Perfect timing: HackensackUMC nurses help deliver newborn in parking garage

Two Hackensack (N.J.) University Medical Center nurses seemed to be in the right place at the right time.

On Jan. 21, expectant parents Selis and Mustafa Tavsancil arrived at Women's and Children's Hospital at HackensackUMC to meet obstetrician, Ulas Bozdogan, MD, to deliver their baby, according to the hospital. 

They started to walk toward the elevators of the parking garage when Mrs. Tavsancil told her husband she wasn't able to walk any further because the baby was coming, HackensackUMC officials said.

It was then that Denise DeSalvo, RN, a supervisor in the pediatric operating room at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children's Hospital, saw the couple as she arrived for her shift. 

"The woman was crying and the husband was rubbing her back trying to comfort her," Ms. DeSalvo said in a news release.  "I asked if she needed help and she said yes — then I noticed she was pregnant. I told her I will get you to where you need to go. I then called security and asked for a wheelchair.  While I was on the phone, the woman let out this cry and I asked her is this happening now? And, she said 'yes.'"

It just so happened that Christine Zweil, RN, who works in the neonatal intensive care unit of Joseph M. Sanzari Children's Hospital, arrived in the area. Ms. DeSalvo had never met Ms. Zweil, but asked for her assistance.

"There was no time," Ms. Zweil said in a news release. "The water broke and within seconds the baby started to crown and out he came."

The baby boy was born, and Ms. Zweil held the baby, who was wrapped in his parent's clothing, until help arrived and the umbilical cord could be cut, according to the hospital. 

Thanks to security, which contacted the appropriate units, equipment the couple needed arrived quickly, according to the hospital.

It was the nurses' first delivery, but they used their training and experience.

"We are so proud of the heroic actions taken by Christine and Denise who didn't hesitate for a moment to help someone they saw in distress," Dianne Aroh, RN, executive vice president, chief patient care and clinical officer of HackensackUMC, said in a news release.  "I am very happy to report that mother and baby are doing very well.  Our nursing staff is second to none and it's because of team members like Christine and Denise, who exemplify what nursing is all about."


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