On July 2, 1982, Darlene Wood was put under anesthesia for a second trimester abortion at Temple University Hospital. The abortionist was Renga Rajan; the anesthethesiologist was William Stevenson-Smith.
Darlene was given nitrous oxide by face mask. She started coughing after the procedure began.
After the abortion was completed, she was admitted to the respiratory intensive care unit, where she was diagnosed with primary pulmonary hypertension.
Over the next several days, Darlene experienced increasing respiratory distress. She was given medication to maintain her blood pressure. But on July 7, Darlene went into cardio-respiratory arrest. She was pronounced dead at 2:50 p.m.
The administratrix of Darlene's estate contended that the lack of appropriate medical and anesthetic clearance was a substantial factor in her death.
Rajan was also successfully sued for the 1987 abortion death of Iris Velazquez.