"Giving Birth at the Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise"

About: Midland Regional Hospital Midland Regional Hospital / Anaesthetics Midland Regional Hospital / Obstetrics

(as the patient),

At the Midlands Regional Hospital Portlaoise I gave birth to my healthy son at 1: 56am in December 2014. After a long labour from 7am that morning, being admitted at 3pm and going to the labour ward at 8pm, I required some assistance. But that was not before I asked for an epidural, which I was not able to receive.

According to the midwife and doctor the hospitals policy is to only have two anaesthesiologists. One working and one available should there be an emergency while the other on is tied up, I assume?

At 10.30ish when I requested the epidural, a lovely doctor informed me that a trauma had arrived and the patient was being prepared to be transported to Beaumont and until that anaesthesiologist returned I could not receive an epidural as the on call anaesthesiologist needed to be available for any other possible emergency.

As it transpired my son on his way into this world decided to view it from side on and not face down, therefore, one shoulder was crunching its was down my coccyx and the other crunching down the front of my pelvis causing shoulder dystocia. When this occurs one has a limited amount of time to successfully and safely deliver. Thankfully my doctor was amazing. She kept me informed, comforted me and encouraged me during the episiotomy and assisted kiwi delivery.

My problem with this is, I had my gas and air, I had my one dose of pethidine, but I still felt every pain. I wanted an epidural and was denied it. I cried for an epidural and was denied it. I was told by the midwives if they could give it to me they would but it doesn't work like that...... I was almost an emergency; my sons shoulder could have been dislocated or broken.

Would the epidural have caused this to be missed? Was it a blessing in disguise that I didn't receive it? Looking back in my opinion I think it was. Despite it being a traumatic delivery for my son and my body. The best possible decision was made and done.

I cannot fault my Doctor, my midwives, my nurses or the rest of the maternity ward team. I FAULT the hospital and its BOARD members, the pen and paper pushers, the managers managing managers. TWO ANESTHIOLOGISTS in a maternity hospital? Maybe this is common procedure for a Friday night? Weekend rota? Week night rota? I ask Portlaoise to confirm? Is this common practise in other hospitals? Can they confirm?

I am very happy to add that my son is thriving and has no lasting effects from the delivery. I also had some of my first pregnancy monitored here in 2007 but that was not without fighting to be seen with admin staff as there was a backlog to have a first scan as it was in the middle of the baby boom. I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia toxaemia. My care in Portlaoise was outstanding and the female doctor who looked after me was impeccable in her care. I was transferred to Holles Street and delivered a 1. 365kg baby boy. If I had not fought for my first scan at 20 weeks at a time when the country was awash with money, my boy, my beautiful intelligent perfect boy, may have been a very sick boy. Again, I blame the Board of management, the Ministers of Health past present and future and I blame us people for not complaining more, not demanding more when times were good and not putting our feelings in writing (as I have done) to the hospital, no matter how big or small our issue may be.

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