Feature: Delivery room mistakes that took a life

by Elora Philbrick

When Christine Cushing and her husband at the time, Jeremy, found out they were expecting another child, a boy, they began saving for a cam corder. With the little income they had, a small amount was set aside each pay period until they could afford it. The decision to buy one was made so they wouldn’t miss out on anything in this child’s life, including his birth. In the operating room the anesthesiologist was handed the cam corder to film a birth that would never be recorded.

“He didn’t even cry a full cry, and then there was just nothing.”

During an emergency C Section, the operating doctor’s intern sliced through Cushing’s placenta before taking Liam out, causing him to bleed out, and also cutting off his air supply. The nurses and doctor then struggled to remove Liam from the birth canal he was stuck in because Cushing’s bone structure did not allow her to birth children naturally. Unable to get him, they paged in an orthopedic surgeon who was able to free him. Christine was not under anesthesia, which is typical of emergency C Sections, and lay tied down on the cold operating table staring at the dividing sheet in front of her, listening to the panic on the other side.

(Photo: Google Images)

“The doctor was yelling at the intern and freaking out. I couldn’t really understand what was going on,” said Cushing.

After hearing a half mustered cry that then ceased when he was finally taken out, the nurses began infant CPR. Unfortunately, they had missed the location of his lungs and pushed the breathing tube into his stomach, filling it with air instead.

“I laid there listening to them do CPR,” said Cushing, ‘one, two, three.…’

Both mistakes took the life of an otherwise healthy baby boy. Liam was pronounced dead and placed on Christine’s chest under the bright, sterile operating lights. The warmth that still remained in his body made it difficult for Christine to comprehend that he was no longer alive. Her arms and legs were strapped down from the operation, giving her no freedom to hold him.

“When they laid him on me, they asked me what his name was and I said Liam,” said Cushing. “Liam wasn’t anything we had picked, but something inside me knew when they laid him on me, that was supposed to be his name.”

After what seemed to Cushing to be only a fleeting moment with Liam on her chest, she was given morphine and fell unconscious.

“And that was the last time I ever saw him again,” said Cushing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Music electives expand individuality

“We could find a role for anybody, even if someone is just playing cow bells,” said Bunk.