A three-month-old baby girl has miraculously survived after plunging head first from an incubator on to the floor in a neonatal intensive care unit in Brazil.
Hospital security cameras recorded the horrific moment Roberta Machado plummeted from the medical apparatus in Belem, Brazil.
Moments before, a nurse had placed Roberta inside the incubator and locked one side but apparently failed to secure the other.
Roberta had been in the ICU for approximately two months following a premature birth and reflux problems.
Footage shows that as soon as the nurse walks away, the little girl starts to fidget around inside the unit and seconds later her tiny feet kick at the door which swings open and she plunges head first to the ground.
The baby suffered fractures to her collar bone and to her skull.
Doctors said the trauma may trigger neurological problems in the future which they are unable to predict. At the time, the child did not need surgery.
The same nurse who put the newborn in the incubator is seen rushing back in a panic to pick up her up.
Hospital security cameras recorded the horrific moment Roberta Machado plummeted from the medical apparatus in Belem, Brazil
Moments before, a nurse had placed the child inside the incubator and locked one side but apparently failed to secure the other
Baby Roberta is handed to another medical professional and there is a flurry of activity as the ICU team react with fright to the situation.
The nursing technician holding the child rubs her injured head and lifts her up, moving her around in various positions as if visibly checking her condition.
The family complained that more should have been done immediately to assess the welfare of their daughter.
It was nearly an hour before the child was transferred for scans to assess her injuries.
The incident happened in May this year at the Maternity and Child Health private hospital in Belem, north Brazil, but images were only released on Sunday after her parents, Jessica and Roberto, got a court order forcing the hospital to hand over the security video.
Baby Roberta is handed to another medical professional and there is a flurry of activity as the ICU team react with fright to the situation
Mrs Machado had already left for lunch with her husband when the accident happened around 2.30pm.
Ten minutes after the near tragic incident, the first-time mother returned to ICU and noticed her child was ‘limp and wet’.
In an interview with Brazilian Record TV, she said: ‘They didn’t want to let me in at first. And when I entered the ICU I saw that everyone was acting differently towards me.
‘When I saw my child I was totally bewildered because I couldn’t understand what had happened to her. She was very soft, limp and wet.’
Mrs Machado said: ‘I became desperate and I cried: ”For God’s sake what happened to my daughter”
According to the young mother when she questioned her child’s condition the nursing technician allegedly answered: ‘Mum, I’ve just bathed her and now I’m putting her to sleep.’
Despite the nurse’s excuse, Mrs Machado said she quickly noticed a bruise on the back of her child’s head.
She recalled: ‘I became desperate and I cried: ”For God’s sake what happened to my daughter”.’
But the technician seemed to brush off her concerns and claimed that ‘nothing had happened’.
Even when the mum approached the nurse who was reportedly responsible for the accident, she was told that ‘no one saw anything’.
A report from the Institute of Forensic Medicine (IML) concluded that the girl suffered a fracture to the skull and bruising to the scalp. The child fell from a height of 1.4km and the impact of the fall was around six times the weight of the baby
It was left to another mother, who was in the unit at the time of the accident, to reveal what happened.
Mrs Machado said: ‘Someone pulled me aside and said, ”look your daughter fell head first onto the floor when the door of the incubator opened. Get your husband immediately”.
‘I felt hurt and angry that the doctors who were meant to care for my child had allegedly let this happen while on their watch and appeared to be lying about it.’
A report from the Institute of Forensic Medicine (IML) concluded that the girl suffered a fracture to the skull and bruising to the scalp.
The child fell from a height of 1.4m and the impact of the fall was around six times the weight of the baby.
In a statement to police, the nursing technician said she locked the incubator but didn’t reveal what had happened to the mother because, according to protocol, the doctor on duty was responsible for doing this.
The paediatrician present on the day has denied lying to the parents.
Roberta’s father said: ‘Today, thank God, Roberta is progressing well. She suffered a lot in her early life and we consider her a real fighter’
Despite the tremendous fright, Roberta, now eight months old, is a happy and healthy child and developing normally.
Medical follow-ups and tests continue to monitor for any adverse effects of the fall.
In a statement, the Maternity and Child Health Hospital said that the institution acted with ‘total transparency, and that its staff is trained and updated based on the latest medical care techniques.’
It added: ‘All medical and psychological assistance (was) provided until the patient’s medical discharge.’
For Roberta’s parents, it appears that the incubator was not closed properly after the baby was placed inside.
Roberta’s father said: ‘It has two locks and it appears that only one was activated because as soon as my daughter knocked the door, it opened.
‘Today, thank God, Roberta is progressing well. She suffered a lot in her early life and we consider her a real fighter,’ he added.
The case is being investigated by police and the medical professionals involved could face charges of bodily injury, omission of help and abandonment of an incapable.
Roberta’s family have filed a civil suit seeking compensation from the hospital.