This was the headline on the Drudge Report: “UK System: Woman gives birth on pavement ‘after being refused ambulance'” It was immediately preceeded by a comment on the Canadian healthcare system.
Scary stuff there, those UK and Canadian socialized medicine systems. Right?
Drudge, who’s site I go to like 17times a day if I’m bored (or if I can’t find something to blog about and want to do something else) wants to report on the coming healthcare mess that’s being um… (oh what’s the word) “Fixed” by our politicians.
But this story… Um, guys? This isn’t about the ambulance system refusing ambulance care to an expectant mother… I would think that this is about a system abuser who couldn’t bear to plan her arrival at the hospital so that she could deliver her baby in the manner she planned.
First of all, I’m not for socialized medicine and I don’t think that the UK system is perfect in any stretch of the imagination. I’m also terrified of Obamacare and/or whatever the US politicians do to try to “fix” our healthcare.
However, the fact remains that this headline looked to me like it was bringing shame upon the UK ambulance service, or should I say now that I’ve made so many UK Medic friends: Looked like it was bringing shame upon Our Brothers in the UK Ambulance Service.
So let’s dissect the article, shall we?
A young mother gave birth on a pavement outside a hospital after she was told to
make her own way there.
Mother-of-three Carmen Blake called her midwife
ask for an ambulance when she went into labour unexpectedly with her
But the 27-year-old claims she was refused an ambulance and
walk the 100m from her house in Leicester to the city’s nearby Royal
Cue the picture of the loving mother with the cute baby.
So the mother goes into labor unexpectedly? Ok, quite possible and plausible.
She calls “her midwife” to get a ambulance called to her house to help her? Well, I don’t know how that system works over there, but I guess that some people here call their doctor’s office when they feel sick and want an ambulance. It’s not the right thing to do and it’s not smart, but people still do it when they’re scared and they want someone they’re familiar with to help them. I can understand it. It may be reasonable and proper for this to happen in the UK. At least she didn’t want to be a 999 abuser, I guess.
She um, what?
She couldn’t make it the 100m (That’s 300 feet for us US types who use the “real” or “correct” system)
Ok, well maybe she had kids to take care of, or something. I don’t know.
‘They said they were not sending an ambulance and told me I had had nine months to sort out a lift.
This sentence made me laugh. Oh my. Delivering a baby isn’t something we do often here in the US because, well, people tend to make their own way to the hospital. I’ve delivered 5 and a half babies in my career. 3 in the hospital, one on someone’s living room floor, one in the back of an ambulance in Costa Rica, and a placenta in the ghetto somewhere – hence the half. The fact that I have only had two and a half field deliveries in the ten years that I’ve been in this game full time means that lots and lots of women find time to “sort out a lift” in the 9 months they’re preggers.
It turns out that the woman tried to make the walk and that she went into really active labor. A passerby happened to be a “physiotherapist” (I assume that’s a physical therapist) and the passerby called 999 and delivered the baby on the concrete. Shortly thereafter, 999 arrived and, I assume walked the patients the remaining 100 feet to the hospital.
I think that if the woman called 999 in the first place she would have gotten the ambulance right away, right?
I also think that if she had planned a bit, or honestly if she had time to, that she could have gotten another ride.
I don’t think that this would be the fault of the ambulance folks. And as scared as I am about socialized medicine: Drudge, leave the paramedics alone.