Record number of July 4 babies born at West Penn Hospital |

Record number of July 4 babies born at West Penn Hospital

Paul Guggenheimer
West Penn Hospital

Fourth of July fireworks came early for 40 Pittsburgh area families.

The staff at West Penn Hospital delivered 40 babies in 36 hours — a West Penn Hospital record. One of the newborns belonged to KDKA-TV’s Pittsburgh Today Live host Heather Abraham, who appeared on live TV from the hospital on Friday morning’s show.

“When I came in they were slammed. It was, like, 11 0’clock at night on the 3rd of July,” Abraham said. “So when I went in for my (Cesarean) section on the 4th, they had already had multiple other babies born. I was part of a baby boom, kind of.”

Abraham’s baby is a boy named Rocco. He is her third child.

A total of 26 babies were born in 24 hours at West Penn between midnight on July 3 and midnight on July 4. The previous record was 22 babies born in 24 hours.

Another 14 babies were born between midnight and noon on Thursday.

“We are typically very busy in the months of July and August, but 40 in 36 hours is pretty incredible,” said Jacqueline Collavo, chief nursing officer at West Penn Hospital.

“It does create a level of excitement. When you have that kind of busyness everybody works together like a well-oiled machine. Staff are very willing to stay extra and do whatever it takes to insure that every mom and baby are delivered safely.”

Dr. Allan Klapper, chairman of the AHN Institute for Women and Children, said the hospital staff did an incredible job.

“It was basically a delivery an hour, which is amazing,” Klapper said. “It’s a great time for our women’s health unit. The staff is tremendous and they do such an amazing job — our nurses, our physicians, our residents. We have the beds and the capability to accommodate the volume of those numbers.”

Paul Guggenheimer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-226-7706 or [email protected].

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