Medicine

Horrifying prison CCTV shows inmate being left alone to give birth

Horrifying prison CCTV shows inmate being left alone to give birth

A woman who gave birth alone in her jail cell is suing U.S. authorities after her pleas for help during five hours of labour were allegedly ignored.

Silent surveillance video released by her lawyer shows Diana Sanchez eventually lying down on a narrow bed, crying out in pain, before she pulls off her trousers and deliveries a baby boy in July 2018.

A woman is suing the city and county of Denver, Denver Health Medical Center and six individuals after she said she was forced to deliver a baby alone on a bench in a jail cell at the Denver County Jail.

Sanchez alleges she received no medical supervision or treatment, and, furthermore, that Denver Health nurses-who are contracted to work at the prison-and jail staff were fully aware she had been in labor for hours. A nurse comes in minutes after the delivery and calls for an ambulance, they claim.

"To characterise it as medical care is a joke", said Ms Sanchez's lawyer, Mari Newman.

But when the deputy relayed the information to a nurse, the nurse only requested for a van to take Sanchez to the hospital, the suit said.

"Throughout this entire time, Ms. Sanchez's painful labor was obvious to jail and medical staff alike, via a video feed from her cell", the lawsuit says.

Sanchez was more than eight months pregnant when she was booked into the Denver County Jail on July 14, 2018.

Sanchez claimed that is was only after she gave birth that an ambulance was called for her.

The extent of the assistance Sanchez was given was an absorbent pad to lie on.

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"I know I was there because I was at fault for that I did wrong - and I didn't deserve that and especially not my baby", she said.

About two weeks later, at 5 a.m. July 31, Sanchez told a deputy that she was going into labor.

The spokeswoman said after the investigation, according to FOX 31 Denver, it was determined the deputies "took the appropriate actions under the circumstances and followed the relevant policies and procedures".

Video from inside the jail shows moments after Sanchez gives birth, a male nurse is seen walking in after he had been watching from outside the cell.

"That pain was indescribable, and what hurt me more though is the fact that nobody cared", Sanchez said in an interview with KDVR a year ago. Newman says Sanchez also struggled with a heroin addiction, and that her client had informed jail officials that she was prescribed methadone to prevent withdrawal symptoms.

"I was screaming, 'Can you please get the nurse?"

Spokesman Simon Crittle said "Denver Health provides high quality medical care to thousands of inmates every year".

"They put my son's life at risk", Sanchez told KDVR in August 2018.

In regard to the identify theft charge, Sanchez's lawyer said her client "has taken responsibility" for that act and the case has been resolved.

"Despite the fact that Denver and Denver Health medical staff were supposed to be monitoring her via video, they took no action to provide the emergency medical care that was so obviously necessary", it adds.