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Woman dies after anesthesiologist drank half a bottle of vodka before treating her during childbirth

By Mason White 6:05 PM October 19, 2014
Bottle of wine illustration 

By: Wayne Morin
A woman is dead after an anesthesiologist showed up drunk for a procedure during childbirth, police in France said.

Now, the doctor has admitted being under the influence of alcohol during the botched procedure that left the woman, who was originally from the United Kingdom, dead.

The incident began following a successful Caesarean procedure. New mother Xynthia Hawke and her baby, were in good health.

Despite having an epidural, Hawke was in great pain at the Kappa Clinic near Bayonne. Doctors ordered a second dose for her.

The anesthesiologist, 45-year-old Helga Wauters, who is originally from Belgium, decided to have some vodka before the second procedure.

Wauters struggled to insert a breathing tube during the procedure, and the pipe ended up inside her esophagus. Hawke went into a coma and died several days later.

The baby, a boy named Isaac, survived. Wauters admitted to police that she had been drinking before the procedure. She was charged with manslaughter.

“The night of the incident, I drank half a bottle of a mixture of vodka and water. I was not drunk, I was working at 70 percent of my abilities,” Wauters told a judge.

“I need vodka so that I do not shake,” she added.