Sunday, September 21, 2008

Beyond the Anecdote

It seems a recent post (Be Careful What you Wish For) touched off a firestorm of challenges to the incidents reported by our guest poster.

For some reason, situations as told by those who have direct knowledge are dismissed as anecdotal. But those same stories, if posted in the press, are given credence.

Apparently reporters, who are notorious for missing pertinent details, are credible while those who have lived the experience are not.

It's not like we are telling stories about little green men in flying saucers.

None the less, for those who want to challenge the linked article about high risk pregnancies being transported to the U.S., we wanted to help you out. Apparently your Google skills need some work.

Some Canadian women needing specialized care for anticipated high-risk preterm births are coming to Spokane to deliver their babies due to a spike in such births north of the border and a shortage of neonatal facilities and specialists there.

So far, though, all such births here—involving solely British Columbia residents—are being handled primarily at Deaconess Medical Center, which has 44 neonatal intensive care beds, under an arrangement through which the hospital is being reimbursed by the British Columbia Ministry of Health.

And there is this:

Could you imagine having your baby 10 weeks early, it has to be airlifted to a hospital in another country and you can’t be there with them because of a passport issue?

This is exactly what happened to a B.C. mom who was refused travel with her newborn preemie due to the fact that she didn’t have a Canadian passport.

The health minister got involved blaming the whole mix up on a U.S. customs official. Protocols are in place between the U.S. and Canada that are supposed to allow patients to be transferred across the border without delays caused by passport regulations.

Protocols are in place. This suggests the practice is a regular event.

Carri Ash of Chilliwack, B.C. was sent to the U.S. to have her baby after her water broke on Sunday, ten weeks ahead of schedule.

"And they came in and said 'you're going to Seattle,'" she said.

Ash's hospital couldn't handle the high-risk pregnancy. Doctors searched for another hospital bed, but even hospitals in Vancouver, B.C. didn't have a neo-natal bed.

Sounds anecdotal to me.

As the Toronto Globe & Mail explains, Jepp and her husband, J.P., were sent across the border because no neonatal intensive care unit in Canada had enough beds for them. She was two-centimeters dilated and having contractions when airlifted 300 miles.

Who makes up this stuff? After all, the Canadian system is far superior to ours.
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