Officials: Couple charged after removing baby from Lehigh Valley Hospital
The parents tried to walk out of intensive care with seriously ill infant
The parents of a seriously ill infant are facing charges for removing the baby from a hospital without permission, authorities announced Wednesday.
April Saul, 42, and Daniel Rivera, 43, of Pottstown, Montgomery County, are charged with endangering the welfare of a child and disorderly conduct.
According to an affidavit of probable cause:
On October 23, Saul and Rivera removed the infant from monitoring equipment at Lehigh Valley Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit without medical training or permission and tried to leave the NICU.
The baby was born prematurely and had “serious medical issues,” officials said. Because of the baby’s condition, her heart beat, breathing and temperature had to be continually monitored.
When questioned by medical personnel, Saul and Rivera yelled loudly and used obscene language in the common area of the NICU, officials said.
According to court documents, the parents removed the baby from the hospital against medical advice and said they wanted to take the baby to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Police stopped Saul and Rivera, who had the baby with them, in a vehicle at Seventh and Hamilton streets in Allentown.
When the baby was returned to the hospital, she had a temperature of 96.5 degrees, which officials said was life-threatening because of her pre-existing condition.
The baby currently is in Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Lehigh Valley Hospital arranged for the baby’s transfer to CHOP.
In an interview with 69 News shortly after the incident, Saul and Rivera said they simply wanted their child to get the best medical care she could possibly get.
The two were arraigned on Wednesday. Bail was set at $10,000 unsecured for each defendant. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for December 14.
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