Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Not So Infrequent

I was just reading through the day's "Odd News" and found an article that raised my interest, possibly because it relates directly to my current situation. The story talks about a woman who was 36 weeks pregnant and started having labor pains. She went to the hospital, was told that it was false labor, and went home. Waiting for the false labor to pass, she rested at home until she just couldn't bear the false labor pains anymore. So she tried to get to the hospital again. Except she didn't make it very far. Only to her driveway, in fact.

The thing that struck me about this article is that it isn't exactly a rare event for a woman to go to the hospital and be told it's false labor and get sent home only deliver shortly thereafter. I remember a few such cases in the 3 weeks of inpatient OB that I did last year. That's 1 a week. Late in the residency calendar year. At the end of the residency calendar year, in fact. One woman came in and the resident checked her. He told her that she was only 2 cm dilated and her contractions weren't regular enough. So after protesting that she had a history of short labor she left. And then nearly had her baby at IHOP over pancakes. She made it back to the hospital and was crowning within 5 minutes of getting to triage.

I'm glad I'm not going into OB. It's becoming more and more of a regimented profession in a process that is highly variable. But that's a whole different story for another post....

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