Jacobi Medical Center Nurse Delivers Baby Curbside!
Dec 28, 2009
When a father-to-be ran into Jacobi Medical Center on the Sunday after Christmas calling for help for his wife, who was in labor, Nursing Administrator Andrea O’Neill reacted immediately, running outside to the couple’s car and helping Pamela Akukuma deliver the baby in the back seat, right in front of the hospital.
Mother and baby boy Richard are doing fine.
On Monday, sitting in her bed on the Post Partum Unit with the baby in her arms, Pamela Akukuma said, “I never imagined the baby would come so quickly, and when I realized I would not make it into the hospital, I was very afraid. If it were not for Andrea’s calming assistance and expert care, I would not have been able to handle the situation.”
Jacobi Medical Center delivers almost 2,300 babies a year.
At 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, Akukuma realized that labor had started, but she wasn’t worried. As the parents of a 22-month old, Akukuma and her husband, Richard Amaa, had experienced the long wait that labor generally entails. They figured she’d have several hours before they needed to make the trip to Jacobi, where their second baby was to be born.
But the baby had other plans. Akukuma’s labor quickly progressed, and by 3 p.m., her contractions were coming on fast. The couple jumped in the car and headed to Jacobi. But right in front of the hospital on Pelham Parkway, Akukuma’s water broke, and they realized they were out of time.
Amaa parked the car and dashed into the hospital, calling out for help. Andrea O’Neill, the Nursing Administrator in charge of the hospital that day, heard him. O’Neill ran out to the car to find Akukuma in the back seat and ready to deliver. The nurse called out directions to onlookers for backup help and supplies, removed her lab coat and delivered the baby. She rubbed his back to encourage his first breath, and was rewarded with a lusty newborn cry.
O’Neill wrapped the baby in her lab coat, helped Akukuma out of the car and onto a waiting stretcher, and placed the baby with her. Hospital staff then rushed mother and baby to Jacobi’s Labor and Delivery Unit, where both were examined and found to be in excellent condition. The baby weighed in at 8 lbs. 2 oz.
O’Neill has been a nurse for 26 years. She has been at Jacobi for five.
“In my many years in nursing,” O’Neill said, “this experience was certainly the most unusual! The opportunity to help Pamela bring a new little life into the world was also one of the nicest Christmas presents I have ever had.”
Contact: Ian Michaels (HHC)
About Jacobi Medical Center
Jacobi Medical Center is a member facility of the NYC Health & Hospitals Corporation. A 457-bed teaching hospital affiliated with the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Jacobi offers numerous centers of excellence including its renowned trauma center, multi-person hyperbaric unit, burn center, surgical intensive care unit, stroke center and regional perinatal center. Jacobi’s Women’s Health Service provides expert care for 2,500 deliveries per year. Jacobi’s new Ambulatory Care Pavilion is a stunning complement to its recently constructed inpatient facility and allows staff to provide outpatients with high-quality care in a modern, state-of-the-art environment.
The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) is a $6.7 billion integrated healthcare delivery system with its own 420,000 member health plan, MetroPlusHealth, and is the largest municipal healthcare organization in the country. HHC serves 1.4 million New Yorkers every year and more than 475,000 are uninsured. HHC provides medical, mental health and substance abuse services through its 11 acute care hospitals, five skilled nursing facilities, six large diagnostic and treatment centers and more than 70 community based clinics. HHC Health and Home Care also provides in-home services for New Yorkers. HHC was the 2008 recipient of the National Quality Forum and The Joint Commission’s John M. Eisenberg Award for Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality. For more information, www.nychhc.org/hhc or find us on facebook.com/NYCHealthSystem or twitter.com/NYCHealthSystem.