Surgeon Allows 15-Year-Old to Assist During C-Section & the Mom Has No Idea

Say What!? 16

c-sectionI'm sure you already know that it's imperative for you to get to know your doctor well during your pregnancy so you're very familiar with who will be delivering your baby. Of course, one mom in Sweden thought she knew who she was dealing with -- until she found out that her doctor had allowed a 15-year-old girl to assist during her Cesarean birth.

Yes, a 15-year-old girl, who was originally introduced to the mother as the surgeon's assistant -- actually held the scalpel at one point during her c-section and assisted with her baby's delivery. It turns out the girl was a relative of the surgeon, who was apparently trying to teach her a thing or two about birthing babies.


And while the mom did deliver a healthy baby and had no problems with her c-section as a result of the teenage girl helping out, needless to say -- she was in a state of shock when she heard about it.

Get this one -- she found out after reading about it in her local paper. And that's when the surgeon called and admitted she'd let the 15-year-old assist with the c-section and graciously apologized. (She apologized? That's it?)

Of being kept in the dark over who the girl actually was, the mother told the paper, "I thought it was a medical student practicing patient contact, something that you do early on in your medical training. This is a university hospital so one must be prepared to meet students."

And honestly, I don't know why she'd have any reason to think otherwise. Something like this could happen to anyone, because medical students help out with labor and delivery all the time, right?

When I had my son six years ago, I was in labor with him for a good 24 hours. And during that time frame, I had quite a few medical students and residents come in to help out my doctor. But before they so much as came within 10 feet of me, my doctor was kind enough to ask my permission to make sure I was ok with it, which you'd think would be standard procedure everywhere.

Students have to learn one way or another, which is why it didn't bother me too much -- even when a group of them checked to see how many centimeters I was dilated and proceeded to "compare their finger widths" to make sure they all got the answer right. (But their giggling wasn't exactly appreciated -- I'll leave it at that.)

Heck, I even had a student put my catheter in after I'd been given my epidural. (I was totally numb, so I could've cared less who touched me at that point.)

Not once did I question whether or not these students and residents were actually students and/or residents -- because I completely trusted my doctor and the labor and delivery nurses.

Still, it can't hurt to be extra careful when you check into the hospital, so don't be afraid to ask for credentials before anyone touches you -- and make sure to let your doctor know if there is anything you're uncomfortable with.

The last thing you want to find out postpartum is that the teenager down the street was a witness to your birth.

Have you met all of the doctors in your physician's practice? Are you fully aware of who may wind up delivering your baby?


Image via isafmedia/Flickr

c-sections, labor & delivery


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Rebec... Rebecca7708

We used a midwife practice. We met all 4 midwives, we rotated who we saw each time we went so we'd be familiar with all of them. Then, complications came up with the baby and we were shipped to a high risk OB. Once there, we met many doctors who all assured us that they would NOT be the one to deliver the baby. Great! Could they give us an idea of who would be there, since we had a scheduled induction. Nope. On the actual day, I had no idea who anybody was. I actually joked with one of the doctors about how she was doing with all of the pre schoolers in the hospital. Maybe it wasn't such a joke after all.

ruby_... ruby_jewel_04

Um hell no. I don't care if nothin went wrong. ANTYTHING could have. I'd probably sue the doctor and the hospital for allowing it! a 15 year old has no business in an OR unless they are the patient! This isn't freaking Doogie Howser!

tyrel... tyrelsmom

If it was me and the doctor asked me first, I would have said yes. It's not like he would let her do anything she could possibly screw up.

But not asking first is just wrong.

nonmember avatar Brit

I would be so upset. When I had my daughter, the entire wall in front of me was full of nursing students. But the hospital came to me and asked me first if it was ok. I had an all natural delivery with her and none of the nurses had seen one yet. So sure I was willing to help. But to NOT ask me first, and LIE to me about it? I would be irate.

tuffy... tuffymama

I specifically asked for students to be excluded from my births and surgeries. I'm a very private person, and the fewer people seeing me naked or otherwise vulnerable, the better. I've had the same nurse in two surgeries. I was so relieved to see her the second time around, because it was one less person seeing me like that.

Katherine Moser Potter

Yeah, this is another fantastic reason to have a home birth. I birthed my baby, no one else "delivered" her, no one put their frickin fingers in me to "check my dilation", and there wasnt a single person there that I didn't know personally and authorize being there.

MrsNe... MrsNewman

During my 3rd c-section there ended up being a class of students in there to watch, I had no idea until after he started cutting me open and they walked in. I was fine with it, put would have liked a heads up.

Lois Amanda Brett

So many surgeons begin to regard their patients as pieces of meat, it's easy to cut someone open once you have learned to dehumanize them. 

nonmember avatar bray

I call bs on this. The girl probably stood there and watched and maybe held an insturment for the surgeon. She didn't "help" do anything. She probably wanted to be a surgeon one day that is all no bid deal. The same way the guy who was diredting planes to land a few years ago gave complete instructions and then aloowed his son to say 3 words "cleared to land" and everyone freaked out.... yes if you let a 15yr old perform surgery, not good, but I would guarantee that is not what happened.

Monisha Annabel Jador

Look, I would trust that the surgeon was there and that they had in fact would have guided the teenager to the right area.

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