A woman is suing a Georgia hospital and health care providers after she says her baby was decapitated during childbirth.
The story has left people across the country in a panic and has raised many questions about how something like this could have happened. Here’s what you need to know.
Jessica Ross, 20, says in the suit, per CNN, the staff at Southern Regional Medical Center in Riverdale tried to hide how her baby died. Ross alleges in the lawsuit that she went into labor on July 9, but her baby, whom she named Trayvon Isaiah Taylor Jr., did not deliver because Shoulder dystociaa complication in which the baby’s shoulders become stuck in the vaginal canal.
Ross claims in the suit that the doctor “attempted to deliver the baby vaginally using various methods, including pressure on the baby’s head.” The lawsuit alleges that the doctor used “ridiculously excessive force” on the baby’s head and neck in an attempt to deliver him, Associated Press reports.
The health care providers also “failed to practice according to medical standards” and “failed to perform a cesarean section in a timely and appropriate manner, which resulted in the beheading and death of Trayvon Isiah Taylor Jr,” according to the lawsuit, according to CNN.
Ross’ attorney, Roderick Edmund, said in the lawsuit according to the Associated Press that the baby’s body and legs were removed during a caesarean section but the baby’s head was delivered vaginally. The lawsuit also said that Ross and her boyfriend, Trayvon Isaiah Taylor, requested a caesarean section earlier than it was done.
A spokesperson for Ross and Taylor told CNN in a statement that medical staff did not allow the couple to hold their son — they could only watch.
“During this viewing, their child was wrapped tightly in a blanket with his head propped over his body in such a way that those watching him could not recognize that he was decapitated,” the statement said.
In a statement from Southern Regional Medical Center, which “denies the allegations made in the complaint about the hospital,” hospital officials told CNN that the doctor who delivered Ross was not an employee of the facility. “Our hearts and prayers are with the family and all those affected by this tragic event,” the statement said.
This is very rare, but it has happened before
The case is horrifying, but this isn’t the first time a baby has been decapitated during childbirth. In one case in 2014, Laura Galazzi’s baby Stephen was decapitated when she tried to deliver him in hospital after 25 weeks of pregnancy. Galazi he told the BBC She said she “felt a pop” and was confused not to hear her baby cry after it was born. She later needed a C-section to remove her son’s head from her body. A medical court later ruled that Galazzi’s doctor was at fault for attempting a vaginal delivery rather than a caesarean section, but acquitted her of gross misconduct.
Are there any red flags this could be happening?
Shoulder dystocia is a condition that occurs when one or both of a baby’s shoulders become stuck during a vaginal delivery. Cleveland Clinic explains. But there are no signs and no way to prevent the condition from occurring, says the medical center.
the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists It is also called “unpredictable” and “unpreventable” shoulder dystocia. While there’s no way to predict whether a baby will develop shoulder dystocia at birth, Cleveland Clinic says there are several risk factors, including having a large baby, having gestational diabetes, being short, having a small pelvis, or having Baby in the wrong position.
“Shoulder dystocia occurs after the head has come out,” Dr. Angela Caswell, MD, co-founder and gynecologist Women’s Health of Southern DelawareYahoo Live. “We at Obstetrics have been able to deal with them and they are scary.”
A women’s health expert says decapitation as a result of shoulder dystocia is not uncommon Dr. Jennifer Wider. “It’s very rare,” she adds. The most common complications include nerve damage to the baby, a compressed umbilical cord that can cut off oxygen and blood flow to the baby, the mother’s profuse bleeding after childbirth, and separation of the mother’s bones. Cleveland Clinic says.
What to do if your child has shoulder dystocia
“Shoulder dystocia is a medical emergency that can cause a variety of complications for the mother and/or fetus,” says Wider. Meaning, your doctor or caregiver will need to act quickly to try to help you and your baby.
If your baby does, says the Cleveland Clinic, doctors usually try several maneuvers to get the baby in an appropriate position for birth. In severe cases, they may break the baby’s collarbones to free their shoulders, push the baby’s head back into the uterus and remove the baby by caesarean section, or make a cut in the cartilage between the pubic bones to widen the pelvic opening, the medical center says.
Things can get hectic in the delivery room when addressing shoulder dystocia, but Wider says “women and advocates should feel comfortable addressing all concerns before and during childbirth.”
“Certainly patients should talk about their wishes,” Caswell says. “It’s okay to perform a caesarean section at the mother’s sole request, but this also carries risks.”
Should pregnant women worry?
Shoulder dystocia is a relatively uncommon complication, but the risk increases with larger babies. Complications occur in 0.6% to 1.4% of babies who weigh between 5 pounds and 8 ounces and 8 pounds, 13 ounces at birth, Cleveland Clinic says, but the rate rises to 5% to 9% of babies born weighing more than 8 pounds. . 13 oz.
But again, decapitation is extremely rare. In fact, one scientific paper says that any “lasting effects or fatal outcome occur infrequently” and that this includes all severe consequences of shoulder dystocia – not just decapitation.
It asserts more broadly that expectant mothers should not worry about this happening to them. “Decapitation is extremely rare and shouldn’t be high on the list of childbirth fears,” she says. “It would be prudent to have a pre-delivery discussion about the plan in place in the case of shoulder dystocia – this may allay any concerns.”
Caswell emphasizes that this is a rare occurrence. “I’ve never heard of a case like this in the term of extradition,” she says.