Toronto, Canada – The baby girl born to a young twenty year old mother is recovering well at Humber River Hospital on Finch Avenue thanks to two alert policemen.
This past Sunday, the would be mother became sick and needed medical attention.
However, she did not have transportation to get to the nearest hospital and walked in the -15 C weather with the aid of her mother.
The stress of walking against the snow drift and her weakened state induced her labor.
A 911 distress call was made but by the time the ambulance had arrived the young mother had delivered her baby.
They were both rushed to the hospital, but where the baby girl was pronounced dead due to the extreme cold. The local coroner asked the police to remain by the deceased infant’s side until the body could be retrieved for a formal investigation.
During that time, the officers noticed movement under the sheet covering the baby girl and found she had a pulse. Their alertness is credited with saving the baby’s life.
Dr. Jamie Hutchison, an intensive care physician at Sick Kids, tells CTV News the newborn likely had hypothermia — a condition in which the body is rapidly cooled, leading to a dramatic slowing of metabolism, which in some cases can mimic death.
“That would be the most likely reason,” Hutchison, who was not involved in the newborn’s care but conducts hypothermia research, said Tuesday.
“And that’s because the body requires a certain temperature for metabolism to occur. So with each degree drop in temperature, the metabolism of every organ slows.”
The baby was listed in fair condition Tuesday evening at the Hospital for Sick Children, where she was transferred from Humber River Hospital. The status means she’s conscious and has a favourable outlook, but may be uncomfortable or have minor complications.
The hospital says it is reviewing “all aspects of care” involved in the incident, including the “extensive resuscitation efforts” when the baby first arrived there.
Health Minister Deb Matthews said she’s watching Humber River’s internal probe “very closely” but didn’t give a deadline.
“I can’t stop thinking about the mom who was told that her child had passed away and was then told that her child was, in fact, alive,” Matthews told reporters.
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