A 14lb baby was decapitated as doctors struggled to deliver him naturally last week, it has been reported.
The tragedy occurred after the child’s 22-year-old mother went into labour at the Hospital Santa Isabel in the north of Aracaju, Brazil, the country’s G1 Globo website said.
The woman, named as Maria Viera Alcilne Amoin, apparently became aware of a problem when there was an audible crack and she heard one of the doctor’s shout: “Marcos, are you crazy?”
The baby’s shoulders reportedly became stuck in the birth canal and his head was separated from his body.
Ms Amoin, who is a mother to three other children, was rushed into surgery where an emergency caesarean section was performed to remove the child’s body from her pelvis.
The woman’s cousin, Gilmara Azevedo dos Santos, told G1 Globo: “She went through great suffering, it was hours and hours and a lot of pain and discomfort, with doctors pushing on her stomach, trying everything to make the baby come out."
Mr Santos added: “We want justice and we will seek the State Prosecutor, because my cousin was the victim of medical malpractice.”
The hospital’s clinical director told G1 Globo the fetus was already dead before the incident.
The website quoted a statement which read: “There was a problem with the baby’s shoulder. Although the head had passed through the vagina of the mother, the child’s body was prevented from leaving because of the mother’s pelvis. We tried several surgical procedures, but the only solution was to remove the baby’s head.”
But Mr Santos disputes this version of events, and stated: “Everything was fine until her arrival at the hospital. She told us when she arrived she was subjected to an evaluation where it was found the child’s heart was beating. This proves the baby was alive and not dead like the doctors are saying now.”
The baby’s body remains at the hospital morgue as a formal investigation into his death is launched.
In 2006 a baby in Louisville, Kentucky, was decapitated at birth after it became entangled in the cerclage, a string similar to a shoelace.
The child’s mother, Micheatria Donelson, was awarded nearly $1.4m compensation for pain and suffering.