Saturday, September 30, 2023

September 28, 2022: Another Planned Parenthood Patient Dies

In December of 2021, 24-year-old Alyona Kenna Dixon of Pahrump NV gave birth to a baby boy, whom she and her husband, Michael Dixon, named Wesley. 

In August of 2022, Alyona went to a doctor for a checkup and was found to be just over 8 weeks pregnant.

Though Alyona loved children, and hoped one day to operate a play center, she did not feel ready to add the child she was carrying to her family. Thus, on September 22, 2022, Alyona went to a Planned Parenthood for an abortion. 

According to a doctor who later reviewed the case, Alyona was "determined to be an appropriate candidate for elective termination of pregnancy with mifepristone followed 24-48 hours later by misoprostol intravaginally." The doctor further noted, "She was appropriately counseled about the risks of the medical abortion and was discharged home."

Three days later Alyona was suffering vaginal bleeding and sharp lower abdominal pain. The following day, still troubled by her symptoms, she went to the Dignity Health's St. Rose Dominican Blue Diamond emergency room in Las Vegas. She reported vaginal bleeding and sharp pain in her lower abdomen. Dr. Hayden Maag treated Alyona, but did not perform a pelvic exam or consult with an ob/gyn. He discharged her on September 26.

Alyona went to a different hospital the next day -- Desert View Regional Medical Center -- at around 11:15 the following evening, September 27. The admitting physician noted “abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea, severe dehydration, acute renal failure, leukocytosis, sepsis, lactic acidosis, hypokalemia, sinus tachycardia, metabolic acidoses, pulseless electrical activity, respiratory failure.” The doctor treated her and her symptoms were improving. 

Doctors planned to transfer Alyona to Summerlin Hospital Medical Center, but her condition deteriorated. Her pulse elevated to 150 and she struggled to breathe. Doctors sedated her and intubated her to try to provide more oxygen. However, during the process she started vomiting and her heart stopped. In spite of attempts to resuscitate, Alyona was pronounced dead at 5:32 the next morning, September 28.

The Clark County Coroner's Office stated that her cause of death was "complications from septic abortion."

Her husband, Michael, sued Maag and Dignity Health on behalf of himself and their infant son Wesley. In an email to the Los Vegas Review-Journal, hospital spokesman Gordon Absher said, "While we share in the grief over the loss of any patient, Dignity Health policy does not permit us to comment on matters of pending litigation."

"We believe the evidence will show that defendants should be held accountable for Alyona's preventable and tragic death," the family's attorney, Mark Rouse, said. "We have alleged that had the sepsis been treated when she presented to Dignity Health they would have saved her life."

Dr. Hany Atallah, who had reviewed the case, noted that Maag had failed to rule out sepsis. 

Michael's father, Ian Dixon, said that Alyona was an angel with a heart of gold. "It just was all so sudden. ... To see her die in 24 hours. That's how long it took." Ian said that the family didn't even get a chance to properly say goodbye.

Ian said that Alyona had been a loving stepmother to Michael's two children from a previous relationship.

It's unclear why Planned Parenthood was not included in the suit, especially since Alyona was instructed to administer the second abortion drug vaginally -- which is known to increase the risk of fatal infection.

Alyona's death breaks Planned Parenthood's pattern of fatalities among young black women: Edrica Goode in 2007, Tonya Reaves in 2012, Cree Erwin-Shephard in 2016, and Roselle Owens in 2009.

Other Planned Parenthood deaths that I know of are Elise Kalat (race unknown) in 1987, Irene Stevenson (race unknown) and Diana Lopez (Hispanic) in 2002, and Holly Patterson (white) and Vivian Tran (Asian) in 2003.


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