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I suppose it was only a matter of time before this blog started focusing on dead fetuses and stillborn babies. That time is now.
Washington Hospital Center has been fined $8,000 by the District for storing the remains of 95 stillborn babies and fetuses dating to 2001, far beyond the 30-day limit imposed under city law.
I really have no rational response for this. I guess what I don't get is that 95 (!) dead babies have been stored in a 2x2x4 refrigerated box, some of them for as long as six years. Whose job was it to put the dead babies in the box? Because all those other dead babies should have been a red flag. Like, that's too many dead babies. I'm almost completely lacking in the common sense department, but I'm pretty sure that I would tell someone if I knew that there was a box with 95 dead babies. Throwing another on the pile seems to be a bad way to deal with the issue.
Washington Hospital Center, which makes no mention of this on their website, has called this snafu an "administrative failure." No fucking duh. One would have to possess a pretty sick imagination to come up with a reason for the dead baby box that wasn't administrative failure.
Oh, and some of the babies weren't even documented. So Washington's infant mortality rates have been wrong for the past six years. Undocumented dead babies are the worst dead babies of all.
I'm being flippant about a really serious issue. I mean, a box of 95 dead babies, some of them undocumented, strikes me as ridiculously irresponsible. Six years! Six years worth of babies! I can't wrap my head around that so I'm going to deflect any feelings of sadness and disgust with humor. Unfortunately, anyone who has had a stillborn at Washington Hospital Center over the last six years doesn't have the luxury of thinking this is even remotely funny. I would imagine that this is opening all sorts of emotional doors that had been locked and boarded over the past few years. I send these people my condolences. They shouldn't have to be dealing with this again.
And if anyone is curious, the punchline to the joke in this post's title is: "Dead babies, because you can use a pitchfork."
Hilariously, Howard University's Hospital also had a secret stash of still born babies and fetuses.
Howard University Hospital has 25 sets of remains in its morgue, some from 2003, officials said. When added to 95 sets of remains dating from 2001 reported recently by Washington Hospital Center, the District's infant mortality rate for the last several years is certain to rise, officials said.
I don't have any idea how hard it is to run a hospital. I would imagine that it's extraordinarily difficult. However, remembering to dispose of dead babies that have been locked in storage for four years can't be that difficult. It just can't.
That's more would-be mothers who are probably quite annoyed at hearing that their baby could very well have been in a storage cooler instead of in a final resting place. That can't feel good.