Hospital Denies Mum Bed And Puts Baby In Plastic Bottle

Story ByAna LacasaSub EditorJoseph GolderAgencyCEN

A new mum gave birth in her car outside a hospital after she was denied a bed, and then when the baby experienced complications, medics put the baby in an improvised incubator made out of a large plastic water bottle.

The family of new mum, Dalia de Valdivia, have lodged a complaint against the Hospital General de Magdalena, in the city of Magdalena de Kino in the north-western Mexican state of Sonora, over her treatment.

Dalia was in labour when she arrived at the hospital with husband Jose Luis Valdivia and the couple went straight to the emergency room.

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Pictures Credit: CEN

But they say they were told by a receptionist the hospital was full and there was no bed for them – even though they had health insurance which should have entitled them to care.

Noemi Hernandez de Valdivia, Jose’s mother and the grandmother of the baby, said: “My son asked her to please do something because the baby was about to be born.

“But the woman coldly turned them away and said it was not her problem, there were no free beds. My son asked her if his wife could be checked by a doctor but they refused that too.”

The couple left the hospital and returned to their car, planning to try another hospital, but they did not have time and Dalia delivered her baby, a girl, in the car.

She then went back into hospital where she was finally seen by a doctor who determined the newborn was suffering from bronchitis and needed an incubator.

But the hospital had also run out of incubators and the baby was put in an improvised device fashioned out of a large plastic water bottle.

Noemi added that her son was shocked to see two free beds when they were finally admitted and could not understand why his wife had not been given one when she first arrived.

Rebeca Villa Morales, the director of the Hospital General de Magdalena, said state health officials were investigating the case.

But she stressed the mother and her baby had eventually received medical treatment and been released from the hospital when they were well enough to go home.

Ms Villa Morales said the baby had been put in an improvised incubator as all of the hospital’s incubators had been in use.

State health officials are reportedly in constant contact with the parents to monitor the health of the baby girl whose name has not been revealed. 

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Ana Lacasa

I am a senior writer and journalist and editor of the Spanish desk for the Central European News agency.

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