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Burden Left on Deaf Patients During Emergencies

April 4, 2024

Topics covered: C-Section & Interpreters 

Maria did everything right. She prepared accommodations and had everything set for her upcoming C-section. But when an emergency happened, she was left without an interpreter. Healthcare can be unpredictable, but patients like Maria shouldn’t have to bear the burden and solve these issues on their own. 

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Video Description and Transcript

Video Description:

The post has a video thumbnail with rose shading overlaid. The middle has a text bubble that reads “I did everything right...and it still didn’t work out” in white text with blue background. In the video: A woman with shoulder length dark brown hair wears a dark green long sleeve shirt.


I struggled to become pregnant and went through a few losses. Finally, one day I became pregnant with my son. I had some health risks, so it was determined that a c-section was the best option for me. We set an appointment with the hospital and I worked with them to schedule an interpreter. Everything was organized and planned. Everything felt ready. Unexpectedly, I went into labor earlier. We went to the hospital, requested an interpreter, and the doctors prepped me for surgery. After an hour, the interpreter arrived. I noticed that the interpreter was struggling to understand and interpret. That Interpreter admitted to me that they never experienced interpreting in a hospital before. I informed the doctor I wasn’t comfortable proceeding with this interpreter and to please request a new one. After several hours of labor, and still no interpreter showed up. I went ahead and reached out to my friends, my child’s father reached out to his friends, and we found a friend who could come and interpret. I felt fortunate. They showed up, interpreted for us, and we proceeded with my surgery. My son was born, but the emotional impact on me and the child’s father was deep. The burden was on us as deaf people to fix that problem. 
I had prepared everything ahead of time, I scheduled an interpreter, I contacted the agencies, I did everything right. But still, it did not work out. It wasn’t fair. It’s sad that it’s a common occurrence for many deaf and hard of hearing people. Something needs to change. [The screen fades to show a thumbnail of a faded white background of a doctor holding hands with another individual] Deaf. Healthy. DeafHealth. Learn more at]

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