Birth injuries can occur for many reasons and in many cases, they are caused by physicians or healthcare providers who make ill-advised decisions or who are not providing the level of care considered standard by their profession. But a civil suit filed by the Indiana Attorney General has charged that a woman acting as a midwife was not even properly licensed and that her lack of expertise and poor care led to birth injuries ending in a baby’s death, as well as life-threatening complications suffered by the infant’s mother.
Court documents describing what happened in the birth injury and licensure lawsuit state, “At best, Lentz was unable to identify the life-threatening circumstances unfolding in front of her. At worst, her care as a midwife caused or contributed to the resulting injury and death.”
State Claims Midwife’s Disregard for Law Led to Fatal Birth Injury, Puts Others at Risk
Following reports of the tragic birth injury and the events leading up to it, the state has requested a restraining order to prevent her from continuing to practice as a midwife. They accuse her of claiming to be exempted from the state’s licensing requirements. The state’s request reads in part, “Lentz’s disregard for Indiana law in practicing without a license has caused irreparable harm to the families she works with as a midwife and continues to pose a danger to Indiana families.”
As detailed in the state’s claim, the birth injury occurred after Lentz began acting as the family’s only healthcare provider. She instructed the mother to stop seeing other doctors during the final months of her pregnancy, then failed to provide appropriate care when the mother began experiencing complications six days before her due date. When amniotic fluid began to leak she gave misguided explanations and advise, and when the water broke she failed to respond appropriately or to tell the mother that she had a fever. When the mother’s symptoms became worse and her contractions grew more intense, she asked to be taken to the hospital but Lentz convinced her not to leave, assuring her that nothing was wrong and providing incorrect explanations of what was happening.
When the mother finally prevailed and insisted on calling an ambulance, Lentz instructed her to lie about the leadup to her symptoms; she also gave paramedics incorrect information about both the mother’s condition and the infant’s condition. At the hospital an ultrasound revealed that the baby had died, leading the mother to have to undergo a cesarean section to remove the baby. The physician at the hospital informed the mother that she had one of the worst infections he had ever seen and that the amniotic sac was completely drained of fluid.