Woman Gets Pregnant And Gives Birth While In A Coma But The Father Is Unknown. How To Help Vulnerable Patients Who Are Victims Of Abuse
January 10, 2019 17:52 By Mambee
Every once in a while, we hear of a story so shocking that it's hard to believe it's true. How could someone take advantage of a vulnerable patient at a hospital, to the extent of getting her pregnant? Sadly, there are more instances of this type of despicable behavior than you might think.
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In 1998, when it was reported that a 24-year-old woman who was in a coma for five years gave birth to a premature baby girl. In another disturbing instance, Tara Jepson shared her horrific story of how she suffered abuse from a male nurse while she was in a coma.
A surprise pregnancy
In a more recent incident, it has been reported that a woman who has been in a vegetative state for 14 years has given birth to a child. The unidentified patient was admitted to the Hacienda HealthCare and, unfortunately, she was assaulted in the facility.
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According to reports, police are looking into the abuse of the patient, who was left in a coma after being involved in a near-drowning incident. The patient gave birth to a baby boy on December 29. An unnamed source, who apparently spoke to AZFamily, said that the staff at the facility were not aware of the woman's pregnancy until she was about to give birth.
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The source told the publication that the baby was born healthy.
How to help a patient who was a victim of sexual assault
According to NursingCenter, there are a few things you can do to lend a helping hand to a vulnerable patient who has been a victim of sexual abuse.
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- If you notice an assault in progress, call for help immediately. If it's possible for you to physically stop the abuser without endangering yourself, do so and remove the offender from the room;
- If you suspect a patient is being abused in a facility, report to the immediate supervisor;
- To preserve evidence after an assault, patients should not be bathed or washed until authorities can investigate the crime scene. Don't change the patient's clothes, comb their hair or brush their teeth, as all these could lead to the loss of useful evidence that could help find the perpetrator;
- The patient should be transferred to a facility that is equipped to carry out sexual assault examinations and offer further assistance;
- Encourage all staff in the hospital to watch out for signs that a patient is being assaulted, such as purple or bite marks on the body, unexplained injuries, bruises and injuries involving the inner thighs, breasts and/or genitalia.
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For more on how to report any kind of abuse, be it of the elderly or someone who is too vulnerable to fight for themselves, read here.
As hospital staff becomes more watchful, they may be able to put a stop to it in case a patient is being assaulted, and also help those who underwent such a terrible ordeal.