Hospital conducting review after baby wrongly declared dead

Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Deputy Premier Deb Matthews.

Credits: Dave Thomas/Toronto Sun/QMI Agency


TORONTO -- Officials at a Toronto hospital will conduct a review after a baby pronounced dead following its birth on a frigid street was later discovered alive by police.

Humber River Regional Hospital's chief of pediatrics and chief of emergency medicine will investigate the bizarre incident.

"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," a statement issued by the hospital said.

The baby was delivered on Sunday around 6 a.m. The 20-year-old mother, whose name has not been released, was not feeling well and decided to walk to the hospital with her mother.

She suddenly went into labour in the -10C weather and EMS rushed the woman and newborn to the hospital.

Doctors declared the baby dead after resuscitation efforts appeared ineffective. Two police officers were assigned the task of guarding the newborn's body until the coroner arrived.

But around 8 a.m., two hours after the mom gave birth on the street, one of the officers realized the baby wasn't dead. The child is now in stable condition.

Health Minister Deb Matthews said she will watch closely while hospital personnel conduct their review.

"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 said Tuesday.

"I can't imagine going through that experience. I think our front-line staff -- our doctors, our paramedics, the nurses, all the people involved really do want to understand what happened. I think they go to work every day, give their very best, so let's let the hospital do its investigation and we will be watching it very closely."

-- With files from Christina Blizzard

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