In a heart-wrenching new video, a mother can be heard begging Ohio hospital staff to save the lives of her premature twin boys before they died.
The video, released by the pro-life group Created Equal, alleges staff at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio refused to help the micro-preemies on June 24, 2017 after their mother, Amanda, gave birth at 22 weeks and five days of pregnancy.
“You’re going to save him, right? Promise me you’re going to save him,” Amanda’s heartbroken plea can be heard on the video as she holds her son Emery right after giving birth. “Look at him. Please save him!”
She said Emery lived for 45 minutes outside the womb, and Elliot lived for more than two hours. Contrary to what she had been told a few days earlier, she said the medical staff refused to assess the boys or provide medical assistance to them.
“The boys’ mother, Amanda, had been told they would be stillborn or breathe only for a moment, but both were born alive,” Created Equal said in a statement. “One breathed and cried for two and a half hours while Amanda pleaded for help and Riverside staff stood by.”
Amanda said she went to the hospital on June 21, 2017 after she began to bleed. The news that she received from doctors was not good. If she gave birth before 22 weeks and five days, they would not attempt to resuscitate the twins; but if she made it to that mark, they would assess the twins and possibly provide medical assistance, she said.
According to the pro-life organization, Amanda made it to the 22 week and five day mark on June 24, 2017, the day her twins were born. However, they allege the hospital staffers did not fulfill their promise and instead let the babies die.
“Emery survived for 45 minutes after his birth,” according to the pro-life group. “A neonatal doctor put Emery under a heat lamp, but there was neither assessment of nor assistance given to him. Elliot, born second, was much larger. He survived for over two hours while assessment and assistance were denied in spite of Amanda’s cries for help.”
Amanda said Elliot was crying when he was born. Video footage from the hospital shows Elliot’s tiny hands move as his mother holds him against her chest.
The hospital classified both babies as stillborn in papers they sent home with Amanda.
See evidence Emery and Elliot were born at 22 weeks, 5 days: https://bit.ly/2KKhbRS
See stillbirth discharge papers Amanda was given: https://bit.ly/2IV1BFZ
Read Amanda’s statement of the incident: https://bit.ly/2J1Y2h9
Created Equal said it helped Amanda submit a private, internal complaint to the hospital, but the hospital “rebuffed” their efforts.
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“The Ethics and Compliance Department has investigated and addressed the concern brought by the caller. … We consider this matter closed,” the hospital said in a statement.
The pro-life organization decided to release the story publicly to call on the hospital to re-open its investigation.
“… to date, there has been neither recognition from the hospital about this tragedy nor condolence communicated to the grieving family,” according to Created Equal.
Whether the boys would have survived with treatment is impossible to predict, but new research indicates that premature babies born at 22 weeks of pregnancy are surviving at greater rates than ever before.
In 2017, the journal Pediatrics highlighted a baby girl in the United States who survived after being born 21 weeks and four days after conception. The girl, who now is 3, is believed to be the youngest premature baby to survive.
Last fall, a Chicago hospital saved a very premature infant who was born weighing 13 ounces. Eirianna spent four months at Mount Sinai Hospital in Chicago before growing well enough to go home in February of this year.
British toddler Kalel Fitz is another example. He was born after just 23 weeks in his mother’s womb, and doctors gave him a small chance of survival, but he now is a thriving toddler, according to The Daily Mail.
Research published in 2015 in the New England Journal of Medicine found that 23 percent of premature infants are surviving birth as early as 22 weeks. However, the study also found that some hospitals are not giving babies treatment at this early age, despite the new medical advancements.
A 2017 Duke University study also found that babies born at 23 weeks are surviving outside the womb at a greater rate than ever before. Researchers examined 4,500 babies between 2000 and 2011 and found a “small but significant drop in fatalities for babies born between 23 and 37 weeks gestation,” as well as a decrease in premature babies manifesting neurophysiological problems, the Daily Mail reported.