As Hurricane Irma reaches Miami and southern Florida, pregnant women are seeking for hospitals to give birth under the dangerous conditions that have been predicted by weather experts. While some medical facilities are shutting down, others are offering shelter just in case the becoming-moms go into labor while the massive storm strikes the Sunshine State.
Officials have estimated that around 130 pregnant women expect to search one of three Broward County hospitals in the Memorial Healthcare System because these are the only that already have confirmed their gates will maintain opened for women who have an advanced or high-risk pregnancy.
However, it’s extremely probable that they won’t get any room at these medical facilities. These are already reserved by checked patients, along with possible victims of one of the most dangerous storms that have hit the Atlantic. According to officials, pregnant women will be placed in other available spaces, like hallways, conference rooms, etc.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said that Hurricane Irma has sustained wind speeds of 285km/h (180mph), and considers it “a potentially catastrophic Category 5 hurricane.” It has already passed over the Caribbean islands, leaving many casualties and damages estimated to be very expensive.
According to the Prime Minister of Barbuda, Gaston Browne, around 90 percent of buildings were destroyed, and 50 percent of the population is homeless. He’s said that the people should evacuate if Jose, the second Hurricane, is forecast to hit the island in the coming days. The Prime Minister also criticized politicians who have denied global warming and climate change.
The Governor of Florida, Rick Scott, declared on Monday a state of emergency for the 67 counties of the state.
“(He) offered the full resources of the federal government as Floridians prepare for Hurricane Irma,” said Florida Gov. Scott in a statement, referring to the US President Donald Trump. “In Florida, we always prepare for the worst and hope for the best, and while the exact path of Irma is not absolutely known at this time, we cannot afford to not be prepared.”
Three hospitals opened for pregnant woman while Hurricane Irma strikes
Pregnant women should seek shelter in one of the three hospitals that have already offered their services for those who are at least 34 weeks pregnant or have a high-risk pregnancy, according to a Jackson Health System alert. The moms-to-be are allowed to bring just one guest and no pets.
One of these medical facilities is the Baptist Health South Florida, which will allow its four areas just for pregnant women from Miami, who are at least 36 weeks pregnant or have a high-risk pregnancy. However, they should bring their own food, water, and bedding. According to a statement from the facility, it will open at 8 a.m. on Saturday and close when the storm’s over.
Likewise, Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach will open their gates for women under the same conditions, according to a statement on its website.
At Memorial Hermann Greater Heights Hospital in Houston, doctors started to deliver pregnancies two days before Hurricane Harvey struck, and needed five managers to help with patient care.
“We all know in this business – full moons and storms are a problem… We tried to maximize the experience and minimize the hurricane,” said Kim Kendall, director of the hospital’s family birth center.