The Massachusetts Public Health Department is conducting an external review of a Boston hospital after two healthy patients died from childbirth complications within a month of each other.
Colleen A. Celia, 32, died last Wednesday after giving birth to her fourth child, a healthy baby girl named Mya Rose. Christie Lee Fazio, 30, died on Dec. 14 after giving birth to her first child, a healthy baby boy named Jonathan. Both women delivered their babies at South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, Mass., where Celia coincidentally worked as a registered nurse.
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Celia’s father, Raymond Romero, said his daughter’s pregnancy was considered high risk because she had placenta previa, an abnormal growth of the placenta that requires a caesarean section. Doctors told the family that she likely died from amniotic fluid embolism, a rare condition where amniotic fluid, fetal cells, hair and other debris enter the mother’s bloodstream. The family is awaiting autopsy results to see what caused the Celia's death, the Boston Globe reports.
“I was in the room with her. I wouldn’t leave her,” Colleen’s husband, Paul Celia, 31, told the Boston Herald. “They tried everything they could to save her.”
Fazio, a registered nurse who worked at South Shore Hospital, died while giving birth to her healthy 8-pound, 10-ounce son. It is unclear whether she had a vaginal or caesarean section delivery.
“She loved the Lord,” John Fazio, 27, told the Boston Herald. “She lived life every day loving her family and friends.”
South Shore Hospital officials maintain the two deaths were unrelated and unpreventable.
“Early indications are that both these cases were unpreventable and unanticipated,’’ Sarah Darcy, spokeswoman for South Shore Hospital, said. “The biggest measure we are really focused on is supporting these families and making sure they have everything they need or want from us.’’
Maternal deaths must be reported to the health department within seven days and a follow-up report submitted 30 days afterwards. In Massachusetts, maternal deaths are rare – on average, five women have died each year from pregnancy-related circumstances. In the United States, each year approximately 650 women die as a result of pregnancy or delivery complications.
Both families have set up GoFundMe accounts to raise money for the children.
“It was less than a year ago that we were celebrating at their wedding, admiring their hopeful smiles as they embarked on their new life as a family,” Lisa Carey wrote on Celia’s fundraising page. “They were all so happy to be together. They were looking forward to the new baby to complete their loving family.”
Jennifer Billodeau, Fazio’s cousin, says Fazio was able to see her newborn son before she died.
“She was only able to look into her son’s beautiful face very briefly before she was rushed into emergency surgery, but I am certain her smile will leave an eternal imprint on his heart,” she wrote on Fazio’s fundraising page.