Page 18 - Volume 69 Number 1
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Washtenaw County Medical Society BULLETIN JANUARY / FEBRUARY / MARCH 2017
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prepare for the delivery by having the following very basic tools and equipment set up for us: 1) a hammer, nail, and coat hanger on which to hang the IV; 2) sufficient soft drink bottles to be placed along each side of the patient for her to hold on to, plus to place at the foot of the bed
or table for her to push with her feet when instructed
to do so; and 3) a pile of newspapers (newsprint was considered relatively clean) about 3 feet high to place under the patient and to wrap around the bottles so that they would remain in place during the delivery.
The First Delivery: Under Special Protection
I began this rotation the first two weeks of my senior year. Early on the morning July 4, I was sent to location near 63rd and Halstead for a delivery. This was in the area where the most notorious gangs in Chicago, the Blackstone Rangers, held sway. Ernie provided transpor- tation for us to the residence. When we arrived, I exam- ined the woman and determined that she was in true labor. The fetal heart tones were strong. Since it was clear at that point that we would be there the majority of the day and probably into the night, we decided that we should get some food. Hearing the bells of an ice cream truck, the student nurse and I went out to buy some breakfast. On our way back to the apartment two young adult males literally stepped out from an alley and challenged me: “What are you doing here?” I looked at the student nurse and then at the men -- we were wear- ing scrub suits and white coats – and responded,
“We are here to deliver a baby at” – I gave the address. One of the men wrote a phone number down on a piece of paper, and told me that if we had trouble we should call that number first (i.e., not the police), and sent us on our way. If an unforeseen crisis had arisen, the phone number would have alerted the Black Stone Rangers to come to our aid. I could be fairly certain that they would be more readily available to us and much more feared than the police.
The patient’s labor progressed. Later in the day the brother of the patient came in and asked me what I wanted to drink, since he was about to make a beverage run. I responded, Coke or Pepsi would be fine, but he insisted that I tell him what brand of beer I wanted. When I declined to respond to his request for beer, he became rather angry until I reminded him that I was the one responsible for delivering his sister’s child, that is, his future niece or nephew. With this, he left and returned with my Coca-Cola.
During the day the music was always blaring in the apartment, but it would abruptly cease when I would go into the bedroom to examine my patient, listen for fetal heart sounds, and monitory the woman’s progress. I was feeling under a good deal of pressure, this being my first home delivery, that everything should turn out well.
It did, and after the delivery the family treated them- selves and the team to an absolutely outstanding barbeque with all the trimmings as the baby’s birth

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