Mass. ambulance service intern delivers baby after just six hours on the job
The 18-year-old Patriot Ambulance trainee got immediate hands-on experience, helping a mother give birth
MetroWest Daily News, Framingham, Mass.
MARLBOROUGH, Mass. — Just six hours into her daylong internship with Patriot Ambulance, Corinna Kent, 18, got some unique on-the-job training.
She helped deliver a baby.
"It was a very happy ending," said Kent, a Needham resident.
Right before 1 p.m. last Friday, as strong wind and soaking rain from a storm bore down, she and Patriot paramedics Dave Arsenault and Cathie Lamburn received a medical call for a woman in labor in her Marlborough apartment.
They arrived at the woman's home and learned she had gone to the hospital earlier that day but was sent home because she was not in active labor. They decided to transport her to the hospital to deliver there.
But about five minutes into the drive, Kent said she began to see the baby's head.
With delivery imminent, they pulled into the parking lot of the Price Chopper supermarket on East Main Street ( Rte. 20) in Marlborough and began prepping for the baby's birth, heating up the truck and collecting all blankets and towels available.
Kent comforted the woman, who was unable to bring her husband along in the ambulance.
"We kind of filled in the emotional support," said Kent.
After about five pushes, the baby was out, sporting a head of hair, "a happy smile and beautiful eyes," said Kent.
Lamburn called Kent her "right hand man" throughout the experience. Kent was "amazing" during the birth, said Lamburn, saying she helped calm the mother throughout the experience.
"Some people you just look at and you know they were born for the field and some people you have to coach along a little bit more to get where they need to be. This young woman is definitely in the field she belongs. She has a knack for EMT," said Lamburn.
The storm complicated matters, said Arsenault. Rain was pouring as they carried the mother down three flights of stairs and into the ambulance. As they began to make their way to UMass Memorial in Worcester, they learned that a jackknifed tractor-trailer caused traffic delays on Interstate 290 in Shrewsbury and they needed to find a new route, before the surprise delivery occurred.
Not long after the baby was born, "the rain stopped," said Arsenault.
When they arrived at the Worcester hospital, there was a team of about 20 people ready to help, said Kent. When she knew the family was safe and cared for, she recalled standing in the middle of the room, taking a deep breath and "buzzing with energy."
"By our hands, we brought a life into this world, and it is a memory I will never forget," said Kent.
Kent will be a sophomore this fall at Baylor University in Texas where she studies health sciences and is on a pre-medical track. She decided to enroll in MassBay Community College's 0-week emergency medical technician course as a way to get more hands-on experience, which led to her internship with Patriot.
When she returns to Texas, she hopes to secure an EMT job while in school.
"If I can say, 'Hey I delivered a baby,' maybe they'll take me," said Kent.
By chance, she and her classmates had trained on " Victoria," the school's pregnancy simulation mannequin the day before the baby boy's delivery.
"We practiced birth complications on her so if something would happen unexpectedly we'd know how to take care of it," said Kent.
Kent said she's interested in becoming an obstetrician. She interned in the obstetrics and gynecology department at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Brighton in 2018, which piqued her interest in labor and delivery, and Friday's experience has only made her more confident in her career path.
"I was starting to question if that was what I wanted to do. After the delivery of the baby boy, everything felt right," said Kent.
(c)2021 MetroWest Daily News, Framingham, Mass.