Doctor Is Fired After Maternal and Infant Deaths at a Brooklyn Hospital

A baby died during childbirth late last year after medical staff at a Brooklyn hospital appeared to ignore worrying signs for several hours, a new report by state health investigators has found.

Two weeks later, the same doctor involved in the infant’s death was also involved in the death of a mother who gave birth at the hospital, Woodhull Medical Center in Bedford-Stuyvesant, according to the report.

The doctor, Ronald Daniel, 72, was fired in December after the mother’s death, his employer said. But the two fatal incidents on the same labor and delivery floor highlighted major concerns about the hospital, which state health officials declared to be in “immediate jeopardy” — an administrative finding that a hospital poses a danger to patients.

The doctor was not the first at Woodhull to be fired following a maternal death in recent years. And this is not the first time regulators have concluded that problems on the hospital’s labor and delivery floor led to a death.

The “jeopardy” finding was quickly lifted after Woodhull promised several changes. In a statement, the city’s public hospital system said it had “revamped and enhanced its protocols across its obstetrics and anesthesiology departments.” A person who answered a call to Dr. Daniel’s phone number hung up when asked for comment.

Woodhull, one of the city’s 11 public hospitals, has long been regarded as one of the weaker institutions in the public hospital system. It has become a symbol of what city officials call New York’s “maternal health crisis,” which has especially affected women of color. In New York City, Black women are nine times more likely than white women to die during pregnancy or childbirth, a far starker disparity than the national one.

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