It surfaced this week that an expectant mother had been refused admission by eight hospitals in Tokyo early this month and died three days after giving birth and being operated on for a brain hemorrhage. Her death is shocking because Tokyo, of all places, is expected to have a sufficient number of obstetricians and hospitals able to cope with difficult cases.

A maternity clinic in Koto Ward — which the 36-year-old woman had visited — informed Metropolitan Bokutoh Hospital that she was suffering from extremely severe headaches and asked it to accept her, hoping that she would receive both obstetric treatment and brain surgery. But she was refused admission. It was Saturday evening and only one licensed intern was on night duty in the obstetrics section.

She was refused by seven more hospitals. After the clinic made a second request to Bokutoh Hospital, the hospital called the obstetrics section head and accepted her. It took one hour and 20 minutes for her to be accepted by a hospital that was only one kilometer from the clinic. She died three days following a Caesarean section and surgery to relieve a brain hemorrhage. The baby is reported to be OK. (Japan Times)

Further Reading:

Woman turned away by 7 hospitals dies 3 days after giving birth (Mainichi)
Death of woman turned away by 8 hospitals highlights pitiful state of Japan’s obstetric care (Mainichi)
Death of woman turned away by hospitals highlights lack of obstetricians (Mainichi)


3 thoughts on “Pregnant Woman Denied by 8 Hospitals in Tokyo

  1. This is tragic for both the mother and the child. No one should be refused hospital care in an emergency, let alone a mother expecting. I do hope action is being taken not just in this case, but in all cases of emergency treatment being refused. No one should have to suffer through that.

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