A woman infected by flesh-eating bacteria in childbirth

News 10 September, 2017
  • Photo Stevens LeBlanc
    The woman and her partner (pictured on the right) have become parents in February 2014, after a smooth delivery. The nightmare began two days later, while the new mom was admitted to hospital to undergo two surgeries emergency.

    Pierre-Paul Biron

    Sunday, 10 September, 2017 00:01

    Sunday, 10 September, 2017 00:01

    Look at this article

    A resident of Lévis, which has been close to death after contracting the flesh-eating bacteria from her doctor during childbirth calls for changes in the medical standards, which do not require the wearing of a mask for the nursing staff.

    The lady, who wishes to remain anonymous because of his job in the education world, so it was good to live the most beautiful moments of his life in February 2014 when she gave birth to her first child at the Hôtel-Dieu de Lévis.

    After pregnancy perfect, a smooth delivery and an expected return to the house, his dream has quickly turned into a nightmare when the fever and nausea were observed.

    “Two days after my return home, I went back to the hospital, where I had to get two surgeries abdominal emergency to remove my uterus, my fallopian Tubes and a piece of peritoneum. Everything was completely dead due to necrotizing fasciitis [flesh-eating bacteria]. I have been diving in the coma for a week, ” says the woman who only had a 50% chance of survival.

    During the following days, two other operations were necessary to contain the evil that was eating the woman, 31-year-old from the inside. In addition to the hysterectomy, the new mom has lost a good part of the vision in his right eye because of the bacteria. “These are all things that will never come back,” sighed she.

    The doctor in question

    After a long convalescence, a back-breaking fight to find out what had really happened is underway. The patient and her spouse have had to hire lawyers to put his hand on his full medical record and have the answers they wanted.

    “It was explained to me that an internal investigation had been opened and that it had been concluded that my doctor was a carrier of the streptococcus of type A at the level of the throat, and as she was not wearing a mask, she to me has passed,” says the woman who did not come back to see that the future mothers are not advised of this risk.

    The CIUSSS Chaudière-Appalaches, we confirmed the existence of this case, but refuse to comment because ” lawyers are always in the folder “. It confirms, however, that the standards in place have been complied with to the letter. “As an institution, we maintain wall-to-wall with the guidelines of the public health Agency of Canada, on the fight against invasive infection due to streptococcus,” says Mireille Gaudreau, spokesman for the institution.

    Refuse to be silent

    Now 34 years of age, the lady chose to make a cross on a potential appeal against the hospital to make rather the public cause. “A civil action is to compensate the victim and not to change the system. Essentially, madam prefers to speak rather than be silenced, ” insists his lawyer, ms. Joëlle Dubois.

    Photo Stevens LeBlanc

    Me Joëlle Dubois


    The lady hope that in the future doctors will be forced to talk about the risks of transmission if the mask is not worn.

    “This is what I want to change. I want to at least question the practices to avoid to open the newspaper one morning and realize that another was less fortunate and died, ” insisted the one who’s struggling to make his grief even today. “My boy would have the age I give him a little brother or a little sister. It is that fact that even if we wanted to turn the page, the injury still remains. “

    Extract of the medical record

    Regarding the transmission of the bacterium between the doctor and the patient

    “The results of the génotypages of the strain of GAS [Streptococcus of group A] the patient and that of the person tested positive among the staff of delivery : it is the same strain. The patient is advised of the situation and the fact that the person working at the hospital was colonized and redépistée negative thereafter. “

    A tool for moms-to-be

    Wishing that the patients choose for themselves whether they accept that the nursing staff do not wear masks during their confinement, the lawyer Joëlle Dubois and his client, have prepared a form for moms-to-be.

    Put online on the website of the firm Tremblay, Bois, Mignault, the document allows patients to notify the nursing staff of their desire that any person in attendance at childbirth to be wearing a mask. After having testified to the risks that exist, the lawyer and his client wanted to provide a tool for moms-to-be.

    “We’re going to do the work that the hospital is not speaking of the risk, and by allowing patients to choose for themselves if they take that risk. Because of the acceptance of the risk belongs to the woman, not the institution, ” says yves.

    The latter therefore advised to women who have been affected by the history of his client, print the form and ask that it be attached to the medical record upon arrival to the hospital or clinic. “This way, it will be added to the rest of the documents and no one will be able to tell that he was not aware. “

    Stage of grief

    For the lady who had to undergo many operations after contracting the flesh-eating bacteria during childbirth, this work of prevention is now part of the long grieving that she must do. Through the acceptance of what has happened to him and the fact that she won’t be able to have other children, the need to act to avoid this hell to others was important.

    “What we can change today, this is to inform the women. And it is an integral part of my grieving process. I need to have the feeling that what we experienced will have at least served to make things change “, and wishes to the mom of 34 years.