The chief of staff for state Sen. Raymond Lesniak has filed suit against Trinitas Regional Medical Center and its staff alleging negligent treatment of his wife in the hours after she gave birth to twins led to her death.
Marlenes Teixeira, 35, the wife of Antonio Teixeira, died about four months after suffering a brain hemorrhage, never having regained consciousness, according to the lawsuit.
Teixeira alleges doctors and nurses failed to recognize and treat his wife’s hypertensive condition — specifically preeclampsia.
“Preeclampsia is a hypertensive disorder that is most commonly experienced by women in the third trimester of pregnancy or postpartum, and often presents with new onset elevated blood pressure, persistent headaches and other neurological impairments,” according to the lawsuit. “Without proper medical management to control the blood pressure and potential for seizures, there is a significant risk of postpartum stroke.”
Teixeira’s attorney, Ernest Fronzuto, said Marlenes’ care was “grossly mismanaged” and that her sons will “never experience the loving care of their mother.”
“The loss of a wife and mother at such a young age under any circumstance is tragic, but what makes Marlenes’ death so horrific is that it was so easily preventable with proper care and treatment,” Fronzuto said. “It is deeply troubling that Marlenes gave birth to her twins, held them in her arms, and then only a few hours later she suffered a stroke and left in a comatose state because her postpartum care was so grossly mismanaged.”
Trinitas Regional Medical Center spokesman Doug Harris declined to comment on pending litigation.
Marlenes, according to the lawsuit, was admitted to Trinitas at about 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 2 for a caesarean section delivery of her twin boys. The boys were delivered about three hours later, and, shortly thereafter, Marlenes had severely elevated blood pressure and a frontal headache, the lawsuit stated.
Her condition persisted until about 11 p.m. when she lost all the feeling on the left side of her body and became verbally unresponsive, the lawsuit stated. Minutes later, she began seizing and a CAT scan revealed she’d suffered a hemorrhage in her brain.
Marlenes was transferred to St. Barnabas Medical Center for treatment. She died June 25.
Marlenes, a vice principal in the Elizabeth Public Schools, was a classically trained pianist who came to the U.S. from Cuba at the age of 19.
Her husband, in a statement, said “I am grateful for the gifts Marlenes has given me – none more tangible than Tony and Teo, but also the intangible gifts – like the power of love and faith.”
According to the World Health Organization, about 830 women die every day from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.