News 12's Most-Viewed: #6 - NJ woman finds miscarriage remains among her belongings
News 12 Digital is highlighting the most-viewed stories of 2018 as part of our 'News 12's Most-Viewed' series. This story on a woman who found miscarriage remains in her belongings at the hospital was first published on June 22. Original story below.
A New Jersey woman says that a hospital accidentally placed the remains of her miscarried fetus among her belongings while in recovery.
Tinera Polite says that she does not want any other woman to have to deal with the experience she went through at Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth. She says that the staff was inhumane and disrespectful.
Polite says that it was around noon on Thursday when she started to experience cramping and spotting while at her sister’s home in Elizabeth. They called an ambulance and Polite went to the hospital to get her pregnancy checked out. She says that her the care that they gave her was below standard.
"I didn't get an examination. I didn't get a heart monitor. I didn't get an ultrasound,” she says.
Polite says that she was in the hospital room from around noon until 3:45 p.m. when her water broke and she miscarried. She says that at this point she had only briefly spoken to a doctor. Polite started to scream in the room, which was caught on camera by her sister.
"My child came through and was sitting in my underwear for almost 20 minutes before the doctor came back with a team to see what was going on,” she says.
The fetus remained in the room for an hour until Polite says she had to ask a nurse to take it away.
As she went in for a procedure known as dilation and curettage, she was told the child would go to pathology, which is common protocol.
But she says she was never asked what she would want done with the remains.
Polite says that her sister later went to collect her belongings in recovery and found a plastic bag among the belongings. Inside was a plastic container holding the fetus. She says she was horrified.
“Nobody should ever have to go through this. No woman, especially losing a child she was looking to meeting in a few months,” says Polite.
She says her sister was so upset that they took the remains home, but eventually took it back after the hospital called asking for it to be returned.
A spokesman for Trinitas Hospital tells News 12 New Jersey in a statement, "We are reaching out to extend our heartfelt apologies to the patient. We are giving this matter our closest attention, and are doing a complete investigation to ensure that it never happens again."
The New Jersey Department of Health is also looking into the situation. A spokesperson for the department says that hospitals are required to “have policies and procedures in place for appropriate, sanitary handling and disposal of remains."
Polite says she signed paperwork instructing the hospital that she wants the fetus returned to her so she can give her child a proper burial. She says that an apology is not enough.