Toronto baby declared dead, then discovered alive; Review will be held
Published Monday, February 18, 2013 1:01PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, February 19, 2013 4:09PM EST
Health officials are reviewing how a baby girl was pronounced dead at a Toronto hospital and later discovered to be alive as the child was covered with a white sheet.
In what is being described as a bizarre and miraculous incident, the child was thought to be dead until a police officer noticed movement under the sheet more than 90 minutes later while waiting for a coroner.
At last report, the newborn was in stable condition in hospital and is “alive and well,” said police spokeswoman Const. Wendy Drummond.
The girl’s mother was also stable and healthy.
Humber River sent out a statement Monday afternoon saying the review will be led by Dr. Nalin Ahluwalia, Humber’s Chief of Emergency Medicine, and Dr. Narenda Singh, Humber’s Chief of Paediatrics.
“The review is looking at all aspects of care provided in this case, including the extensive resuscitation efforts by hospital physicians and staff beginning in the ambulance itself when it arrived at the hospital,” the statement said. “The review will be conducted in consultation with all appropriate agencies, including Toronto Police and EMS. The Ministry of Health has been informed as well.”
The incident began Sunday morning when the child’s mother complained of stomach pains and, along with her mother, began to walk to a local hospital.
During their walk, the 20-year-old woman gave birth to the girl on the street near York Gate Boulevard and Finch Avenue West.
Both mother and baby were rushed to Humber River Regional Hospital’s Finch Avenue West site after they were met by paramedics and police.
Sometime after arriving at the hospital, the child was declared dead and the coroner was called in to investigate, Drummond said.
Medical staff would have pronounced the child dead, Drummond told CP24 Monday.
At the coroner’s request, two police officers remained with the infant. After spending at least 90 minutes alone with the child, one of the officers discovered that the child was alive.
“One of the officers thought that they saw the sheet that was covering the baby move, and the officers investigated and searched for a pulse and, in fact, found one,” Drummond said.
Drummond said she is not aware of a criminal investigation.
“There is definitely going to be further investigation as to what transpired and all the events leading up to this, but it was absolutely an extraordinary day for those officers, something that they probably will never experience again in their careers or their lifetime, and an extraordinary day for that little baby girl,” Drummond said.
The baby’s mother has asked to remain anonymous.
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