When a nurse left the room just as an expectant mother said she needed to give birth immediately a couple was forced to oversee the birth of their baby without medical assistance. A hospital spokesperson says that the patient and her husband were left alone for two minutes and that a nurse completed the delivery. However, the father of the newborn told reporters that the nurse left them despite their protests and that by the time hospital staff returned there was nothing left to do but cut the umbilical cord.
Luckily in this case neither the baby nor the mother suffered any complications during the birth, so there were no injuries. However, one can easily imagine the many ways it could have turned out differently if there had been any issues, even minor ones. Birth injuries can be very serious and may lead to lifelong disabilities for children who suffer from them. Birth injuries can occur in many different ways, including temporary oxygen deprivation that can lead to permanent brain damage.
For new parents who do not know what to expect and have not been planning on an unassisted birth, being left alone for a delivery would likely be a scary experience.
Babies or mothers who are injured because of inaction by doctors or nurses during the birth process have a right to seek answers and compensation through a medical malpractice action. Particularly in cases where a permanent disability results, hospitals have a duty to shoulder the financial burden that their negligence creates.
Source: Sun Sentinel, “Dad delivers baby himself – inside a hospital room,” Attiyya Anthony and Eric Roby, Feb. 26, 2014.