Desperate times

With paramedics unable to travel, woman delivered her own baby during Hurricane Irma

(Photo by Ian Waldie/Getty Images)

During the very early morning hours of Sunday morning, as Hurricane Irma pummeled Florida with powerful winds, a woman living in the Little Haiti section of Miami went into labor. She called 911 and told dispatchers that the baby was coming, but paramedics were not able to safely venture out into the storm. So, The Washington Post reports, the woman delivered her new daughter on her own, with some coaching over the phone by doctors and emergency workers.

Miami Fire Rescue Assistant Fire Chief Pete Gomez said that the [baby came out good, healthy,” and the woman, who has not been named, “was doing good too.”

Although Irma kept first responders at bay, the new mother was not entirely alone during the delivery. A dispatcher, paramedics, and a doctor at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami reportedly joined a conference call to walk the woman through the phases of childbirth, including delivering her placenta and cutting the umbilical cord. Assistant fire chief Eloy Garcia gave a few more details to The Miami Herald. “We weren’t able to respond. So she delivered the placenta, also. Dispatch told her how to tie it off.” Garcia said. “We made contact with the assistant medical director here. Talked things through.” When all was said and done, a healthy baby girl had been born. And the first experience she had in life was riding out a major hurricane.

The storm prevented emergency personnel from reaching dozens of other callers. The fire department did not respond to 81 fire calls after midnight on Saturday. Out of 41 medical calls, firefighters were only able to transport three people to the hospital.

Within a few hours, as the extreme conditions began to abate, emergency crews were able venture out and one crew transported the woman and her newborn to the hospital, which the City of Miami announced on Twitter.

Read more at The Washington Post.


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