I feel this has to be an urban legend or calculated story to turn hearts for sympathy…
In 2007, a nurse goes into the basement of a hospital and discovers a baby in a sink. She saves the baby and gets fired. Supposedly the hospital policy was any unwanted babies that were born were placed in the basement sink until they died. The nurse is brought up on charges and she, in turn, tries to go before congress and pass a new law that “no people are allowed to die in sinks" That being the name and title of the law she tried to have passed. She felt this was happening all over the United States and no one was doing anything about it.
I worked at hospitals all my life and most don’t have basement sinks and there is no way they would ever be able to have a policy like that in any hospital anywhere! So is it a legend that the nurse told to cover a crime she committed or is this story, that is being passed around by anti-abortion groups, a true story? I would love to put a stop to it once and for all so hospitals are not targeted as places that don’t care about babies and so that nurses don’t feel like they get fired for such a whistle blowing event because the hospital got busted on a secret way to kill babies. It just can’t be true and it is all over facebook right now. Please help.
Rebecca from Tampa FL
We Googled the heck out of this and didn’t find much. One hit did ring some bells with this story. This was posted by a woman on a nursing message board in March 2009:
Just Fired, Need Interview & Resume Advice
OK, here is the story of my 5th patient and the one with the incident that got me fired. She had already arrived by EMS before I took the group from the previous nurse. As I was getting report from her the charge nurse from day shift was in the room triaging her and getting her settled. When she finished she never came to give me report on the patient and put the entire chart over with the Dr, so I didn’t even have anything to read about the patient. All I knew was she was having vaginal bleeding.
I left the floor to take one of my patients up stairs to their room and while I was gone she was seen by the Dr and her husband came out complaining that I had not come in after the Dr to start the IV and such. So, the charge nurse (a new one as it was change of shifts) went in and started the IV and whatever other orders for me while I was upstairs. When I got back downstairs she told me that she had got her IV started for me and she should be settled for awhile. I asked her what was going on w/ the patient as I had not gotten any report on her. She said "She’s pregnant, vaginal bleeding, they brought in a container with what she had passed at home, but I didn’t look in it, it’s sitting in the room." When I went in there was a container inside of a grocery bag sitting on top of the linen cart that I left there for the Dr to look at.
So, a few minutes later the husband came out and wanted me to check the patient as she felt like she was bleeding a lot. I went in and she had several disposable pads under her, they were relatively clean and I told them she wasn’t bleeding to heavily and the pad was still clean. The family asked me a few questions that I answered for them. I had no problems with the family, they were friendly and never complained to me about anything. After getting an U/S and a couple of bags of fluids she was being discharged. I went in, unhooked her IV. The bag still had about 200cc in it, so I draped it over the edge of the sink to drain. She had her bloody panties and shorts in the sink, but on the other side away from where the fluids were draining. I was planning to get her a bag to take them home in as soon as I finished up getting her discharge vital signs and taking out her IV. Well, her pulse was in the 130’s, so I told them I would go discuss it with the Dr and be back. Well, to make it short she ended up staying and was waiting to be admitted because they were thinking she had an infection somewhere because her WBC were slightly high and all of the fluids hadn’t brought her pulse down. I hooked her to the monitor where we watched her pulse at times hit 160’s.
So, at 3AM it was time for me to go home and I gave report to the LPN who was taking over her care. As I was finishing report the husband came out and asked me if I would clean her up again. I told him sure and I would be right in to do it before I went home as soon as I finished up giving report. Well, I ended up getting a phone call about my ICU patient and getting totally detracted with him and forgot to go back in there before I left. So, the husband wrote a letter saying I had no compassion or their loss (she did miscarry), which I feel is totally not true as I spent time in the room talking to them and answering questions about what to expect and such. AND said that the fetus was in the sink and that I placed trash on top of it and left it laying in the sink. If there was a fetus anywhere in that sink her clothes were piled on top of it. The family never said ANYTHING to me about them thinking the fetus was in the sink, neither did the prior charge nurses who had triaged her and provided her care. Nor did they bother to remove it from the sink if they knew it was there.
So, I got fired for not properly disposing of a fetus that I knew nothing about. She was not very far along, so it’s not like she gave birth to a full term baby that I didn’t see. She was only a few weeks along. It just makes me so upset that they think I would leave a fetus in the sink if I knew that it was there. I never thought I would be fired over a patient who I had good rapport with complaining about me. I just figured it would be one of those patients from he** who you can’t do anything right with. I consider myself a good nurse, I care deeply for my patients, sometimes crying alongside them when they’re scared and get bad news. I worked my butt off for that place, usually getting no break longer than to go pee a couple of times even though I’m pregnant. I’ve gone 15 hours without eating while pregnant trying to take good care of my patients.