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Mother Gives Birth to Very Rare Identical Quadruplets

Amazingly, the quads were conceived naturally, odds of 1 in 13 million. However, even more shocking is that the mom, who's Canadian, had to give birth in Montana because not one neonatal unit in any Canadian hospital had the room to handle identical quadruplets. However, Benefis Hospital in Great Falls, Montana, population 50,000, did. From the BBC:

The four girls were born at a US hospital because there was no space available at Canadian neonatal intensive care units.

Karen Jepp and her husband JP, of Calgary, were taken to a Montana hospital where the girls were delivered two months early by Caesarean section.

Autumn, Brooke, Calissa and Dahlia are in good condition at Benefis Hospital in Great Falls, Montana.

A medical team and space for the babies had been organised for the Jepp family at the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary but several other babies were born unexpectedly early, filling the neonatal intensive care unit.

Health officials said they checked every other neonatal intensive care unit in Canada but none had space.

This is what happens with socialized medicine. Because the government has a limited amount of money to spend on health care, it only has a limited amount of beds to offer. Consequently, the Canadian government was forced to fly her to the US to give birth:

The Jepps, a nurse and a respiratory technician were flown 500km (310 miles) to the Montana hospital, the closest in the US, where the quadruplets were born on Sunday.

Question: where would have Mrs. Jepps given birth if America and her vastly more accessible health care system weren't available right next door? If the US goes to a universal health care system, we, too, will find ourselves with a government that has a limited amount of money to spend on health care and, therefore, limited space. Mark Steyn comments at The Corner:

Well, you can't expect a G7 economy of only 30 million people to be able to offer the same level of neonatal ICU coverage as a town of 50,000 in remote rural Montana. And let's face it, there's nothing an expectant mom likes more than 300 miles in a bumpy twin prop over the Rockies.

As an expectant mom of just one baby, that sounds like hell.

Update: Bob Leibowitz points us to a Globe and Mail article that explains that Canada is using US hospitals more and more as back up for those mothers who go into labor prior to 32 weeks:

Ms. Jepp's case highlights the increasing tendency for Canadian women with high-risk pregnancies to be sent to the United States to give birth, a development some attribute to an increase in the number of premature births, a nursing shortage and a stretched health-care system.

With no beds available in their home province or nearby, expectant mothers going into labour before 32 weeks gestation (when babies need the highest level of neonatal intensive care) are often sent by air ambulance to hospitals in Washington, Montana, Michigan and New York.

Wow.


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Comments (33)

Congratulations Kim! ... (Below threshold)

Congratulations Kim!

The Jepps scored big time. ... (Below threshold)
BillyBob:

The Jepps scored big time. Not only did they get much better medical care, her 4 new babies are now American Citizens. Sweet deal. Everything turned out roses and 4 anchor babies to boot.

Michael Moore must be eating Zantacs like popcorn.

Then again, you can get Tylenol with codeine over the counter up there.....

Awwww, is this story going ... (Below threshold)
Jo:

Awwww, is this story going to put a damper on the liberals fantasy of universal healthcare? lol.

Billy Bob, They didn't choo... (Below threshold)

Billy Bob, They didn't choose to come to the US to have the babies. They didn't cross the border illegally to have the babies. They probably would have preferred having the babies in Canada, at home, not 310 miles away. I can't even imagine the plane ride at 8 months pregnant with four babies. Now with the babies in NICU, they have to stay here for a bit before they can go home, to family and friends and the support network mom and dad will need with four newborns all at once. I think "anchor baby" is the last thing on their minds.

There was a recent case at ... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

There was a recent case at a new British NHS hospital in which a pregnant woman had to deliver a still-born baby, but there were no gyns., no mid-wives, an they put her in a non-OB/GYN ward.

She had to deliver it over a toilet with only the aid of her mother; no staff available at NHS.

This is what libs. want for you--if everyone can't have health insurance, then we'll make sure it sucks for everyone. . .

How many times is Wizbang g... (Below threshold)
jp2:

How many times is Wizbang going to cover this story Kim? Kevin already took his swipe at the same article. Maybe Jay Tea can do a 3 part series.

Sad that you think we couldn't do health care better than America Jr.

jp2, the facts speak for th... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

jp2, the facts speak for themselves. Which seems to be why you resent the story so much.

For some reason, when I rea... (Below threshold)

For some reason, when I read jp2's comment, I was reminded of Jim Carrey in "Liar, Liar:"

Fletcher: "Your honor, I object!" Judge: "Why?" Fletcher: "Because it's devastating to my case!"

J.

Any mother who respects her... (Below threshold)

Any mother who respects her babies has my respect. The father likely has a high stress job. Fathers under higher stress have a far higher incidence of a gynosperm count rather than androsperm count resulting in more female offpsring. Normally androsperm is more common, with more male babies at birth, but a higher incidence of infant mortality among male babies soon equalizes the male/female ratio.

Hooson, is there a point in... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

Hooson, is there a point in that diatribe that is relevant to the discussion of the fact that the Canadian (government-run) health care system had no facilities for this lady?

Or are you just dragging a red herring across the trail?

Is this how you sell scooters? If someone brings up a relevant point, do you attempt to change the subject?

Has anyone taken an account... (Below threshold)
Eneils Bailey:

Has anyone taken an accounting of how many US citizens in the bordering states have fled to Canada to check into those free health Care Centers in Canada.
Don't want to hear about all the seniors packing up on buses and go up there and buy drugs. The Canadian government can subsidize drugs. That's simple stealing from the taxpayers. A plan that US citizens in the long run pay for. Operating and maintaining heath care facilities is a much more daunting task.

"Where would have Mrs. J... (Below threshold)
George:

"Where would have Mrs. Jepps given birth if America and her vastly more accessible health care system weren't available right next door?"

Cuba, of course!

C-C-G, this isn't the time ... (Below threshold)

C-C-G, this isn't the time or place for your nonsense.

I have a great deal of respect for life and for mother's who sacrifice 9 months of life to bring a little baby into the world, and up to 18 more years raising that baby. How many men stick with any one job or fatherhood that long? Not enough. Mothers are the best.

...not one neonatal unit... (Below threshold)
George:

...not one neonatal unit in any Canadian hospital had the room to handle identical quadruplets.

Does this mean that, if they weren't identical, there may have been a Canadian hospital that could have handled them?

[Heh, just teasing you on your choice of words. I understand.]

"How many men stick with... (Below threshold)
George:

"How many men stick with any one job or fatherhood that long? Not enough. Mothers are the best."

How many mothers are having children that will never know their father? It's not always the father's fault. The best mothers are the ones who, along with the father, raise that baby. A child needs a mother and a father.

And what does sticking with one job have to do with anything? That can be near impossible in this economy.

Paul, ... (Below threshold)
RobLACal.:

Paul,

Huh?

"For some reason, when I read jp2's comment, I was reminded of Jim Carrey in "Liar, Liar:"

BULLSEYE! Jay. Make that a double bull.

RobLACal, this post should ... (Below threshold)

RobLACal, this post should be about motherhood and respect for it. Your rude comments have absolutely nothing to do with that topic, Think about it. It's a shame that I cannot say some positive comments in support of motherhood here without some dumb personal comments and digs by just a few here who abuse this column.

Some facts (if you can trus... (Below threshold)
Rance:

Some facts (if you can trust the MSM):
The Globe and Mail reports, in part:

"[Calgary's Foothills Medical Centre] says it had been preparing for their arrival, but three other premature infants were born unexpectedly overnight, putting the facility two preemies over its 16-bed capacity."

...

"Ms. Jepp's case highlights the increasing tendency for Canadian women with high-risk pregnancies to be sent to the United States to give birth, a development some attribute to an increase in the number of premature births, a nursing shortage and a stretched health-care system."

CTV.ca reports:

"It cost $30,000 for each day Karen Jepp and her babies received care in the Montana hospital. In Calgary, it would have cost less than $11,000 per day."

Business wise, it may be win-win. The U.S. hospitals get to sell excess capacity to Canada to support their staff and facilities. The Canadians avoid building duplicating NICU beds that they can rent in the U.S. It's just outsourcing.


I don't see this as any kin... (Below threshold)
jpe:

I don't see this as any kind of slam dunk for the US system. It tells what we already knew: markets are more responsive (Calgary is a boom town at the moment), but more expensive for consumers. This is one side of the tradeoff we're seeing.

I have a great deal of r... (Below threshold)
Borg Queen:

I have a great deal of respect for life and for mother's who sacrifice 9 months of life to bring a little baby into the world.

I don't any mother who considered her pregnany a sacrifice. I imagine those who do, kill their unborn.

Next you'll be dredging up that "barefoot and in the kitchen" thing, too.

Left out a key word......I ... (Below threshold)
Borg Queen:

Left out a key word......I don't KNOW any mother who considered her pregnancy a sacrifice.

gotta find my eyeglasses.

Paul "almost a PhD" Hoosen:... (Below threshold)
Drago:

Paul "almost a PhD" Hoosen: "RobLACal, this post should be about motherhood and respect for it."

No, it shouldn't.

See how easy it is to play this game?

Paul "seriously, almost a PhD" Hoosen: " Your rude comments have absolutely nothing to do with that topic,"

"that topic". The one I just threw in. Which has no relation to the thread topic. Which I didn't choose. Which I therefore ignore. Which is ok. But you not choosing to discuss my topic is rude.

Get it?

I'm Paul Hoosen.

Almost a "PhD"!!

Seriously!

My opinion matters!!

Listen to ME!!

OR I'll storm out of my basement and find you!!


Paul "I'm not kidding!! I'm, almost a PhD" Hoosen: "It's a shame that I cannot say some positive comments in support of motherhood here without some dumb personal comments and digs by just a few here who abuse this column."

Uh, you CAN say a few positive commnets in support of motherhood.

I especially understand your "need" to do that, as opposed to addressing the thread topic, which you don't want to do as it imperils certain fundamental beliefs you possess.

Poor Paul. Noone will come to his site, so he makes do with threadjacking here.

Bottom line, there are more MRI machines in Boston than in all of Canada.

Over 150,000 Canadians come to the US each for quality care they cannot recieve in Canada.

Last year the Canadian Supreme Court ruled in favor of a man suiing the Canadian Health Care system for the lie that it is. The Canadian Supreme Court, in delivering its ruling, stated "access to a waiting list is not access to health care."

The lefties have to lie about socialized medicine to make it more politically acceptable.

I wonder why they didn't ju... (Below threshold)

I wonder why they didn't just fly to Cuba instead?

Before anyone requires an e... (Below threshold)
Rance:

Before anyone requires an emergency room because they broke their arm patting themselves on the back, some interesting numbers.

The U.S. has 1.1 level III neonatal units per 10000 live births compared to Canada who has .71/

So the U.S. has a 68% advantage there.

However, the number of infants born in the U.S. with a birth weight of less than 2500 grams is 36% higher than in Canada, and the number with a birth weight of less than 1500 grams is 51% higher in the U.S. The U.S. may have more NICUs but the U.S. also has more need of them.

If you want to see the source of this data, its at http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/109/6/1036?ck=nck

Gee, I didn't think Hooson ... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

Gee, I didn't think Hooson had purchased Wizbang from Kevin.

I didn't think Hooson had taken over as editor from Jay Tea.

Hooson gets caught dragging a red herring and tries to assume responsibility that he does not have.

Typical of a lefty.

The U.S. may have ... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:
The U.S. may have more NICUs but the U.S. also has more need of them.

Rance, how many of those children need NICUs because they are alive thanks to American healthcare, when they'd have died in many other nations?

How many NICU beds are taken because people from other nations, such as the Canadian lady above, come to American to have their high-risk pregnancies cared for properly?

Telling half the story is also telling half a lie, Rance.

Sad that you think... (Below threshold)
Sad that you think we couldn't do health care better than America Jr.

jp2, you ding dong. We already do health care better than Canada.

What you likely meant to say, was we can do socialized health care better than America Jr.

Which is almost always the argument from wannabe communists, it just hasn't been done right yet. Give it another chance.

I have a great dea... (Below threshold)
I have a great deal of respect for life and for mother's who sacrifice 9 months of life to bring a little baby into the world, and up to 18 more years raising that baby. How many men stick with any one job or fatherhood that long? Not enough. Mothers are the best.

Sheesh Hooson, is one of your many jobs writing verse for Hallmark Mother's Day cards?

So, it's very reassuring that you have so much respect for Mothers who bring little bouncing bundles of joy into the world. I presume an anti-abortion candidate is your first choice for President?

Or, do you have a caveat that can justify your voting for a pro-abortion candidate?

The way Hooson is acting on... (Below threshold)

The way Hooson is acting on this thread, I though maybe he might have been fired from wizblues, leaving him with too much free time on his hands.

I checked. He's still listed as a contributing blogger over there. But, I did discover the problem. There's not enough activity over there to keep him busy.

Besides, just perusing the front page, I didn't see where he'd written a post about the Canadian quads born in the Montana hospital. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Nothing.

No posts praising the miracle of Motherhood. His deep respect for the sacrifices of Mothers. No Hallmark card prose.

Nor was there a post explaining the stressors of the father that might explain why his wife had naturally conceived quadruplets.

Seems Hooson is just here today to display his superior intellect, to demonstrate his deep, heartfelt compassion and understanding.

So, everyone, clap Hooson on the back, tell him how impressive he is, and then ask him to hurry along. There is only so much superior intellect and deep, heartfelt appreciation and compassion we mere mortal right wing nutjobs can absorb in a single day.

But, hey, Hooson, thanks for thinking of us.

John in CA:She... (Below threshold)
marc:

John in CA:

Sheesh Hooson, is one of your many jobs writing verse for Hallmark Mother's Day cards?

Nah... he's been reading Ms Magazine and getting his Gloria Steinem talking points in order.

But, hey, Hooson, thanks for thinking of us.

No thanks, I'd rather not be offered that "service."

Unless I was in the market for a cheap-assed Chinese motorcycle. On the other hand I have no need for a brain injury either so I guess I have no need for his thoughts at all.

C-C-G:If you want ... (Below threshold)
Rance:

C-C-G:

If you want to see exactly who and what was considered, I suggest you read the report.

Cuba couldn't take 'em: Ca... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Cuba couldn't take 'em: Castro's tying up all the critical care wards . . .

"This is what happens with ... (Below threshold)
D-Slam:

"This is what happens with socialized medicine. Because the government has a limited amount of money to spend on health care, it only has a limited amount of beds to offer."

This is, of course, complete nonsense. The Calgary Regional Health Authority spent 190k US (flights and hospital, paid in full) on the Jepp's pregnancy. (source: CBC). Does it sound like the government is hurting for money to spend on health care? (oh, by the way, the Canadian government runs a SURPLUS. Do any of you Americans remember those? You'll have to think back to Clinton).

Rance wrote one of the very few intelligent comments in the thread: it's just outsourcing. We (very) occasionally have quadruple premees (who can't be split up obviously)... it makes no sense to keep extra neonatal beds around for such eventualities.

BTW, I doubt very much that every 50k town in the US is awash in extra neo-natal capacity. Great Falls is right next to a region with lots of money and a labour shortage... I'll bet its surplus of medical facilities is not an accident, and not indicative of what can be expected of 50k towns in, say, Alabama.




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