Italian minister apologises after delivery room fight

Sicily map

Italy's health minister has apologised to a woman for a fight between two doctors in the delivery room as she was about to give birth.

The authorities are investigating whether the woman suffered complications as a result of the row.

Laura Salpietro, 30, had her uterus removed and her baby boy suffered heart problems and possible brain damage at birth on Thursday in Messina, Sicily.

Her husband Matteo Molonia says the confrontation delayed a C-section.

After a heated exchange of words, one of the doctors seized his colleague by the neck and shoved him into a wall, according to Mr Molonia's account to police, reports said.

The other doctor reacted by punching a window, which shattered, injuring his hand, they said.

Prosecutors have placed five doctors under investigation in total, reports also said.

Health Minister Ferruccio Fazio visited Ms Salpietro on Monday in the hospital to apologise.

"I tried to give her words of hope, and above all I tried to tell her that the government was with her and her family at this time," he was quoted as saying by the Ansa news agency.

The clinic, which immediately suspended the two doctors, has said there is no link between the doctors' fight and the complications.

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