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Mom loses baby after labor; medic may face charges

Mom loses baby after labor; medic may face charges

By DJ YapInquirerLast updated 01:16am (Mla time) 07/27/2006
Published on Page A17 of the July 27, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

A GYNECOLOGIST IN A QUEZON CITY hospital could face criminal charges for allegedly causing a newborn baby to suffocate to death after she put on an adult diaper on the mother while in labor.

The doctor, Glody Tolentino, a consultant at Sta. Teresita General Hospital on D. Tuazon Street, could be held liable for the death of the baby girl who was born earlier than expected and found dead underneath the diaper on Tuesday.

Police believe the baby suffocated to death because of the diaper, which Tolentino had put on the baby’s mother, Charlotte Hernandez, 21, hours earlier.
Investigation showed that Hernandez was admitted to the hospital and confined in Room 205 on July 24, with Tolentino, a family friend, attending to her.

At 7 p.m., an initial intra-uterine check-up showed that Hernandez’s cervix was dilated by only three cm -- still far from the level of dilation expected for childbirth, investigators said.
The physician then placed an adult diaper on Hernandez, according to a report by PO3 Romeo Tandas and PO2 Jaime Jimena.

At around 5 a.m. the following day, another check-up of the mother’s cervix revealed that she was dilated by eight cm. The doctor also administered pain reliever shots to the mother, police said.

At this point, Tolentino told Hernandez’s mother, Maiden Dumlao, that the patient would be wheeled to the delivery room when the dilation reached 10 cm.
Tolentino returned to the room at about 7 a.m. When she removed the diaper, she and Dumlao were shocked to find that Hernandez had already given birth -- but the baby appeared lifeless, police said.

Dumlao tried to shake the baby a little before Tolentino rushed the newborn and her mother to the delivery room where she tried to revive the baby, Tandas and Jimena said.
But the baby, the patient’s first-born, was pronounced dead at 7:25 a.m. Her body was taken to the family’s house in Dasmariñas, Cavite, police said.

Investigators are trying to convince the family to file infanticide charges against the doctor. But Hernandez seemed reluctant to do so, Tandas said.

Hospital coordinator Dr. Joseph Tortona said the hospital could “not answer” why Tolentino had used a diaper, or why she did not bring the patient to the delivery room earlier. He added that doctors normally did not use diapers but a special underpad for childbirth.
Tortona said Tolentino was a visiting consultant from St. Luke’s Medical Center, and was not a resident doctor at the hospital. He also declined to comment on Tolentino’s liability, saying the hospital could not speak for her.


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