A 24-year-old woman from Urziceni, Romania, gave birth on the pavement, in the courtyard of a hospital. An internal investigation is trying to make sense of what happened. The woman’s mother is threatening to sue the hospital.
A video of the woman giving birth went viral on social media and sparked outrage before the authorities opened an investigation into the story. According to the woman’s mother, she was refused care by the hospital staff.
The hearing-impaired young woman showed up at the hospital around 5 AM after her water had broken. Allegedly, the staff was asleep and very irritated for having to wake up. They refused to treat her and asked her to call an ambulance to take her somewhere else. She was unable to do so due to her hearing impairment, and one of the nurses had to call the ambulance instead. By the time the emergency team showed up, the woman was already giving birth on the pavement, and all they could do was assist her and transport her to another hospital after.
The Ministry of Health gave a statement, and Minister Alexandru Rafila held a press conference but refused to give too much information:
“It is unacceptable that a pregnancy-related event of rare urgency took place at the Urziceni Hospital, which is under the control of the Town Hall, where the woman was not assisted and monitored by medical personnel and gave birth outside the Emergency Department. A 24-year-old woman who was pregnant and the mother of two other children showed up at the Urziceni Hospital's emergency room at around five o'clock. The hospital has an obstetrics-gynecology section with a neonatology compartment but didn't have qualified personnel on duty.”
“However, a surgeon who oversaw organizing the delivery of medical care was available. The Emergency Department staff contacted the 112 Emergency Service, who sent out a nearby ambulance, citing the lack of a qualified on-duty doctor. According to preliminary information, it appears that the patient was not evaluated, monitored, and taken to the ambulance, resulting in the birth taking place outside the building, where care was provided by the ambulance crew.”
The mother and baby are in stable condition.
A few hours before this incident, a man with severe chest pain was sent home without explanations and a diagnostic. He died a few hours later, at only 32 years old. During the autopsy, the coroner found “modifications of his lungs and heart.” The family is planning to sue the hospital.
Another patient told journalists she went there with a liver-related illness and one of the staff members screamed at her and asked, “Did I cause you to get a fever?” before being sent home.
A fourth recent case involved another pregnant woman who was refused care and told she was not even near to giving birth. On her way home she gave birth in a park.
Another baby was not as lucky and died shortly after being sent home by the staff at the same hospital. His mother had taken him to the Emergency Department with a high fever just a few hours before his death.
Some of the doctors at the Urziceni Hospital receive incredible incomes reported to Romania's average wage. For instance, a senior doctor made about 30,000 lei in March. The bonus alone was 13,000 lei. A nurse makes between 4,000 and 7,000 lei, whereas a specialty doctor makes close to 20,000 lei. The manager is paid around 18,000 lei.