WASHINGTON - After D.C.'s Department of Health shut down the obstetrics ward at United Medical Center in Southeast D.C., a District woman said her baby was delivered stillborn and she is blaming the hospital for her poor care.
Rakita Hill told FOX 5 that equipment was not working, staff was not around and doctors were not concerned after she checked in complaining about her baby not moving in the womb. Her claim comes two days after the city ordered the only full-service hospital in Southeast D.C. to stop delivering babies for the next three months.
"As soon as I walked in, I told them what was going on, and they told me they would take me to the labor and delivery room," said Hill. "So once I got up there, she gave me a gown and told me to change my clothes and everything, but no one came for about 30 minutes … She finally came in the room, she asked me what was going on. She was trying to hook me up to the machine where they hear the heartbeat and everything, but the machine wasn't working.
"She finally called in a doctor. The doctor came in with a sonogram machine. It was so black that you couldn't even see the baby once he rolled everything over my stomach."
That was the final straw for the 26-year-old woman and her family who was apparently prohibited from joining her in the examination room at United Medical Center.
"My sister kept calling my phone - 'What's going on? What's going on? Why are they not making it an urgent matter?' Then she basically went to the doctor and was like, 'Just come on, put your stuff back on and go to another hospital,'" Hill described.
That same day on July 7, baby Jermani was reportedly delivered a stillborn at MedStar Washington Hospital Center nearby where Hill said she was immediately treated by doctors and staff.
One month after Jermani's passing, the D.C. Department of Health issued a notice to United Medical Center restricting the hospital's license for obstetric and related newborn services for 90 days.
For Hill, it's too late and she has a message for United Medical Center.
"Maybe if they were more urgent about the situation, then my daughter could have been saved and could have been here with us today," she said.
A United Medical Center spokesperson did not answer questions about Hill's case.
A spokesperson for the District's Department of Health said in a statement:
"DOH does not know about this case and it did not factor into the restriction on UMC's license."
The hospital said in the next 90 days, it will address cited deficiencies, which include three separate cases involving deficiencies in screening, clinical assessment and delivery protocols. However, the hospital did not elaborate beyond that explanation.