A nurse at a New York hospital was fired and is now being investigated by police after a father allegedly slammed his newborn son face-first onto a bassinet, officials said Friday.
The incident happened at Good Samaritan University Hospital in West Islip, Long Island. The date on which this happened was not immediately clear on Friday.
Suffolk County Police said in a statement that detectives with its Special Victims Section are investigating.
NBC New York reported that the baby, Nikko, was only two days old when he was being treated with antibiotics in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit. That’s when the baby’s father, Fidel Sinclair, began filming his baby through curtains that weren’t fully drawn.
The video then captures a nurse allegedly turning the baby from its back onto its tummy onto the bassinet.
Sinclair told NBC New York that it was divine intervention that he witnessed in the terrifying moment.
“I’m glad I was there. God sent me,” Sinclair said. “If it hadn’t been for God, … we would never have seen this happen. And this would happen throughout the night, not only with her, but for the other babies as well.
Nikko’s mother, Consuelo Saravia, told the TV news outlet that the video of the way her child was handled left her shaken.
“It was heartbreaking,” she said. “I couldn’t stop crying. I couldn’t even sleep.
Saravia said she confronted the nurse: “I told her, ‘I don’t want you to touch my baby! You just slammed her,'” she told NBC New York. “She said, ‘Oh no, if you Looks like I handled her the wrong way or anything, so I’m sorry.'”
NBC News could not immediately reach the girl’s parents Friday.
A spokesperson for Catholic Health, the organization that operates the hospital, told NBC News in a statement on Friday, “Upon learning of this incident, it took swift and immediate action, including conducting an investigation and resulting in the termination of the person involved.” Additionally, we have reported the individual to the Department of Health for further review. Keeping our patients safe is our foremost concern.
The statement also explained why the curtains were drawn.
“It is standard procedure to install curtains in the neonatal ICU to provide privacy for patients and their families and because services are being performed at the bedside. Immediate family members are allowed to spend time with their loved ones inside the neonatal ICU.
The state health department said in a statement to NBC News on Friday that it is “taking the disturbing allegation very seriously.”
“As this is an open investigation, the department cannot comment further. All hospital complaints are kept confidential and results are shared with the complainant upon conclusion of the investigation,” the statement said.