Absences due to illness Several delivery rooms in Bonn had to close at the weekend

Bonn · Expectant parents found themselves in a particularly tense situation in Bonn at the weekend. Several hospitals had to close their delivery rooms and maternity wards due to illness.

 Due to illness-related absences, delivery rooms and maternity wards had to close in Bonn over the weekend. 

Due to illness-related absences, delivery rooms and maternity wards had to close in Bonn over the weekend. 

Foto: picture alliance / Jens Kalaene//Jens Kalaene

Several hospitals in Bonn experienced staff shortages in the obstetrics department last weekend. As the GA learned, this meant that pregnant women could not be admitted to the hospitals and had to turn to other wards in each case.

Following an enquiry by GA the St. Elisabeth Hospital confirmed that the delivery room had to be closed from Friday evening to Saturday noon. The reason given by the hospital was sick leave at short notice. The midwives' skills could not have been replaced by staff from other areas. According to the St. Elisabeth Hospital, a pregnant woman could not be accepted on Saturday because of the delivery room closure. Since Saturday afternoon, the delivery room has been operating as planned. In principle, there are currently no vacancies in the obstetrics department.

Johanniter Hospital Bonn: Pediatric nurses absent

The Johanniter Hospital in Bonn also experienced a staff shortage over the weekend. According to the hospital, this did not affect the delivery room, but the maternity ward. According to the hospital, 90 percent of the paediatric nurses were ill, which meant that newborns could not be cared for. As a result of the absences, the obstetrics department was shut down. Uwe-Jochen Göhring, head of the gynaecology and obstetrics department, said that, as usual, arrangements had been made with the other hospitals in Bonn and the pregnant women had been referred to other hospitals. On Tuesday, the maternity ward resumed operations.

The Marienhospital in Bonn told the GA that the obstetrics department there had tried to compensate for the bottlenecks in the other hospitals over the weekend. At some point, however, the capacities of the Marienhospital were fully utilised and the hospital was also unable to accept any more pregnant women.

Upon request, the Bonn University Hospital stated that it had taken patients from all other obstetric departments in Bonn over the weekend and either cared for them or delivered them. All women who were referred to the university hospital could also have been admitted there, it said.

Critical situation in Bonn obstetrics not new

The tense situation in obstetrics in Bonn is not new. In the recent past, there have been repeated cases of women being turned away from their preferred hospital and having to go to other hospitals in labour until they were finally admitted.

Maria Kremer, a midwife in the region, assesses the situation as alarming. "The continuity and quality of care for pregnant women is no longer assured," she complains. It is now part of everyday life that pregnant women in labour are happy to actually be allowed to give birth in the clinic where they are registered.

 (Original text: Leandra Kubiak; Translation: Mareike Graepel)

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