Baby born mid-air

A baby girl was born in a mid-air mercy dash on February the 25th in the Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter after her mother Ngaire, went in to labour on Waiheke Island 14 weeks before she was due. Westpac Helicopter paramedic Russell Clarke assisted the mother as she gave birth while lying on a stretcher in the helicopter. “The stretcher was towards the back of the helicopter, where all the gear was, so it was quite limited in space,” Clarke said. Ngaire remained calm throughout the birth despite being uncomfortable, and focused on the regular contractions. “She sort of took it in her stride” he said. “She knew the baby was coming. It was her sixth baby, so she was pretty used to giving birth.” This was the first mid-flight birth Russell had assisted in, as patients usually give birth before or after the Helicopter trip. The baby girl was transported to Auckland’s Starship Hospital intensive care unit and is now doing well.

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