Sicilian doctors accused of row during patient’s labour

Sicilian police have questioned staff at a hospital where a baby boy was born with heart problems and suspected brain damage after a row between two doctors attending his mother allegedly took place as she went into labour. The 30-year-old woman, Laura Salpietro, was given a hysterectomy following the birth which, according to her husband, was almost an hour and a half late. He told police that after a heated exchange, one of the doctors grabbed the other by the neck and shoved him into a wall. He said the other doctor reacted by punching a window which shattered, injuring his hand.

Both doctors have been suspended, and four separate investigations are taking place over the incident which occurred at the Policlinico hospital in Messina last Thursday. One of the doctors involved and the hospital’s head of obstetrics have denied any link between the fight and the complications. However the woman’s husband, Matteo Molonia, said there had been no previous signs of complications. Health Minister Ferruccio Fazio visited Ms Salpietro in the hospital on Monday to apologise. "I tried to give her words of hope, and above all I tried to tell her that the government was with her and her family at this time," he said. ~ BBC News, Aug 30; Guardian, Aug 20

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