Holon hospital denounces near fatal home birth

Wolfson Medical Center calls for Health Ministry investigation on midwife who delivered baby that almost died.

November 9, 2012 02:25
1 minute read.
Mother holding baby

Mother and Baby. (photo credit: REUTERS/Erik de Castro)


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A baby born on Wednesday night with respiratory distress, whose mother intentionally delivered her at home, was saved at Wolfson Medical Center in Holon and is now stable.

The hospital filed a report with the Health Ministry so it could investigate whether the midwife who was present followed the rules and had all required equipment with her.

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The hospital said the midwife had to resuscitate the newborn after delivery and then brought both baby and mother in. The Holon medical center maintains that the necessary equipment had not been available at the home birth.

Hospital director-general Dr. Yitzhak Berlovich, a former veteran Health Ministry administrator, said: “We are shocked each time by situations in which parents make irresponsible decisions and intentionally endanger their babies and themselves with home births. We are willing to compromise with parents who insist on natural childbirth, but deliveries at home by a midwife only are risky,” he said.

Prof. Avraham Golan, head of Wolfson’s obstetrics/gynecology department, added: “Home births, without support from professionals ... and suitable technologies, means that the parents and those who deliver the baby are irresponsible. This is even more so when hospital delivery rooms make it possible to have a natural birth there as long as it is taking place safely.”

Dr. David Kahelet, head of the neonatal department, said: “There is no justification for home births in Israel, and especially in the center of the country, where it takes a few minutes by car to arrive [at the hospital]. It may be that the ministry has to consider intervention and requiring that a neonatologist be easily accessible until the delivery is successful concluded.”

The ministry, which tries to discourages home birth despite pressure to allow them without “unnecessary” limitations, recently issued strict regulations setting down the required training and experience of midwives, medical equipment and distance from a hospital for the process to be permitted.

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