“Horrible”: Expectant mom turned away at hospital while dilated at 3.5 centimeters

How do you think it would feel if you are already in the throes of labor, your bag has broken, your backside aches and you feel that at any moment now your baby will burst into this world.  Then when you approached the hospital you get refused for a no vacancy sign.  “ Horrible” was how a husband described it.

A 33 year old expectant mom was turned away from Stanley Hospital, while she was in labor and about to deliver her 3rd child, because there were not enough beds.

Jeremy Bellegarde told Fairfax Media, “I spoke to a lady at reception and told her my wife’s water had broken, so she got the midwives and took us to a birthing suit of which were ready, but already in use.

Though Jess Bellegarde was dilated at 3.5 centimeters, she was still told to go to Bentley Hospital.

He stated, he headed to Bentley Hospital with her wife and her bags, but got stuck in a traffic jam during an Easter long weekend.

He feared his baby would be born in the car at the side of the road.

The 37-year-old said, that upon finally arriving at Bentley Hospital, staff at Fiona Stanley Hospital did not faxed  his wife’s medical records.

Labor Health spokesperson Roger Cook said it was “appalling” that the couple were refused from WA flagship hospital.

“To be turned away from the new tertiary maternity wing to a small hospital is extraordinary,” he said.

Fiona Stanley Hospital spokeperson said since its maternity unit opening last month, several expectant mothers were “bypassed” to alternative hospitals due to overcrowding.

“A bypass situation is standard operational practice for hospitals dealing with an unusually high number of obstetric patients and is not a reflection of the service at FSH,” she said.

She added there were only 18 maternity beds available at FSH and the hospital had been swamped with pregnant moms requiring inpatient care.

“In December we saw 115, January 147, February 141 and in March 155.  Our priority is to ensure that a woman in labor is able to access the immediate care that they require, which may be at FSH or alternative hospital,”  she said.



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