A pregnant Chinese woman, Shang Shao, 45, gave birth to a baby in the hospital hallway as she was being moved to surgery in a wheelchair to have a Cesarean section. But the baby died after nurses dragged the newborn along the floor by the umbilical cord for about 40 feet before they noticed the woman had given birth.
According to the Chinese Xinhua news agency, the tragic incident happened on January 2 at the Women and Children Medical Care Center, Luoyang city in the central Henan province of China.
The mother was rushed to the hospital by her partner Pan Mai, 46, after her water broke when she was only seven months pregnant. She was already in labor when she arrived at the hospital.
According to the Daily Mail, despite being already in labor, a doctor decided that Shang should have a Cesarean section. Nurses placed her in a wheelchair. She was being wheeled in the chair to surgery when she gave birth. The baby fell out of her womb headlong to the floor.
The moment Shang gave birth to a baby girl while sitting on the wheelchair was captured on CCTV. But the nurses failed to notice she had given birth. They continued pushing the chair down the corridor to the surgery, dragging the newborn on the head along the floor by the umbilical cord and trailing blood.
The newborn baby died after suffering fatal head injuries. Doctors said the left side of the baby’s head swelled up after being dragged along the floor for about 40 feet.
A hospital spokesperson said the baby died of intracranial hematomas.
The doctor who recommended Cesarean section was suspended. He reportedly insisted on a Cesarean section because Shang had given birth to her first child through the same procedure 15 years earlier.
The hospital spokesperson also said the nurses should not have moved a woman already in labor to surgery in a wheelchair.
“The baby was taken into intensive care but died soon after of intracranial hematomas, a rupturing of a blood vessel between the skull and the brain. The doctor who suggested she be given a caesarean has been suspended from duty. He was inexperienced and should have consulted a senior doctor. The nurses taking the mother have been disciplined as they should not have moved her in a wheelchair. They have been demoted and given a warning.”
“This was a terrible incident and our hearts go out to the family.”
Although the hospital has reportedly admitted liability and offered the couple a compensation of 5,000 yuan ($800), Shang and her husband, Pan, have demanded $32,000 and are reportedly planning to sue the hospital.
“This is the most traumatic day of our lives,” Pan said.
The Chinese health authorities said they have launched an investigation.
[Images: Hospital CCTV, CEN, via Daily Mail]