A Los Angeles area hospital operated by Ontario, Calif.-based Prime Healthcare is under investigation after the death of a woman in its care amid allegations of neglect, according to a March 3 report in The Guardian.
April Valentine, a 31-year-old Black woman who was pregnant with her first child, went to Centinela Hospital Medical Center in Inglewood, Calif., Jan. 9 and died the next day, the article said. Her family and friends claim the hospital ignored the patient’s complaints of pain, neglecting her as her boyfriend performed CPR on Ms. Valentine after the emergency cesarean birth of their daughter, Aniya.
Now the hospital is under investigation from California’s department of health and human services to determine if it violated any regulations. The hospital could face fines and the potential suspension or revocation of its license as a result of any evidence staff failed to properly care for Ms. Valentine.
The U.S. has the highest maternal mortality rate among industrialized countries, with Black women three times more likely to die during childbirth than white women, the report said.
The hospital is unable to discuss the care and treatment of specific patients because of privacy laws but has an expectation “our staff will treat every patient who comes through our doors with dignity and respect, regardless of race, national origin, religion, age, gender sexual orientation or military service,” according to a Centinela spokesperson. “We maintain robust policies prohibiting discrimination and invest in mandatory education on diversity and implicit bias for every staff member.”
“While we cannot comment further on pending investigations, we can tell you that our mission is to heal, and we share in the grief of this family and express our sincere condolences to the family during this deeply sad and difficult time,” the spokesperson said. “Our thoughts and prayers remain with all those impacted.”