's uterus in his office, intending to admit her to the hospital to go into labor and expel the dead baby. However, Gloria collapsed and went into cardiac arrest in his office. He sent her to a hospital where they were able to restore normal heart function, but Gloria had suffered incapacitating brain damage and died five months after the abortion.

"Lydia" was 16 years old when she went to a doctor's office for a first-trimester abortion. For some inexplicable reason, he chose to use the antiquated method of inserting a rubber catheter into her uterus and packing her vagina with gauze to keep the catheter in place. Lydia returned the next day as instructed and the doctor removed the catheter and completed the abortion. Two days later, Lydia was admitted to an emergency room with chills, fever, severe pain, and a thick, black, bloody discharge. In spite of IV antibiotics, she went into cardiorespiratory arrest later that evening and died in spite of efforts to save her. (NEED ORIGINAL SOURCE: American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, September 1, 1977)

Linda Lovelace was 21 years old when she underwent an abortion at an undisclosed facility in Tennessee on June 14, 1980. Her uterus was perforated. As a result, Linda developed sepsis and went into shock and finally cardiac arrest. She died on July 16. (NEED ORIGINAL SOURCE: Tennessee Death Certificate No. 80 021135)

Dr. Orrin Moore

Dawn Mack, age 21, had an abortion performed at National Abortion Federation member facility Eastern Women's Center  (Acme Reproductive Services 35) on August 2, 1991.  Dawn was about 15 or 16 weeks into her pregnancy. A doctor inserted laminaria to dilate Dawn's cervix then sent her home. She returned the following day for the procedure. During the abortion, Dawn went stopped breathing. Her oxygen saturation level dropped to 88%. The anesthesiologist administered oxygen and Dawn's oxygen level returned to normal. Dawn was declared stable, with her blood pressure recorded at 8:55 a.m. as 130/80. She was sent to the recovery room just down the hall, where nobody adequately monitored her. A nurse finally noticed that Dawn had no pulse. Eastern's nursing supervisor arrived about five minutes later and began mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. There was no crash cart or ambu bag immediately available. A doctor arrived at around 9:07 a.m. and began to administer oxygen by ambu-bag, then took Dawn to the operating room where she intubated her and began CPR. Dawn was not transported to a hospital until 10:00 a.m., nearly an hour after staff first noted that she wasn't breathing. Dawn was pronounced dead at 4:30 pm. Eastern Women's Center is the same facility where Dawn Ravenell and Venus Ortiz underwent their fatal abortions.

Non-fatal case

"Rena" had an abortion performed by John Roe 540 on October 21, 1986. As she was walking back to the waiting room after the procedure, she collapsed and went into cardiac arrest. Staff performed CPR and started an IV and were able to revive Rena. Instead of sending her to a hospital to discover why she'd collapsed, staff simply sent her home. On November 18, she called to report heavy bleeding with clots. Staff told her that this was just her period. She returned 10 days later to report continued heavy bleeding and was again told that she was just menstruating. On December 10, she returned to the clinic, bringing a clot she had passed. Roe told Rena that she'd stop bleeding soon and noted "no tissue contained in the clot sample." A pathology report later indicated that there were indeed fetal parts in the clot. Rena went to the emergency room on December 31. Doctors at the hospital performed a D&C to remove part of the placenta.  (NEED ORIGINAL SOURCE: Lubbock County Texas District Court Case No. 88-523649)

Watch Lime 5: Cardiac Arrest on YouTube.

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