HOLLIDAYSBURG - A baby was born inside the Blair County Prison in late November, after an inmate's labor moved along quickly.
"Our nurse and the corrections staff did a fantastic job while waiting for the ambulance," PrimeCare Medical spokesman Todd Haskins said Monday.
While it's unusual for inmates to give birth in prison, Haskins said it happens about once every three to five years in correctional facilities where PrimeCare provides medical services. PrimeCare, with a corporate office in Harrisburg, serves county prisons in Pennsylvania, including the Blair County Prison since January 2005.
Prison Warden Michael Johnston said the birth occurred early Nov. 24. He could not recall any other births inside the county prison, although an inmate gave birth earlier this year at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown.
Once prison staff learned the inmate was in labor, the PrimeCare staff was notified, Johnston said.
He and Haskins declined to offer more specific details about the labor and birth because of federal health care privacy regulations.
After birth, the mother and newborn were transported to Altoona Regional, where they were both reported to be in good condition.
Blair County Children, Youth & Families was also contacted about the birth, Johnston said. The inmate, who has yet to be sentenced, remains incarcerated, he said.
PrimeCare personnel, when dealing with pregnant inmates, are expected to see that the inmate gets to a hospital, Haskins said.
"No one wants a baby to be born in prison," he said. "And the best place for birth, for a mom and the baby, is in a hospital."
Mirror Staff Writer Kay Stephens is at 946-7456.