Healthcare News & Insights

Baby dies after pregnant mom ignored by nurse assistant for 6 hours

A Nevada woman sent home from the emergency department gave birth at home 20 minutes later in a difficult breech delivery. Now authorities are investigating what happened. 

Roshunda Abney, 25, went to the emergency department at University Medical Center (UMC) in Las Vegas, complaining of severe abdominal pain — unaware she was approximately six months pregnant. According to Abney, she was told by a nursing assistant that it was probably gallstones and that she’d have to wait to see a doctor.

As her pain intensified, she asked repeatedly to be seen by a physician. According to witnesses, more than one fellow patient also sought help for Abney. According to reports in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, those patients were warned by the nurse assistant on duty that they wouldn’t get in to see a doctor if they didn’t “mind [their] own business.”

After waiting six hours in the ED, Abney and her boyfriend returned home. Twenty minutes later, she gave birth to a one-pound six-ounce girl. Paramedics assisted with the breech delivery. The girl, named Angel, did not live. (The coroner’s report wasn’t completed at the time of publication.)

UMC wouldn’t comment on the matter, citing an ongoing investigation.

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Comments

  1. Rose Duckworth says:

    Why would a NA be giving out medical advice? The hospital is responsible to make sure their staff is trained and understand what their limits are. The hospital failed in this case in more than one way.

  2. My Wife and I happened to be in Las Vegas the week that happened. The TV news reports were stating that a Nursing Supervisor was doing the triage but who knows. I would not think any E.R. would be letting a NA do that. I manage four small rural clinics and we won’t let anyone phone triage. It is too dangerous. We tell them either come in for an evaluation or go to the E.R. On top of that, abdominal pain is a problematic complaint in that it could be many, many things some of which are life threatening. Add to that a female that did not know she was pregnant and it can be a nightmare for any E.R. or medical office setting. I hope there wasn’t an underlying race or socio-economic element to this story. The T.V. camera person panned over to the EMTALA sign in the E.R. waiting room. If I remember correctly, the reporter did not state that the patient did not know she was pregnant when she was in the E.R. Of course that omission made a bad situation look worse and possibly a violation of Federal Regulations. Ironically, the hospital CEO had to respond to a possible HIPAA violation that same week. I am sure heads are rolling as we speak…..

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