Hadassah nurses deliver baby on icy roadside

The century’s largest winter storm in Israel is over, but it left an aftermath of icy roads. You can imagine what fearsome traffic jams materialized.

So it was on the morning of Dec. 16 on Road 443, which leads from Modiin to Northern Jerusalem, including our  Mount Scopus hospital. The road was jammed. Traffic wasn’t moving.  Dafna Cohen, Hadassah Mount Scopus head nurse in pediatrics, was stuck at one of the crossroads.  She heard a police siren and saw cars pulled over on the side of the road. Cohen could see someone was in trouble. She, too, pulled over, “I’m a nurse from Hadassah Hospital” she said. “Can I

The back seats of one of the cars had been lowered. The driver introduced himself as a medic.  Inside,  Batsheva Shoshan was in labor.  Her amniotic fluid had already broken. Her husband Ha’ari Shoshan had been trying to drive her to
the hospital, but they realized they wouldn’t make it.  This was their 14th delivery and they knew the baby was coming fast. The medic had a birthing kit and some other medical equipment.  Cohen  began helping, but then she had another idea. Hadassah midwife Hanna Kasten, also from Modiin might be on her way to work, too. Where was she? Cohen called Kasten and learned that she, too, was stuck in traffic, one light behind.

In the meantime, the baby was crowning. Cohen and the medic delivered a healthy baby girl. Suddenly Kasten came running down the road.  She took over and nurse Cohen went on to the hospital. A midwife with 20 years experience, Kasten  cut the umbilical cord and delivered the placenta. She gave Shoshan an IV. Outside the temperature was 35
degrees. Kasten  made sure the baby was warm and that the mother was okay. An hour and a half later, an ambulance finally made it through the ice and traffic to carry Shoshan and the baby to Hadassah Mount Scopus. In the meantime,
the police had taken advantage of Kasten’s presence. An additional pregnant woman was stuck on the road. Kasten ascertained that the woman was okay, and she could continue to the hospital. At last, Kasten drove to Mount Scopus,  to her day’s responsibilities as deputy head of nursing for the  delivery department at Mount Scopus. Her first order of business was making sure that  Shoshan and Baby Girl Shoshan were safe and sound. “Promise me,” said Kasten to the ecstatic parents “That next time you’ll come straight to the hospital for me to do the delivery there!”