Staff of doctor who delivered baby Olivia responds to death - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Staff of doctor who delivered baby Olivia responds to death of infant


We're learning more about the doctor who delivered Olivia Coats, the Nederland newborn who died Wednesday after complications during delivery.

Staff member of Dr. George Backardjiev verified to 12News that he was the OBGYN who delivered the baby five days ago.

Family members blame the use of forceps for the death.

Backardjiev is a licensed physician in Texas and in Illinois and according to online records, there have been no complaints or actions taken against him. His office is on Saba Lane in Port Neches.

His staff told us today that Dr. Backardjiev is distraught about the baby's death.

We left a message for his attorney, but have not gotten a reply.

Family members of Olivia told us Rachael Melancon carried her baby for nine months, but only had her to hold for four days.

The couple's future plans for their unborn child shattered suddenly on December 28 in a delivery room of the Medical Center of Southeast Texas.

The family blames forceps for crushing Olivia's skull and severing her spinal cord.

She was put on life support and took her last breath Wednesday.

Olivia's family is now calling for a restriction or ban on using forceps, but area doctors say that may move may be a little drastic. 

12News visited OBGYN J. Coffy Pieternelle in Beaumont Thursday to get insight on equipment used during deliveries.

According to Dr. Pieternelle, the forceps are used if mothers are fatigued and can't push.

"The head is sort of crowning and just won't come out. Sometimes you can help," said Dr. Pieternelle.

Forceps are also used in an emergency situation. Dr. Pieternelle says it's faster to apply forceps than to perform a Caesarean section.

They're not used often, he says. What's more commonly used are vacuum extractors.

"We can use the vacuum extractor which is a soft cup vacuum cup that sticks to the baby's head , helps guide babies' head under the pelvic bone," said Dr. Pieternelle.

He says both are good instruments if used under the right circumstances.

We don't know the circumstances that led to Olivia's injuries, but this doctor says forceps shouldn't be restricted due to one tragic accident.

"You want to be careful. You don't want to overreact because forceps can be helpful under the right circumstances," said Dr. Pieternelle.

Olivia's funeral is now scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m. at Broussard's Mortuary in Nederland. 

The Medical Center of Southeast Texas is the hospital where the baby was delivered and their CEO Matt Roberts issued this statement Thursday: 

"With our long history of care for newborns, this isolated incident rips at our hearts and words are insufficient to express how much our sympathies go to this loving family.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Coats and their loved ones.

Whenever there is an unexpected outcome in patient care, the hospital brings all involved caregivers together and reviews the circumstances in a comprehensive manner. While patient privacy and peer review restrictions prevent the hospital from commenting specifically, the hospital administration and independent medical staff immediately initiated a review of all aspects of this case. 

Our independent medical staff leadership shares in the hospital's commitment to take all necessary actions to understand why this happened."

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