Woman gives birth to twins in Pa. prison cell
WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) - February 11, 2012 (WPVI) -- Officials in northeastern Pennsylvania say a woman taken to the county prison last month gave birth to twins in her cell. One of the newborns later died.
Luzerne County officials say the 23-year-old woman had been arrested Jan. 26 by Freeland police on a retail theft warrant from neighboring Schuylkill County.
She was taken to the Luzerne County Correctional Facility and was to be picked up the following morning by Schuylkill County authorities.
The woman told prison officials that she was seven months pregnant and had given birth to a baby eight or nine months earlier, warden Joe Piazza said.
She was placed in a cell and told staff members the following morning that she wasn't feeling well, Piazza said. Two prison nurses examined her and found no issues or evidence that she was in labor, he said.
Nurses were again contacted a short time later, and a prison doctor and two nurses examined her and found that she was in labor, Piazza said. Officials contacted 911, but the doctor and nurses had delivered the babies by the time emergency crews arrived.
Piazza said the newborns were taken to a hospital but one of them subsequently died. The other is in critical condition at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center.
Deputy coroner Dan Hughes called the death "natural" but said he was unable to provide information on the cause of death or whether an autopsy would be done.
Piazza, who declined to identify the woman, said prison officials "did everything according to our protocol."
Luzerne County interim manager Tom Pribula said Friday he is looking into the sequence of events. He said he was "annoyed" because he had just found out what happened.
Piazza said he hadn't informed Pribula afterward because "things happened so fast" and "we did everything right."
pennsylvania, childbirth, local/state
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