LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A man suing Cedars-Sinai Medical Center says his wife died during a “routine C-section” after hospital staff continually ignored his pleas for help.

(credit: Charles Johnson)

Kira Johnson died while giving birth three years ago at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Her husband, Charles Johnson, said he was by her side and grew increasingly concerned as they waited hours for her surgery and her catheter began to turn pink with blood.

“I said, ‘please look, my wife isn’t doing well.’ This woman looked me directly in my eyes and said, ‘Sir, your wife just isn’t a priority right now,'” he recounted haltingly.

Johnson says when doctors finally took his wife into surgery, there were three-and-a-half liters of blood in her abdomen from where she had been allowed to bleed internally for almost 10 hours.

With the case pending, Cedars-Sinai would not comment directly about the case, but in a statement, the hospital said it “thoroughly investigates any situation where there are concerns about a patient’s medical care.”

The lawsuit comes as the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention’s National Vital Statistics System found the maternal mortality rate for black women was 37.1 per 100,000 live births — about two-and-a-half times the rate for white women and three times the rate for Hispanic women.

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