Beds crisis in Bahrain hospital maternity unit
Manama, January 14, 2010
Women in labour were urged yesterday to go to Bahrain's local maternity hospitals, to ease a crisis at the overcrowded Salmaniya Medical Complex.
A rush of births has forced Bahrain's biggest hospital to turn away dozens of maternity patients - some of them already in labour, said a report in the Gulf Daily News, our sister newspaper.
More than 30 women have been transferred out of the SMC in the last two days either to give birth or for care elsewhere, immediately after having their babies.
They were sent to the 80-bed Jidhafs Maternity Hospital, because the SMC's 12-bed maternity unit was full.
Officials said the SMC unit was mainly intended for complicated cases and not for normal deliveries.
A Bahraini woman in her 20s had to deliver in the SMC's accident and emergency department yesterday, because there was no maternity bed, said officials.
"The woman and her baby are fine but they were in a situation that could have been avoided," they said.
"This woman would have a normal delivery, though not under treatment at the SMC, but still came to the hospital."
Bahraini women tend to rush to the SMC once labour pains begin, even though they are already under the care of other maternity hospitals around the country, said the sources.
"This creates an overload and we are forced to refer the women elsewhere - mostly Jidhafs - where they should have gone anyway," they said.
Health Ministry maternity hospitals deputy nursing supervisor Nawal Awinati admitted there was a crisis at the SMC due to an "unusual" rush in the last two days. "There are only 12 beds at the maternity unit and these are always occupied," she said.
"We try our best to manage as best as we can and refer a lot of cases that can be handled by normal deliveries, to the Jidhafs Maternity Hospital.
"We urge people not to come to the hospital for 'normal' delivery cases since our maternity ward is overflowing.
They should go to the nearest maternity hospital in their area - Sitra, Muharraq or Jidhafs - if need be, they will be referred to the SMC from there."
Some women turn up at the SMC as they are about to give birth, making it difficult to transfer them in time, said Ms Awinati.
She said the 80-bed Jidhafs facility has recently been completely renovated and expanded and was as modern as any other facility. In addition, the Jidhafs facility had 20 beds for infants.
Two pregnant women, one of them in labour, were transferred from the SMC to Jidhafs yesterday, to ease the overloading, said Awinati. "In addition, five sick pregnant women and six, who had delivered but needed attention, were sent there in the last two days," she said. Nineteen others - 12 awaiting delivery and seven who had normal deliveries, were also transferred from the SMC to Jidhafs. -TradeArabia News Service