Family wants apology after baby’s head gouged during Tenn. birth

vanderbilt tennessee birth injury_499278

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A family is warning pregnant women after their baby was injured during birth. The Dantams say their baby’s head was gouged numerous times with an ambiotic hook.

They decided to take their concerns to social media after they said they weren’t happy with Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s response to their complaint.

The Facebook post has now been shared several thousand times, raising concerns with a number of mothers. The post shows little Lorelei after birth with several scratches on the crown of her head.

Wide-eyed and all smiles, the 2-month-old looks happy and healthy today. Her mother, Cecily Dantum, said there are still two white lines on the infant’s skull.

“She made a full, full recovery,” she said.

However, Cecily described the day she gave birth to her little girl as traumatic.

Baby injured during birth at Vanderbilt in Tennessee

“It was a nightmare. That birth was traumatizing.”

Cecily said it began Nov. 26 at Vanderbilt when her midwife used an amniotic hook to break her water.

“She went in and she was like, ‘This is a tough water bag. Oh my god, this is so tough,’ and she was just jamming it in there,” she recalled.

“She spent 5 to 10 minutes digging with the hook and telling us it was the hardest water bag that she had ever felt,” said Cecily’s husband, Paul.

The Dantams said the midwife spent several minutes scraping what she thought was an amniotic sack, but was actually the top of their baby’s head.

“She was wailing away, with abandon, with reckless abandon honestly,” Cecily said.

The family said caretakers with the hospital then rushed Lorelei off, insisting she was given a bath. That’s when she got hypothermia and ultimately ended up in the NICU, according to the Dantams.

“After the delivery, they mentioned to us she was having trouble breathing and she had aspirated some of the amniotic fluid, and they said it was the trauma of the birth. The NICU said they didn’t know what happened, it was probably just the trauma of the birth,” said.

The family believes that trauma had much to do with the gouges on their baby’s head.

“I asked several times, ‘If you are going to tell me that it was trauma of the labor that caused her to aspirate fluid, how many gouges on a baby’s head signifies trauma?'” Paul said.

A number of pictures show several deep cuts on the crown of Lorelei’s head.

“When I saw her head, my heart just dropped,” Cecily said.

After expressing their concerns to the hospital, the family received a patient relations letter Monday, saying Lorelei’s admission to the NICU was due to a low blood oxygen level. The letter failed to mention the cuts on the infant’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 said.

She said after receiving the letter, she called Vanderbilt for an explanation but didn’t get a response. That’s when she went to social media to warn other mothers about delivering there.

Cecily said the post prompted a call from Vanderbilt officials, who are now planning to meet with her family and reopen the case.

News 2 in Tennessee spoke with Director of the Vanderbilt Nurse Midwifery Practice Melissa Davis. She said all of their midwives are masters — prepared nurses with about 130 years of experience combined within their practice.

While she was unable to talk specifically about the Dantams’ experience, Davis — who is also a certified midwife — said it’s not common to scratch the head of a baby with the amniotic hook, but it does happen.

“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.”

Vanderbilt officials went on to say that providing excellent patient care is a priority, so it always concerns them when there are questions about their care.


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