Horrifying case of birth tragedy (Warning: graphic story)

Incredibly disturbing story of a tragic birth episode leaves many questions and a lawsuit.

Missouri couple sues doctors for separating baby’s head during grisly botched birth, and trying to cover it up: reports – NY Daily News.

Arteisha Betts and Travis Ammonette, of Florissant, filed a 10-count complaint in St. Louis County Circuit Court last month claiming doctors wrongly pushed them to have a vaginal delivery, decapitated their son and then tried to cover it up, according to local Patch and Courthouse News Service.

The details of the couple’s claim are horrifying.

The delivering doctor at St. John’s Mercy Medical Center, Dr. Gilbert Webb, refused to perform a C-section and “would only agree to deliver her baby by way of attempted trial of vaginal delivery,” the complaint said, according to Patch.

During the birth, the boy’s head breached, but the rest of his body got stuck in the birth canal, the complaint said.

In an attempt to pull the boy loose, Webb applied traction to his head and “separated (the boy’s) head from his cervical spine,” the complaint said.

Blood “shot out” from the newborn’s neck in full view of his parents, the complaint said.

Webb then “pushed” the boy’s head and body back into the birth canal and scrambled to perform a C-section, slicing into Betts before anesthesia kicked in, the complaint said.

During the procedure, Webb “surgically and completely removed” the boy’s head from his body, the complaint said.

The doctor then tried to cover up the boy’s wounds before handing him over to his parents — though the complaint doesn’t say how he did this.

Something is definitely wrong with this story. This sort of thing doesn’t just happen. There was likely something wrong medically with the child;  that they were “pushed to have a vaginal delivery” suggests that a C-section was anticipated. But the question is WHY did the doctor recommend a vaginal birth if the baby was at risk?

It’s impossible to get to the details in a news story. So, we just don’t know what happened except that it was undoubtedly traumatic. The reason why we posted this story is that it is one of the top stories on the NY Daily News site right now and you will probably hear about it from other sources.

Tip: Bob Blaskiewicz Jr.

  4 comments for “Horrifying case of birth tragedy (Warning: graphic story)

  1. October 14, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    It’s a horrible story. But it just doesn’t make sense that the doctor “insisted” on a vaginal delivery. Usually, it’s the parents who do that. I wish the reporter had asked more questions.

  2. Peebs
    October 14, 2012 at 5:45 PM

    Another reason this doesn’t make sense is the sheer amount of force the Doctor would have have to applied to the head with the forceps.

    To decapitate a prisoner during a judicial hanging is difficult and would take spectacular incompetence in assessment of bodyweight/drop calculation.

    So just tugging on the baby’s head it would be nigh on impossible to separate it from the torso.

  3. October 14, 2012 at 9:47 PM

    This story actually happened at a hospital I worked at in my father’s OB/GYN’s office (he’s a physician, not a patient, silly people). Heads come off of stillborn babies sometimes, as the bodies break down. It’s happened to my father and to a few of his colleagues; in his case, when he was a resident, the stillborn fetus was large because of the mother’s diabetes. My father knows (from a distance) one of the doctors involved, Susan Moore (mentioned in the original story), who seems to have been the primary doctor. She’s a high-risk OB, according to my pops. When he read the story, he commented that the reason why a baby might get stuck at the chest is “soft tissue dystocia,” when fluid fills the baby’s chest cavity (shoulder dystocia is the shoulders getting stuck). There may have been a reason that Webb went through with the vaginal delivery. There are (usually) fewer complications with vaginal birth, and there may have been an indication that the fluid in the baby’s chest had abated. The upshot of all this is that these are the accusations of the prosecution at this point, and the legal discovery process is really just beginning.

  4. October 14, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    Oh, one thing that my dad did say was, “It’s surprising how hard you can pull on a baby’s head and get away with.” This sounds like it was a suction delivery, not forceps-assisted, btw. Yes, you’d have to yank really freaking violently to pop a head off.

Comments are closed.