Nurse drops newborn baby at hospital, fracturing his skull

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(WISH Photo, file)

UNIONTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A hospital and police are investigating what might have caused a veteran nurse to drop a newborn baby, fracturing his skull.

Jacqueline Hunt, the baby’s mother, told WPXI-TV that a pediatrician said the nurse was feeding and burping her 1-day-old son, Eli, at Uniontown Hospital when the nurse became “drowsy and fell asleep and dropped him.”

The hospital and Uniontown police confirmed that a 30-year veteran nurse accidentally dropped the infant at about 6 a.m. Tuesday.

Uniontown Hospital spokesman Josh Krysak said the baby is expected to recover. He is being treated at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.

“We are aware that testing revealed a minimally displaced skull fracture, but we also know that all indications given to us point to a full recovery,” Krysak said.

The nurse remains employed and has not been suspended or placed on leave, Krysak said. The hospital is conducting an internal review of what happened.

“We’re supporting the nurse completely, and we recognize her dedication to her job,” he said. “There is absolutely no indication that there was any malice or intent involved.”

Krysak said he couldn’t confirm the mother’s account to the television station that the nurse was tired or fell asleep.

“At this point, we can’t say whether that’s accurate or not,” Krysak said. “We have multiple reports that conflict a little bit about that.”

The spokesman said he didn’t know what shift the nurse was working or how many hours she had been on duty when she dropped the baby. But if it turns out fatigue played a role, the hospital could make changes to prevent similar situations, he said.

“Pending the outcome of our review, we could certainly review protocols and internal processes,” Krysak said.

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