Eritrean gives birth in X-ray room due to TB rules

An Eritrean refugee woman gave birth in X-ray room of Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center to prevent spread of infection.

June 11, 2013 22:12
1 minute read.
Rambam Hospital

RambamHospital_210513_A. (photo credit: Rambam Hospital)


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An Eritrean refugee woman gave birth in the x-ray room of Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center on Monday night because hospital regulations require that such patients be screened for tuberculosis to prevent other patients from being infected.

Although it was her first delivery, the woman gave birth just 15 minutes after reaching the radiology department. The hospital spokesman said doctors thought it would take three hours for her to have the baby.

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Amnesty International/Israel, which reported on the case, called on Health Minister Yael German to require such lung examinations of patients based on medical considerations and not on their ethnic background.

The organization also said that illegal refugees who go to the hospital to give birth are kept separate, often under crowded conditions.

The hospital established these requirements, with the ministry’s consent, several months ago.

The voluntary organization claimed that performing such an X-ray on the woman’s chest endangered the baby, but the hospital spokesman said that at that stage, just a short time before delivery, “the fetus was in no danger.”

He added that given that TB is endemic in African countries, an X-ray to rule out the disease “protects the mother as well as other patients.”

Since the regulation was put into action, four women with “active TB” have been identified, the spokesman said. For a firsttime mother to deliver a baby so fast is rare, occurring in only one percent of cases. The woman was “sent to the radiology department accompanied by a registered nurse, and the delivery was successful.

The mother and baby are well,” the spokesman said.

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