Hospital turns away pregnant black woman- baby dies

Eyeblast.tv

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Hospital turns away woman in labor, baby dies after home delivery
Dec 11, 2009

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – What killed Angel Nicole Dewberry?

It’s a question the Las Vegas Coroner’s Office is tackling after the baby girl died following an at-home delivery.

An attorney for Angel’s mother, Roshunda Abney, says Abney was in full labor last week when two local hospitals failed to help her. Less than an hour later, the baby was born at home and then died.

Abney’s attorney believes the case highlights what’s wrong with health care today.

The family says it all started with a trip to University Medical Center’s emergency room last week.

Abney had no idea she was pregnant when she began having severe pains.

“She went to a UMC Quick Care; they referred her to the emergency room,” said Attorney Jacob Hafter. “They called ahead and told the emergency room she was coming. They had a charge nurse in the emergency room that accepted care and said there was room in the emergency room. Then, when Ms. Abney arrived, registration could not have cared less. They stayed in the waiting room for six hours.”

Abney and her boyfriend, Raffinee Dewberry, eventually decided to go to nearby Valley Hospital where, they say, they were told to wait.

The couple went home where Angel was born less than an hour later with the help of paramedics.

The baby, born three months premature, did not survive.

In most cases, this would come down to the family’s word versus the word of hospital personnel, but this time there were witnesses: other patients in the waiting room who say Abney was shown little compassion.

“She was in more pain than I’ve ever seen,” witness Victoria Taylor said.

Taylor was at UMC to see a doctor herself and says she asked hospital staff to take Abney first.

“In some sense I feel guilty I didn’t do more because if I had known she was pregnant I would have done more,” said Taylor. “I would’ve said more but I was intimidated that I would be thrown out.”

Hafter says at this point a lawsuit has not been filed.

Both hospitals deny Abney’s version of what happened.

Hafter says the case is far from closed and believes what happened to Angel should never happen again.

A spokesperson for the Coroner’s Office says it could be weeks before they know a cause and manner of death.

A UMC spokesperson says the hospital is unable to comment on the details of the case but is using this incident to evaluate all processes involved.

The hospital is also reviewing all aspects of the care Abney received.

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