Anaheim woman slips into coma after hospital fails to detect ectopic pregnancy, family says

Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Anaheim woman slips into coma after hospital fails to detect ectopic pregnancy
EMBED <>More Videos

The family of a local mother of seven who slipped into a coma after doctors at Anaheim Regional Medical Center failed to detect she was suffering an ectopic pregnancy is demanding answers.

ANAHEIM, Calif. (KABC) -- Lisa Avila, seen on the left in the picture above with her husband, Robert, and seven children, was expecting baby number eight.

She was 12 weeks along when her family says she woke up in pain on Valentine's Day. Her husband drove her to Anaheim Regional Medical Center.

She was experiencing "excruciating abdominal pain," said Avila's aunt, Jessica Jule.

"They did do an ultrasound, told them the baby was fine. They did some tests, said that there was nothing wrong with her," Jule said.

Though still in pain, Jule says, Avila was told to go home. A doctor gave her a prescription for the painkiller Percocet.

After leaving the hospital, Avila's husband drove to a Walgreens drugstore to get the prescription filled. That's when, Jule says, Avila stopped breathing outside the drugstore. When her husband came back to their car, he found her unconscious. Responding paramedics rushed her back to Anaheim Regional Medical Center.

"For three hours, we didn't know if she was dead or alive," Jule said.

Jule says doctors told them Avila had a complication where the embryo is implanted outside the uterus.

"She had an ectopic pregnancy that burst inside of her. She needed emergency surgery to stop the bleeding," Jule said.

Jule says the next day Avila fell into a coma. Her family is now demanding answers.

"Why did they make my niece leave this hospital when obviously there was something wrong?" Jules said. "How could they say the baby was fine if it was an ectopic pregnancy and you did an ultrasound?"

Anaheim Regional Medical Center is continuing their investigation and says patient safety is the foremost priority.

"The physicians, nurses and staff at Anaheim Regional Medical Center care deeply for the health of this patient and our thoughts and prayers go out to her and her family. Patient privacy laws prevent us from sharing any additional information," the hospital said in a statement.

Avila remains in a coma in an intensive care unit. She is unable to breathe on her own. Her family is taking turns being by her side.

Avila's oldest child is 18 years old. Her youngest child is just 7 months old.