Twin preemie newborn boys Emery and Elliot died while staff at Riverside Methodist Hospital (Columbus, OH) refused to assist them. The boys’ mother, Amanda, had been told they would be stillborn or breathe only for a moment, but both were born alive.
Pregnant with twins, Amanda entered Riverside Methodist Hospital (Columbus, OH) in June of 2017 at 22 weeks and two days into her pregnancy after experiencing bleeding. Riverside staff informed her that if the boys were delivered before 22 weeks and 5 days, there would be no attempt to resuscitate, presumably because they considered babies younger than that nonviable.
Twins Emery and Elliot were born three days later, at 22 weeks and five days. Emery survived for 45 minutes after his birth. A neonatal doctor put him under a heat lamp, but there was neither assessment of nor assistance given to him. Elliot, born second, was much larger. Again, assessment and assistance were denied. Elliot breathed and cried for two-and-a-half hours but his and Amanda’s pleads for help fell on deaf ears among hospital employees.
Not only did Riverside Methodist Hospital lie to Amanda regarding their promise to save babies at 22 weeks and five days, they lied about the cause of death. Though her sons were born alive and died because of the hospital’s refusal to assess and treat them, the hospital classified the incident as a “stillbirth”—sending Amanda home with stillbirth discharge papers. “I was discharged with instructions for care after stillbirth. But Emery and Elliot were not stillborn,” Amanda said in a statement. “They were born alive and died as Riverside Methodist Hospital staff denied my pleas for help.”
Amanda’s mom recorded the ordeal. The video is just now being released by Created Equal on Amanda’s behalf in order to allow ample time for resolution through non-public channels. For example, we assisted Amanda in submitting internal complaints to the hospital, allowing Riverside the opportunity to respond privately. However, the hospital rebuffed these efforts, asserting they “consider this matter closed” in spite of the fact that, to date, there has been neither recognition from the hospital about this tragedy nor even condolence communicated to the grieving family.
According to a 2015 New England Journal of Medicine article, babies born at 22 weeks have greater likelihood of survival than previously thought when given assistance. Lead author of the study, Dr. Edward Bell, has said 22 weeks should be a new marker of viability. The youngest known baby to survive was born at 21 weeks and 4 days. There is no justification for refusing to treat or even assess babies more than a week older than that. A complaint has been filed with the Ohio Department of Health.
1) Click here to send an email to Riverside CEO David Blom.
2) Call CEO David Blom (614-544-4412) to demand they apologize for refusing to assess and assist Emery and Elliot. Insist they apologize to the family and amend their policies to match modern science and good ethics to try to help babies born at 22 weeks.
3) Stay tuned to the Created Equal Blog and Facebook page for updates.