Arizona Midwife Faces License Revocation After Multiple Complaints and Deaths

Phoenix, Arizona – The Arizona Department of Health Services has taken action against midwife Sarah Kankiewicz following multiple complaints and unfortunate fatalities. Kankiewicz, who was licensed in early 2020, faced a notice of intent to revoke her license after the deaths of a mother and infant under her care in December. The state investigation revealed failures in vital checks and emergency procedures during the home birth that led to the tragic outcome.

One of the incidents that triggered the investigation dates back to 2020 when Heather Flowers experienced a traumatic birth under Kankiewicz’s supervision. The investigation found that Kankiewicz neglected to conduct proper vital checks, failed to follow emergency protocols, and downplayed severe lacerations during the birth process. Flowers, whose baby suffered due to the negligence, filed a complaint that sparked multiple citations against the midwife.

Further complaints followed, including one in 2023 where Kankiewicz was penalized for inadequate prenatal care and violating the scope of practice by proceeding with a home birth despite the mother’s diagnosed hypertension. Tragedy struck again in December 2023 when a home birth overseen by Kankiewicz resulted in the deaths of a pregnant woman and her newborn baby. The state found that Kankiewicz had disregarded critical factors, such as the mother’s medical history, leading to fatal consequences.

Former ADHS director, Will Humble, emphasized the importance of transparency in midwifery practices to prevent such tragedies. Humble highlighted the need for strict oversight and accountability to maintain the safety of mothers and babies during home births. Despite the complaints and citations against Kankiewicz, her license remained active as settlement discussions continued.

The state’s handling of Kankiewicz’s case has raised concerns about the regulation of midwifery practices and the need for more thorough investigations into complaints. Families affected by Kankiewicz’s negligence are calling for increased transparency to prevent similar incidents in the future. As the discussions with Kankiewicz progress, the community awaits a resolution that prioritizes the safety and well-being of expectant mothers and their newborns.