Doctors accidentally decapitated a baby during birth after it became stuck, according to a law suit filed in Argentina.
The baby is said to have been premature and was being born breech at a hospital in Tartagal, in the north west of the country.
His head remained inside the mother and was later delivered naturally, along with the placenta.
The boy’s mother, Reina Natalia Valazquez, and his father have now filed a gross negligence claim against the hospital.
Ms Valazquez, 30, from Buenos Aires, was 22 weeks’ pregnant when she went into early labour last Monday as she spent Christmas at her family’s home in Salvador Mazza.
She was taken by ambulance to the Juan Domingo Peron hospital where a medical team decided that, as the baby was so small, he could be delivered naturally.
But after the baby’s body came out first, his head became stuck in the cervix, according to the hospital.
Ms Valazquez said her husband had gone out to buy nappies and when he returned he found one of the medics holding his baby boy’s headless body.
In the claim she said: ‘At the moment of delivery we don’t know if it was a doctor or a midwife who pulled the baby so that it’s head separated from the body.’
Jose Fernandez, the hospital’s director, told the InformateSalta website that medics had decided against a cesarean because Ms Valazquez was already dilated to 11cm.
He said: ‘The baby was still in a breech position, so the body came out first. When it got to the head, there was a spasm of the cervix which compressed the boy’s neck.
‘The obstetrician called another doctor who tried to free with with a manoeuvre, there was a tear and a detachment was produced, decapitating it and leaving the head inside.’
He said doctors had planned to perform a caesarean to remove the head but that before the procedure could start the woman ejected it naturally, along with the baby’s placenta.
The baby was later delivered in a white box to the devastated couple, who reportedly took a taxi with their baby’s remains back to their family’s home.
Argentina’s prosecution service today confirmed that an investigation had been launched into the baby’s death.
An autopsy is being carried out on the baby, which weighed one and a half pounds, to find out the cause of death, according to a statement.
The hospital’s director Jose Fernandez said they would cooperate with the investigation, but that until negligence is proved the medics involved continue to work normally.
He said: ‘We have provided details of the incident and informed the names of the doctors and obstetrician who took part. Officially there is nothing yet that proves that the baby’s death was caused by the decapitation.
‘There is no reason for them to be suspended. If there was malpractice or not, this is for the judge to decide.’
In an interview with Argentina’s El Grito Salta website, Reina Natalia Valazquez blamed the doctor who performed the botched delivery, Susan Gonzaga.
She said: ‘I knew the baby was alive because I had an echo test before I arrived and the heart was beating. And when we arrived in the hospital they did another echo test and my husband heard the baby’s heart beating.
‘When my waters broke the doctor, Susan Gonzaga, took me to the delivery room and started pushing my stomach and stretching the baby even though I wasn’t feeling pre-birth pain.
‘I asked for a caesarean but they said there was no-one around who could do it. But when the baby’s head was inside of me they quickly found someone who could do it.
‘She was stretching and turning the baby´s body around, I felt that. They were doing it very hard, it was very painful.
‘I told the doctor she was hurting me, but she said, ‘no, I’m not’. She asked me shut up and open my legs, and kept stretching the baby until they took the baby out, but I could only see the bottom part and they didn’t show me the whole baby. I only got to see the legs, and they said, ‘let’s take her urgently to surgery’.
‘So I asked, why are you taking me there? And they told me that the baby’s head was inside of me. I said, why did this happen, why didn’t you perform a caesarean in the first place?’
‘But no one told me anything or gave me any explanations.
‘I’m asking for justice because this can happen to anyone. And they should sack this women, and remove her doctor title. She did this to me. She can´t work as a doctor. She is the one that decapitated my baby.’
Ms Valazquez’s husband, who hasn’t been named, said: ‘My wife started to feel pain at 4am so I took her to the hospital. She went into labour at around 10am and they sent me to buy nappies.
‘When I arrived back my wife was crying and telling me they had decapitated our baby. She was conscious the whole time.
‘The next day they gave us our baby in a white box, his body separate from his head. He was our first baby.’
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