Monday, September 8, 2014 - 07:57
Travel time to hospital too long for women in labor
Obstetricians warn that women in labor may be exposed to unnecessary dangers by the fact that there are too few obstetric units in hospitals in The Netherlands, meaning that the time it takes for them to travel from home to a hospital where they can be helped is too long. This was investigated by the EO program Dit is de Dag Onderzoek. According to the investigation, 26 obstetric units have been shut down over the last 15 years. This means that women in the North of the country, in Overijssel, Noordoostpolder as well as in the South, in Zeeland, have to travel too far to reach a hospital. This is what happened in the tragic story of baby Ryan. When Ryan's mother was in labor, it appeared that the baby was not getting enough oxygen. She could not go to the hospital in Meppel, and had to go to Zwolle instead, which is 15 minutes further away. The baby died three days later. According to obstetricians, those 15 minutes could have made the difference. According to the NOS, another three obstetric units will be closed in the coming time. Jos Becker Hoff of the organization of obstetricians in The Netherlands, KNOV, says that there is a real worry about the future health of babies and mothers if units continue to close. "Obstetricians are really worried about the risky situations that can be created if those travel times become too long."