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The Story of Kira Johnson and the Rising Rate of Maternal Mortality in the U.S.

Kira Dixon and Charles Johnson IV met in 2004 at a friend’s birthday part in Atlanta, exchanging phone numbers before the end of the night. A few days later Kira called Charles, to his surprise, and they met for lunch, which he describes as “the day my life changed forever.” Ten years later, the newly married couple welcomed their first child, Charles, at Northside Hospital. As most couples do, they decided to expand their family a few years later, and Kira was once again pregnant. At 2 a.m. on April 12, 2016, Kira Johnson arrived at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles to deliver the couple’s second child.

She died nearly 12 hours later.

After delivering Langston via C-section, Charles noticed blood in Kira’s catheter. Nurses were alerted and a series a tests were ordered, including a CT scan. As time went on, Kira began to pale, her condition continued to worsen and she fell in and out of consciousness. Ten hours after delivery, Kira was taken to surgery and doctors explained that she would need a hysterectomy if they could not stop the bleeding. Kira was found with three liters of blood in her abdomen and her condition became critical.

A few hours later she was gone.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), anywhere from 700 to 900 women die each year in the U.S. due to pregnancy or delivery complications. In fact, the maternal mortality rate in the United States is 26.4 deaths per 100,000 live births, the highest rate of pregnancy-related complication deaths of any other developed country in the world.

Complications such as these can occur due to inadequately trained staff, miscommunication, surgical errors, unsanitary environments, delayed diagnosis, wrong medications, birth injuries, and overworked staff. In Kira’s case, it was inadequate training, which resulted in a delayed diagnosis. Charles and his mother Judge Glenda Hatchett, star of “The Verdict with Judge Hatchett,” are currently part of a lawsuit against the hospital and several doctors alleging wrongful death and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

“This was not a medical tragedy,” Charles Johnson said. “It was a medical catastrophe. Everything that could go wrong, went wrong.”

If you or someone you know has been injured by a doctor or other health care professional, please contact our Atlanta medical malpractice attorneys at The Mabrey Firm today. We can help you recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and more.

Call (404) 814-5098 or contact us online for a free consultation.