Epidurals, not entirely ‘labour-saving’ in the Marina Baja

DURING CHILDBIRTH: An epidural can make labour easier.

GIVING birth is called labour so it’s fitting that Marina Baja confinements could be scheduled to the working week.

Women hoping for an epidural at Villajoyosa hospital should get there between 8am and 6pm on a weekday according to notices displayed recently in the maternity unit, these have since disappeared.

The issue arose after a local woman wrote to hospital management suggesting that epidurals should be available every day. “An epidural anaesthetic can be administered to all patients, independently of the day or the time,” she was informed in a reply dated June 30.

Despite this, other mothers-to-be said they were told epidurals were not available in the early hours during summer and that they were advised to drive to San Juan hospital, 35km away, where epidurals are always available.

Villajoyosa hospital sources revealed management notified anaesthetists that epidurals should be administered at any time. An anaesthetist is always on duty and another oncall but admitted delays were possible, at busy times.

Priority is given to patients in life-threatening situations but would never refuse outside normal hours.

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