A “drowsy” nurse dropped a newborn baby in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, fracturing his tiny skull. However, despite the horrifying incident, the veteran nurse will keep her job. The Uniontown hospital says that an internal investigation concluded that the ordeal was an accident and that, instead of firing the 30-year-veteran nurse, she will be disciplined.
Penn Live reports that a nurse at the Uniontown Hospital was burping and feeding a baby that was less than one day old when he fell from her grasp. The newborn baby tumbled three feet to the ground, hitting his head. The baby, named Eli, fractured his skull in the process and was required to wear a neck brace for a few days. Baby Eli’s mother says that the hospital told her the accident was the result of the nurse being “drowsy” and falling asleep while holding the newborn. The incident took place at 6 a.m. last Tuesday, and highlighted an important issue of the consequences of tired nursing staff.
However, despite the baby’s injuries, Uniontown Hospital has announced that the nurse who dropped the baby will not be terminated. Instead, the hospital says that she will be disciplined, as the drop was entirely accidental. In the statement, the hospital downplays the drowsiness factor and simply states that the baby “slipped from her hands.”
“The nurse will not be terminated, but we will follow internal protocols on what type of disciplinary action she will face. She was, to our understanding, burping the infant and had the child in a seated position and was burping the baby. And in some manner, the baby slipped from her hands.”
As the Huffington Post points out, the nurse’s name will not be released, and the hospital does not plan to disclose exactly what type of disciplinary action will be taken against the nurse for confidentiality reasons. Eli’s mother, Jacqueline Hunt, notes that though the newborn is doing better, he is still in intensive care. Hunt says that despite his injuries, the newborn is now gaining weight and that the neck brace has been removed.
What do you think about the Uniontown Hospital allowing the nurse who dropped the newborn baby to keep her job? Is “disciplinary action” enough? Do you think the hospital should inform the parents of baby Eli of the type of disciplinary action taken against the nurse who dropped their newborn?
[Image Credit: WPXI Video Screenshot via Penn Live]