Saturday, 12 December 2009

Sarah Palin can't grasp the concepts of "high risk", "emergency" or "truth"

Continuing on the wild ride theme, we have a friend in Alaska who volunteered to make a few phone calls to the Mat-Su hospital to find out how they deal with premature labour.

I rang the Mat-Su Hospital and said I was 35 weeks pregnant and that I was from Anchorage and planning on delivering at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage, but because I spend my weekends at Big Lake (a lake close to Wasilla) I was worried about premature labor. I asked if I happened to go into labor this weekend at 35 weeks, should I drive to Providence in Anchorage where there is an NICU or go to the closer MatSu Regional? She told me that if I had any signs like contractions/ruptured membranes I should come immediately to the closer MatSu Hospital and be checked out by a doctor. Then, if the doctor deemed it neccessary, they would transport me to Providence Anchorage where there is an NICU!

We also received an e-mail from a doctor:

I am a practicing Emergency Medicine physician. I have called thousands of physician offices over the last 20+ years. And you know what? Every single one of them says on their opening disclaimer: "If you have a medical emergency call 911 or directly go to an Emergency Room." This disclaimer is universal for any legitimate physicians office or answering service. Sure it's redundant and obvious, but it's there for a few reasons -- to cover the doctors back and to point out the simple fact that emergency services are available to ANYONE, regardless of ability to pay. Really, it is one of the strengths of our health care system.

Here's my point, and maybe where the break is, Cathy Baldwin-Johnson KNOWS THIS TOO. We have all speculated as to her motives and cover-up, but the standard of care, hence her duty, was to tell Palin to seek emergency services. Amniotic fluid leakage and contractions in the eight month of a high risk pregnancy ARE, beyond any doubt, a medical emergency -- certainly to a licensed physician or even a prudent lay person. CBJ's DUTY was to tell Palin to seek emergency services, (even if Palin was ignorant enough not to realize that herself!). If she told Palin it was reasonable to fly, that was GROSS NEGLIGENCE, ABJECT MEDICAL MALPRACTICE. If anything untoward occurred, her medical license and millions of dollars would have been on the line.

ADN reported Sarah Palin's account of the events
leading to the wild ride on April 22, 2008, days after Trig's first appearance:


Palin was in Texas last week for an energy conference of the Republican Governors Association when she experienced signs of early labor. She wasn't due for another month.

Early Thursday -- she thinks it was around 4 a.m. Texas time -- she consulted with her doctor, family physician Cathy Baldwin-Johnson, who is based in the Valley and has delivered lots of babies, including Piper, Palin's 7-year-old.

Palin said she felt fine but had leaked amniotic fluid and also felt some contractions that seemed different from the false labor she had been having for months.

"I said I am going to stay for the day. I have a speech I was determined to give," Palin said. She gave the luncheon keynote address for the energy conference.

Palin kept in close contact with Baldwin-Johnson. The contractions slowed to one or two an hour, "which is not active labor," the doctor said.

"Things were already settling down when she talked to me," Baldwin-Johnson said. Palin did not ask for a medical OK to fly, the doctor said.

"I don't think it was unreasonable for her to continue to travel back," Baldwin-Johnson said.

So the Palins flew on Alaska Airlines from Dallas to Anchorage, stopping in Seattle and checking with the doctor along the way.

"I am not a glutton for pain and punishment. I would have never wanted to travel had I been fully engaged in labor," Palin said. After four kids, the governor said, she knew what labor felt like, and she wasn't in labor.

In the transcript of the whole interview, there's an interesting passage:

Reporter: So did your water break?

Palin: Well, if you must know more of those type of details, but, um…

Reporter: Well, your dad said that and I saw him say it so that’s why I asked.

Palin: Well that was again if, if I must get personal, technical about this at the same time, um, it was one, it was a sign that I knew, um, could lead to uh, labor being uh kind of kicked in there was any kind of, um, amniotic leaking, amniotic fluid leaking, so when, when that happened we decided OK let’s call her.

Todd: There’s a lot of new doctors out there on the streets in the last couple of days.

Palin: Yeah, that’s significant too. Todd said, uh, after getting a couple of comments he said that he said wow everybody’s a doctor, Everybody’s going to tell us what we could have should have done and even though these folks - especially the critics- they’re not doctors. They didn’t know the situation. They don’t know the situation. They, they certainly don’t know our doctor and the consultations that we’ve had with her. So we did nothing to put our child nor anyone else in danger, uh, going through this five times I know what labor is and, uh, I am not a glutton for pain and punishment. I would have never, um, wanted to travel if I had been fully engaged in labor.

Well, we DO have a doctor's opinion... and the advice from the very same hospital she HAD to reach at all costs on that night.

Later we learned, again from Sarah Palin's own account in "Going Rogue", that she had two miscarriages, one of them described in great detail, which would make her fifth pregnancy even more high risk. She also gave a slightly different version of the events on April 17, 2008:

Todd and I checked into a hotel in Dallas. The following day I was scheduled to keynote another oil and gas conference. My pregnancy was going fine, and with five weeks to go, I felt great. But at 4 a.m., a strange sensation low in my belly woke me and I sat up straight in my bed.

It can’t be, I thought. It’s way too early.

Moments later, I shook Todd awake. “Something’s going on.”

He sat up in bed, instantly alert. “I’m calling CBJ.”

“No, don’t do that. It’s one a.m. in Alaska.”

I didn’t want to call anyone yet. I just wanted to take stock and see whether this baby was really coming. I also wanted time to pray and asked God silently but fervently to let everything be okay. Desperation for this baby overwhelmed me.

Please don’t let anything happen to this baby.

It occurred to me, once and for all. I’m so in love with this child, please God, protect him! After all my doubts and fears, I had fallen in love with this precious child. The worst thing in the world would be that I would lose him. God knew what He was doing.

Over my protests, Todd called CBJ. I told her that I felt fine and absolutely did not want to cancel my speech and disappoint the folks at the conference, including my cohost, Texas Governor Rick Perry. We agreed that I would stay in contact with CBJ through the day, I’d take it easy, give my speech, then catch an earlier flight back to Alaska. I still had plenty of time.

Later that afternoon we entered a packed house at the energy conference, where I’d speak on the urgent need to tap conventional supplies and innovate on stabilizing renewable sources.

Sarah Palin goes on to describe her speech, saying that she had contractions when she told a joke:

Big laughs. More contractions.

Then I introduced everybody to Todd, Alaska's "First Dude," who, instead of sitting at the head of the table, was standing at the back of the hall, giving me the "get on with it, let's keep it short this time" look and practically holding the door open for our quick exit to the airport.


The audience graciously gave me a standing ovation. Then I handed the mic back to Rick and walked off the stage.

"Hey," Rick drawled over the sound system with a chuckle, "we're not finished with the program!"

I turned around, smiled, waved, and kept moving.

"I know you're pregnant," Rick said, joking into the mic. "But don't tell me you're going off to have the baby right now!"

The audience laughed. I smiled and waved good-bye. I thought, if you only knew!

I reached Todd at the exit, and he eyed me with a grin, "Love this state, but we can't have a fish picker born in Texas."


Many hours and two plane flights later, with Todd and our daughters nearby, I delivered Trig Paxson Van Palin into the world at Mat-Su Regional Medical Center.

So we have a version where she states she was not in labour and another where there's a sense of urgency.

If we believe the first version, Sarah Palin self-diagnosed, concluding she was not in labour, her doctor performed examinations over the phone and concluded it was not unreasonable for her to continue to travel back to Alaska.

If we go with the second version, despite having contractions, she embarked on a long journey home because they couldn't have a fish picker born in Texas. (Couldn't the fish picker have been born in Anchorage in a better equipped hospital, or is Anchorage not Alaskan enough?)

I don't think there were any phone calls at all. After Chuck Heath opened his big mouth to say Sarah had leaked amniotic fluid, she had to come up with something and that's how her doctor found herself involved in this fiasco.

Sarah Palin doesn't do or say anything without making a new victim. I suppose Cathy Baldwin-Johnson can look after herself, but the biggest victim in all of this can't do anything about it.

That's baby Trig. (Seen in this photo at 11:45 pm, temperature 41F)

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