Monday, 17 August 2009

Woman's anger over street birth

A woman gave birth on the pavement outside the Leicester Royal Infirmary after being told to make her own way to the hospital when she went into labour.

Carmen Blake, 27, who lives about 100 metres from the hospital, was told to walk rather than have an ambulance. A passer-by helped deliver the healthy baby girl, named Mariah, before paramedics made it to the scene. A hospital spokesman said they wanted people to be happy with their care and they would investigate any complaint.

Ms Blake, who has three other children, gave birth on 2 August. She said: "They should have sent an ambulance, knowing that the more children you have the quicker the labour is*. But I was sent no-one and was told to walk over - by myself. Now I would like to have an apology from the hospital and an acknowledgement of how traumatic the experience was for me."

She also thanked the passer-by, a physiotherapist who she described as "fantastic", for her help.

A spokesperson from Leicester's Hospitals said: "Of course it's disappointing that Ms Blake was not happy with the advice and care she received and we will investigate any complaint we receive. We are pleased that both Ms Blake and her daughter are well and healthy.**"
Source: BBC

* Even I knew that!

** Classic DoubleSpeak.


Lancs Reporter said...

Blimey, that sounds dramatic! I wonder why docs or nurses didn't rush out to help once the alert was sounded?

JuliaM said...

She was on the 'Jeremy Vine' show today - she claims she called an hour before the actual birth, which was 'plenty of time to get an ambulance to me'.

Quite a few callers pointed out that it was also plenty of time to call a cab, or a friend...

aims said...

Again I say - where is compassion in the health industry? Isn't that what they went in to it for in the first place?


Catweazel said...

This story demonstrates why it is important that people recognise their personal responsibilities. This woman knew fine well that the birth of her child was imminent and she really ought to have set off from home a little sooner! Timing is everything and there's really no point in trying to blame anyone else for what was her own mistake. I'd agree that an hour is plenty of time to waddle 100 metres, in labour or not. The quote from the Hospital is typical and I'd agree that it's straight out of '1984' and alomst makes me feel sorry for the woman. After all, it's not her fault she's been conditioned into thinking that big brother will take care of everything. She probably feels agrieved that the system has let her down instead of accepting her own responsibility.

Mark Wadsworth said...

None of us can claim to know the ins and outs of this, but I think it's a tad unfair to expect a woman who has just gone into labour, and is probably in a bit of a panic mode and in some pain to make these time-critical decisions, by estimating time-to-birth; likelihood of ambulance arriving at least fifteen minutes before likely time of birth; comparing this with the time it would take to walk there, call a cab etc etc.

Even the best Formula One teams don't always get this sort of thing right when they are deciding pit-stop strategies.