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Doctors Get Epidural Catheter Stuck In Mother’s Back After She Gave Birth

One Florida mother had to deal with excruciating pain, even after giving birth to her newborn daughter.

According to the Pensacola News Journal, 18-year-old Selena Gray was left traumatized after an epidural catheter became lodged in her back as she was giving birth early Wednesday morning. The teen asked fro the epidural to subside the pain during labor. However, Gray and her mother, Patricia Alvarado, never would have imagined the situation that would follow the routine injection.

“After she delivered, they attempted to take the epidural out and they couldn’t,” Alvarado said. “Between the 48 hours that we were there, she had five doctors come in, tugging and pulling on her back, attempting to get the epidural out and they could not get it out.”

Alvarado explained that the epidural catheter formed a knot in Gray’s back right near her spinal cord. The pain was so intense that the young mother could barely walk and she had to be carried to the bathroom.


After a sixth doctor suggested they “yank it out,” Alvarado had enough and she wanted to have her daughter and new granddaughter released from Sacred Heart Hospital to get help elsewhere.

However, the doctors would not discharge Gray because she was just shy of the medically advised 48-hour, post-birth window under hospital care.

“We felt trapped, like, ‘Wow, this is really happening,'” Alvarado said. She even claimed Sacred Heart officials threatened to call Florida Department of Children and Families if Gray and her newborn daughter left.

Eventually, Alvarado called 911, and paramedics transported Gray to Baptist Hospital…

And the doctors there STILL couldn’t get the epidermal out.

“The head anesthesiologist at Baptist knew someone at (UF Health Shands Cancer Hospital) in Gainesville who said, ‘Send her to us, we can handle it,'” Alvarado said.


Finally, on Friday morning, Baptist arranged an ambulance transport for Gray, who traveled six hours on her side along with Dylan Carter, her boyfriend and the newborn’s dad. She had an emergency procedure in Gainesville and they were able to successfully remove the epidural. Gray returned home to Milton on Saturday, but she said she’s still in substantial pain.

“It’s been crazy ’cause I still have a burning sensation in my hip and leg,” Gray said. “I’m kind of moving around on the walker a little bit but I’m having a lot of muscle spasms. Basically, day by day I’m trying to take it slow, ’cause every morning I wake up I just start right back over with the pain.”

Gray said doctors couldn’t give her a firm time table for her recovery or even guarantee that she would fully recover. Gray can’t even breastfeed her child because when they removed the epidural they had to give her narcotics, according to Alvarado. “It makes me want to cry,” the grandmother said.

In spite of everything, Gray has a heart of forgiveness:

“They didn’t do their job properly,” she said. “Just towards the doctors that did put the epidural in my back and didn’t really know what they were doing, I am a little upset with them, but you just forgive and move on, really.”

Better than most.



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