Friday, December 16, 2011

The PCQO Responds

A few months ago I wrote to the Patient Care Quality Office, wanting more information on my particular case. I believed that I didn't get my c-section because there were more urgent cases and I was bumped, and because when I went into labour there was no anaesthesiologist or OR available.

Today I received their response. I don't know what I was expecting.

I still believe that the lack of Dedicated Obstetric Anesthesiology in level 3 hospitals in this province is a problem. But it, according to VIHA's, Patient Care Quality Office, wasn't my problem between July 9 and 11th.

According to the PCQO:
-During the period of July 9 to July 11 there were times that the OR was not being used, and that my physician could have called in the back up anaesthetist.
-Throughout the period of July 9 to July 11, the back up anaesthetist was not called in for any cases during that time period.
-At the time my contractions started, the OR was not occupied and their was full surgical staffing available, however the OR did not receive a call from either my physician or the LDR to proceed with my c-section.

Let me make this clear, at the time it was confirmed I was in labour, my physician informed me that no anesthesiologist was available as the OR was occupied with 'pediatric appendectomies'.

In many ways this makes what happend in my case even more disgusting.


  1. Your "supportive" OB, the one who agreed to your maternal request c-section, lied to you???

    Is the reason you were originally given as to why your c-section was not performed as scheduled true or is it also false?

    Wow. Well, if it wasn't ripe for a lawsuit before, it sure as heck is now.


  2. (Don't know if this will post anonymously. I don't have any of those accounts.)
    It's The Pragmatist here from Dr. A's blog...
    Sounds to me like either passing the buck... or your doctor wasn't committed to giving you your C-section. Your above comment about a lawsuit seems appropriate given this new information, if the latter is true. I am absolutely horrified for you if you're OB really did *choose* to not do your scheduled c-section and did not inform you. That is absolutely horrifying. :( In a way, a person can understand elective surgery being "bumped", we've been dealing with that for awhile here. It was a big fear of mine before my own c-section, given my rural hospital and knowing how many ORs and anesthetists are available. It doesn't make it less awful what you went through, but it is surely markedly more awful if your physician decided to force you through an under-medicated vaginal delivery! That's a lot more than a stacked OR. That's downright unethical. If he or she didn't want to do it, you should have been informed. I'm so sorry.
    I wish you luck with determining what truly happened and holding the OB to accountability if that is what happened.
    Keep up the good work on the blog, I've been sharing it with friends, and you've really opened my eyes about VIHA, and care for delivering mothers, in general, in BC. I'm sorry for the circumstances that led to the creation of this blog.

  3. I just read this, and am so sorry to hear this. It is utterly enraging and I hope you will have considered seeking legal remedy. And I hope, with you, as hard as it is to do so, that things will be different this time.

  4. I am embarrassed to be part of a system that allows your OB to practice. At least have the balls to say "no" outright. I am so sorry you have had to experience this negativity surrounding the birth of your daughter.