Friday, June 22, 2007

Mother blames Riverside abortion procedure for daughter's death

The mother of a woman who died after a Planned Parenthood abortion procedure filed a lawsuit blaming malpractice for her daughter's toxic shock syndrome death.

Aletheia Meloncon filed the Superior Court lawsuit this week, claiming her daughter Edrica Goode, 21, died Feb. 14 because cervical dilators used in advance of second-trimester abortions were left in too long.

Goode allegedly went to a Planned Parenthood clinic in Riverside for an abortion on Jan. 31 and a nurse inserted the dilators, which are usually left in overnight before an abortion.

The suit said Goode, who didn't return to the clinic to have the dilators removed, had an infection and the dilators became a conduit, spreading it throughout her body.

"My daughter made a choice, but she didn't choose to die," Meloncon said. "A lost dog gets more attention than my daughter did. This has really torn at my family."

Planned Parenthood mailed two letters to Goode stating the dilators needed to be taken out, but Meloncon said the family never received the letters. The woman said Planned Parenthood should have been more aggressive in contacting her daughter.

Vince Hall, director of communications for Planned Parenthood of San Diego and Riverside counties, said his office could not comment on pending litigation.

With her condition deteriorating, Goode was taken to Riverside County Regional Medical Center in Moreno Valley on Feb. 4. A blood test confirmed Goode was pregnant, and Meloncon said she asked that a pelvic examination be performed.

But the hospital said it couldn't perform one because Goode would not consent, the suit said.

"She was confused and disorientated," Meloncon said. "It was totally out of character for what her behavior normally is."

The hospital performed a pelvic examination Feb. 13 and found the dilators. Goode had a miscarriage that day and died the next, the lawsuit said.

The hospital also declined comment because of the pending lawsuit.

The coroner's office listed the causes of death as toxic shock syndrome, prolonged retention of laminaria cervical dilators and intrauterine pregnancy.
Information from: Los Angeles Times,

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