Woman medevac’d after giving birth in transient camp

The baby was taken into protective custody by police

A 30-year-old woman was transported Monday afternoon to Harbor Regional Health after giving birth in the transient camp in Aberdeen.

The call initially came in that the baby was not breathing, but was conscious and breathing by the time personnel arrived on scene, said Cmdr. Steve Timmons of the Aberdeen Police Department.

“Our officers response was urgent, as well as the fire department. When we got there, the baby and the mom were conscious and breathing,” Timmons said. “The fire department was there right away and transported the mother and baby to the hospital.”

Calls for issues surrounding pregnancies aren’t common but aren’t unheard of, said Aberdeen Fire Chief Dave Golding. The medical issues that create incidents like this are often not things that agencies are able to release to the public, in light of medical privacy laws.

“We get OB calls from time to time. It’s not one we get every day. It’s something we definitely respond from time to time,” Golding said. “It ranges from people in labor all the way to complications all the way to birth.”

The child was taken into protective custody by police at the hospital, Timmons said. While rare, there are some situations that compel officers to separate the child from its parent, Timmons said.

“Based on some circumstances, the officers took the baby into protective custody,” Timmons said. “Our officers want to make sure the baby is safe.”

Substance misuse is generally the largest reason to place a child in protective custody and call in Child Protective Services, Timmons said.

“If there was known drug use during the pregnancy, any indication that the mother couldn’t care for the child,” Timmons said. “If there was drug paraphernalia at the scene, if the mother admits to drug use during the pregnancy, that would cause us to take the baby into protective custody. We fill out documentation and we call CPS. We transfer custody to CPS.”

The goal is to solve the issues that lead to the child’s being taken away, Timmons, and reunite it with its family.

“The ultimate goal is to get them back to the mother, but there’s some stipulations,” Timmons said. “The best outcome is to get the baby back to the mother.”

Cases like this are not regular but not unheard of either, Timmons said.

“It’s not super common but it does happen,” Timmons said. “I don’t have a specific number but a few times a year.”

Contact Senior Reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or michael.lockett@thedailyworld.com.