I received a 9-1-1 call concerning a pregnant woman who was ready to deliver her baby. She was escorted to the nearest hospital early in the morning, around 6 am. She was then sent back home because her cervix was not yet dilated.
During this time, the limited English proficient (LEP) woman conveyed her pain to the mid-wife and explained to her that it would be hard to get home using a taxicab. After six hours of staying at home, she again experienced pain and fatigue. Her husband phoned the ambulance driver who hurried her to the hospital.
Again, the nurse told them to wait in the lobby. After a few hours of waiting, the LEP started realizing that her baby’s movement was slowing.
She called out, “Please help! Please help me!” The nurse told her “You were here this morning and we sent you back because your cervix was not dilated. You will still need to wait.”
After 20 minutes of dialogue, the LEP screamed out “I’m facing trouble here! I don’t feel the baby moving anymore. Please take me to the doctor.”
The LEP said to me, “You need to explain to her that my baby is dying! She is not grasping the danger I am going to face if I wait longer here.”
I reiterated the LEP’s anxiety to the nurse, explaining her predicament. When the nurse heard that, she jumped as if someone who wakes up from sleep, and immediately requested aid from her mid-wives.
They helped her to see the doctor immediately, and the doctor examined her. The doctor rushed to deliver her baby. At the end of our conversation, I liked what the doctor said about the LEP: “If this woman was not here by this time, she would have lost her baby!”
As a LanguageLine interpreter, I always make a difference.