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Mom given emergency C-section; doctors didn't realize baby had already been born
April 13, 2017
Doctors at the Leicester Royal Infirmary received a huge shock when performing an emergency cesarean section on a mother in labor only to see that there wasn't a baby.
According to the 2016 story in The Daily Mail, Amber Hughes' baby Olly delivered naturally at the same time the doctors performed the C-section. Hughes watched as the baffled doctors stood in shock until they heard the muffled cry of Olly in the sheets two minutes later.
"It was horrific. I was expecting my bundle of joy to be passed to me, but instead I watched panic spread over doctors' faces," said Hughes.
Doctors prepared to deliver the child by C-section after the mother endured 36 hours of labor. They also worried an existing infection would prevent the mother of three from delivering the fourth naturally.
Born at 31 weeks and 17 days after Hughes' water first broke, Olly weighed only 3 pounds, 6 ounces at delivery. After spending five weeks in the hospital, Olly is now healthy.
An upset Hughes is complaining to the hospital.
"My body was telling me it was ready, and I should have listened to it," the 21-year-old mother said. "I now wear a scar that wasn't needed, across my tummy."
However, the hospital, which is still investigating the event, indicates that the event may be an extremely unusual case of timing.
"We were really very worried about Amber and her baby, as there were signs of infection and her waters had broken quite some time ago, yet the delivery didn’t appear to be progressing," said Elaine Broughton, head of midwifery for Leicester’s Hospitals. "Clearly, between the decision to operate being taken and Amber’s arrival in theatre, Mother Nature had once again taken over."
A study by Harvard Medical School and Stanford University School of Medicine determined that 19 percent of all births is the ideal rate for C-section childbirths. While this is higher than previous guidelines, it is not as high as the rates currently reported by most U.S. hospitals.