Reporting Dr. Maria Simbra
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The birth of a child is special for any parent and a long-standing tradition has been to film the event.
However, some hospitals are cracking down and aren’t allowing cameras in the delivery room anymore.
Kate Koontz treasures the video of the birth of her son.
“It’s just nice to show him and he enjoys watching it. And he enjoys seeing what he did when he was first born and in the hospital,” Koontz said.
The Koontzs kept it discreet, with a camera running on a side table through the whole process, But, some hospitals are saying recording in the delivery room is off-limits.
“Some hospitals permit it, some have limits on it. Some hospitals require patients to sign a form saying that they’ll stop if the doctor requests that they do so,” Birth Injury Lawyer Victor Pribanic said.
Among some Pittsburgh area hospitals, West Penn said no images of any kind, unless the father is stationed overseas. Photos are allowed after the baby is born.
The hospital said this is to protect the safety and privacy of patients and employees.
St. Clair Hospital only allows still photography.
Magee Women’s Hospital allows video-taping only by the patient’s support person, and the doctor or charge nurse has the final call on whether it’s advisable.
“The technology that’s available today, with smart phones and laptops, it would be something really difficult to police even if we said we weren’t going to allow it anymore,” Susan Pedaline, a nurse at Magee Women’s Hospital, said.
A video of a birth can be a record of a beautiful wonderful healthy thing, or it can serve as a record of a mistake. Obviously, the hospitals and the physicians are concerned about the latter.
Koontz would be heartbroken if she didn’t have the video of this special day.
“It would be rough. I tell you, those memories, they fade, they distort over time. You don’t remember how everything sounds, how everything feels, how everything looks. You don’t remember his little face when he came out,” Koontz said.