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How many gouges on a newborn's head would it take to be traumatic? That's the tough question one Tennessee family is asking, after their baby girl was scratched multiple times with a hook meant to break the amniotic sac.
"Pregnant mamas: please be careful if you are planning on delivering at Vanderbilt," Cecily Dantam wrote in a Facebook post Monday. "Nurse midwife, when 'breaking my water' was actually scratching my baby's head with the hook. The scratches were incredibly deep. This midwife never showed her face to us again after delivery."
In the post, which has since been shared over 3,000 times, Cecily went on to write:
"They took my new daughter away to bathe her, which gave her hypothermia, and then sent her into distress with low oxygen levels, and she had to be admitted to the NICU. They later said she was fine, that the low oxygen must have been delivery stress.
I spent the two days after having my baby hobbling down the hallway to the NICU to nurse her with stitches in me because there weren’t enough wheelchairs.
After contacting patient relations, they did a review of our visit, and refuse to acknowledge what happened or even reduce our bill. No apology was given, except a general, 'We're sorry you're sad' kind of deal in the form letter they sent me. I am expected to pay for this treatment."
A local news station that picked up Paul and Cecily Dantam's story received a comment from the director of Vanderbilt's Nurse Midwifery practice:
When we are rupturing the membranes or breaking the water, if the membranes are very tightly pressed around the babies head, it can be more difficult than if they were looser and more like a balloon, so it is possible to cause a superficial abrasion to a baby's head during that process. It can happen. It's not considered malpractice, it's not considered poor care; it is just something that can occur during rupturing of membranes."
We're happy to report their 2-month-old baby is happy and healthy today, but frustrating responses from Vanderbilt are what caused these parents to take their story public. After contacting the hospital, the Dantams received a patient relations letter stating their daughter's admission to the NICU was due to a low blood oxygen level.
It failed to even mention the cuts on their baby's head.
"I just want an apology. I don’t want to have to pay for an injury that was done to my daughter by the hospital staff. That's not right to me," Cecily explained. An additional call to Vanderbilt from the family was not returned.
Unfortunately, this isn't the first time I've heard about a baby being injured during birth. Alana Thompson (known to many as Honey Boo Boo of reality television fame) was actually scarred during her mother's c-section. While researching for that I came across the story of a our site member whose daughter's cheek was cut badly during a c-section. Scary stuff.
Have you previously ever heard of a baby being cut or scratched during birth?
Images via WKRN
Opinions expressed by parent contributors are their own.