FAYETTE COUNTY, Pa. - It’s only been one week since Uniontown Hospital closed its maternity ward, but at least one family is saying the decision has cost their child’s life.
Women are now being told to go to either Magee Women’s Hospital or WVU Health System, either of which is a 40-minute drive.
Niya Meyer says her daughter, Ta-sharia, went into labor Saturday morning at 32 weeks and called 911 because she was bleeding. Meyer was on Facetime with her daughter as this happened.
"When the ambulance arrived, I told them to take her to Ruby [Memorial Hospital]. He said no, he has to take her to Uniontown [Hospital] to verify she was in labor," Meyer said. "I said... 'Why would you take her somewhere that is not equipped to deliver a baby?'"
EMS Southwest is the ambulance service that responded to Ta-sharia'a Menallen Township home.
When Ta-sharia arrived at Uniontown Hospital, the found the baby's heartbeat but said they didn't have any equipment to deliver him. She was flown by medical helicopter to Ruby Memorial Hospital and arrived nearly four hours after her initial 911 call.
"She was screaming there was no heartbeat. They took her for an emergency C-section because she was hemorrhaging," Meyer said.
The baby did not survive.
"I pray for each and every pregnant woman that's out here," Meyer said.
Uniontown Hospital told Channel 11 that closing the maternity ward was a difficult decision due to insurance limitations, unfunded government mandates and difficulty recruiting doctors. The move was announced to patients, providers and ambulance services ahead of time so new plans could be developed.
Channel 11 reached out to EMS Southwest for a comment but was told the manager was in a meeting.
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