On Icy Road, in Post-Storm Traffic Jam, Hadassah Nurse and Midwife to the Rescue

Tuesday, Dec 17 2013

Despite the end of Jerusalem's largest winter storm, some icy roads were still closed, causing major traffic jams. In one such jam, a Hadassah nurse and a Hadassah midwife helped to bring a baby girl into the world.

It was on Road 443, which leads from Modiin to Hadassah Hospital-Mount Scopus, that Pediatric Head Nurse Dafna Cohen was stuck at one of the crossroads. She heard a police siren and saw cars pulled over to the side. Ms. Cohen could see that someone was in trouble.

Pulling her car over, too, she announced: "I'm a nurse from Hadassah Hospital. Can I help?"

The back seats of one of the cars had been lowered. The driver introduced himself as a medic. Inside, Batsheva Shoshan was in labor. Her husband, Ha'ari Shoshan, had been attempting to drive her to the hospital, but realized they wouldn't make it. This was their 14th delivery and they knew the baby was coming fast. The medic had a birthing kit and some other medical equipment. Nurse Cohen began helping, but then she had another idea: Hadassah Midwife Hanna Kasten, Deputy Head of Nursing in Hadassah's Delivery Department—and also from Modiin--might be on her way to work, too. Where was she? Cohen called Ms. Kasten and learned that she, too, was stuck in traffic, one light behind.

In the meantime, the baby was crowning. Nurse Cohen and the medic delivered a healthy baby girl.

And then they saw Ms. Kasten come running down the road.

A midwife with 20 years' experience, Ms. Kasten took over. She cut the umbilical cord, delivered the placenta, and started Shoshan on intravenous fluid. Outside, the temperature was 35 degrees, so she made sure the baby was warm and that the mother was okay.

An hour and a half later, an ambulance finally made it through the ice and traffic to take Shoshan and the baby to Hadassah-Mt. Scopus. In the meantime, another pregnant woman was stuck on the road and the police recruited Ms. Kasten to help. She ascertained that the woman was okay and that she could continue to the hospital.

Ms. Kasten then drove herself to Hadassah to begin her day's responsibilities. First order of business: making sure that Shoshan and her daughter were safe and sound. "Promise me," Ms. Kasten said to the ecstatic parents, "that next time, you will come straight to the hospital so I can deliver the baby here!"


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