Arizona police said Wednesday (Jan 9) they have opened a sex assault investigation after a woman who has been in a coma for more than a decade gave birth to a baby boy at a nursing facility in Phoenix.
A lawyer for the woman's family meanwhile said they are "traumatized and in shock" by the "abuse and neglect" of their daughter but that "the baby boy has been born into a loving family and will be well cared for".
But it's possible there were no outward signs that would be noticed, especially by staffers who don't work with pregnant patients, doctors say.
The mother could actually lose weight in other places like her face or arms if a foetus is consuming nutrients, Dr Huls added. It has multiple complaints going back to 2013, most for emergency preparation or Medicaid eligibility, according to the state's online complaint database for care facilities.
The provider's CEO resigned this week, and Arizona state officials said the centre has made safety changes.
The doctor who examined her found "no change" in her health, according to the form, and wrote that the exam was external only. Her mother submitted the results of the physical as part of an annual report that state law requires of legal guardians.
CBS affiliate KPHO-TV in Phoenix first reported that the woman who was in a vegetative state for more than 10 years after a near-drowning had given birth December 29.
Police have now issued a search warrant for DNA swabs from male workers in the healthcare facility where the woman became pregnant.
Phoenix police are now asking for the public's help in the case of an incapacitated woman who delivered a baby at a care facility last month.
He didn't release the conditions of the woman and her child, who will be taken in by his mother's family.
In 1996, a woman from Rochester, New York, who had been in a coma for a decade after a vehicle accident, gave birth to a 2-pound baby boy. The terms "coma" and "persistent vegetative state" are often used interchangeably, the NIH says.
Her family, who are members of the San Carlos Apache tribe in southeastern Arizona, said in a statement through their attorney that they will care for the infant boy and have asked for privacy.
Police said they immediately began a sexual assault investigation.
"She lacks sufficient understanding and mental capacity to make decisions or give consents for her medical, placement or financial estate", read the court documents.
The Hacienda intermediate care facility specializes in providing around-the-clock care for infants, children and young adults with developmental disabilities or who are "medically fragile".
The incident occurred at a clinic run by Hacienda HealthCare, near Phoenix.
David Leibowitz, a spokesman for Hacienda Healthcare, said Tuesday that it welcomed the action by police and had considered conducting voluntary genetic testing of its staff before company lawyers said that doing so would be illegal.